Google is the king of search AND of word-of-mouth when it comes to customer reviews for your small business.
A new survey is now claiming that bad Google reviews can harm your business more than similar negative reviews on Yelp or even Facebook, according to Forbes.
The survey was conducted by Womply, a marketing and CRM software provider for small and medium-sized businesses.
The most shocking finding is that businesses made 33% less revenue than an average in one fiscal year if their Google star rating was between 1 and 1.5.
Businesses with similarly poor reviews on Yelp and Facebook also suffered an average of 19% and 9% revenue hits respectively, according to Venture Beat.
How to avoid bad Google reviews
This study by Womply was designed to inform businesses about how to better interact with customers online.
Managing your online presence has become the most important part of branding your business and keeping a positive public face.
A slew of bad reviews that cost your business a third of all potential revenue in a single year is obviously a killer. It could bankrupt your business.
Now one way to manage bad Google reviews is to not get them in the first place.
As studies have shown, customer service is the new king when it comes to consumer choice. It will rank ahead of even price by 2020 according to another fascinating study. For a guide on how to better serve your customers, this could help.
Why nasty Google reviews are so ascendant
Google has simply made it easy for customers to leave reviews. And as we know, most customers are more motivated to leave a review after a bad experience than a good one.
This all does make some sense though. Customers expect good service as a baseline assumption. When that is not met, you can expect the wrath of poor reviews.
But of course, disgruntled customers can also be unfair and quick to complain about issues that weren’t actually caused by your business.
Forbes recommends having someone on staff who is able to monitor and respond to online reviews.
This needs to be done frequently. And often, when customers notice their concerns are heard, the bad review may be retracted.
And thus, your business saved a lot of cold hard cash.