AUTHENTICITY AND NEGATIVE REVIEWS ON GOOGLE

Authenticity and negative reviews on Google

Authenticity and negative reviews on Google.

This article looks at building authenticity and negative reviews on Google.

Online reviews or electronic word-of-mouth, impact consumers attitudes and their buying decisions.

Electronic word-of-mouth can make or destroy a business.

Therefore, they should be handled properly.
This post explores how small businesses can build authenticity by embracing and managing negative online reviews on Google.

What is authenticity?

Authenticity refers to how a business builds and maintains a consistent voice and image throughout all its channels and customer interactions.

It is about being and staying true to who you are in your business offerings.
In addition to offering excellent and affordable products.
By rendering authenticity, a business helps its consumers make sense of the virtual world that has become a reality – whether one likes it or not.
Consumers and business-to-business customers want to buy goods or services that conform to what they perceive or depict as being authentic.
They want their purchases to reflect:
  • Who they are
  • Who they want to be and
  • How they perceive the world.

Therefore, as a small business, you must understand what your consumers consider as fake or real about your offering.

How to render authenticity in your small business

Customers are demanding authenticity.

A small business can build and render authenticity:

  • By being genuine. That is, being true to what it stands for. Let the core values of your business guide your business practice. Genuinely care about your consumers.
  • In addition, being original helps in establishing the authenticity of your business. Put much effort in creating uniqueness in your business.
  • Being consistent. Be steadfast in delivering your product or service promise. In addition, be quick to make amends if you fail.
  • Be sincere. No customer wants to be misled. Customers want businesses they can trust.
  • Don’t misrepresent. Make your message plain and simple. Back your message with sincerity.
  • Keep it as simple as possible. Whether its your products, services or communications.

What are the benefits of rendering authenticity for small businesses?

Benefits of rendering authenticity include developing loyal customers.

Consumers of businesses that render authenticity are unlikely to have their original perceptions about the business changed. Even in the presence of negative reviews.

This is because by rendering authenticity over time, can help your business build customer loyalty.

Therefore, loyal customers are unlikely to be easily swayed.

Rendering authenticity also benefits small businesses because:

  • It is a competitive edge.
  • A business builds influence and authority.
  • Consumers can identify with your products or services.
  • Also, consumers like to associate with reputable businesses because they are reliable and can be trusted.

Online reviews on Google business listing

Online reviews of your business on Google by customers is a valuable feedback.
Whether positive or negative, online reviews make consumers more aware of your business.
If you render authenticity, consumers are more loyal to your business even with negative reviews.

However, negative reviews can lower the expectations of new customers.
Therefore, customers new to your business would need to experience the authenticity of your business.
Rendering authenticity in your business has great benefits and can do a lot for your business.
However, this does not mean that negative reviews are harmless and should be ignored.
Although a business should always strive to have more positive reviews than negative reviews.
No matter how excellent your product or service is.
You may still get negative reviews from dissatisfied customers from time to time.
Also, a mean competitor may leave a negative review, trying to discredit your business.
Since no one wants to have bad reviews on Google or any other digital channels.
It is very important that a business learns how to convey its authenticity, even with negative reviews on its business listing.

How to embrace and manage negative reviews to render authenticity in your business listing.

Although positive reviews have positive impact on sales. Negative reviews don’t necessarily have to give negative impact.

It all depends on how you embrace and manage negative reviews.

Generally, it is best if you:
  • Strive to have more positive reviews than negative reviews.
  • Accept both positive and negative reviews as ‘gifts’. Take them as valuable feedback and opportunity to help your reputation.
  • Take time before responding to false and defamatory reviews. Doing so will help you get a clearer perspective and prepare the best response. It will also help to turn a negative review to an opportunity to communicate your business authenticity.
  • Follow Google’s tips for responding to reviews. This will help you in rendering authenticity in your business listing.

Here are more ways to embrace and manage negative reviews to render authenticity.

Don’t delete negative reviews.

Don’t delete negative reviews, except in cases where a review violates Google review policies or is spammy in which case, Google removes the review.

Another reason not to delete negative reviews because it shows transparency; which counts towards establishing your authenticity.

After all, if someone sets out to defame your business with a negative review, they’re probably very prepared. They would go to any length.

If you get it removed, it may later resurface in other channels.
By then, it may look like you’re hiding the truth.

Respond positively to a negative review.

One of the hallmarks of authenticity is genuineness. Make your response as genuine as possible by addressing the points raised politely.

In addition, highlight solutions already in place to address the complaints.
If your need to make further adjustments, ensure you address those as well.

Ask consumers to leave reviews in your Google business listing.

An army of positive reviews will render a defamatory review useless.

In addition, it will help readers get a balanced view and make sense of any other negative review you get.

It isn’t wrong to ask consumers to leave a review.

Rather, by asking you are presenting the reality.
You are being truthful and open hence authentic.
By making it known to consumers that, the review will help to get your business noticed.
Loyal customers would be glad to be of help. However, if you don’t ask, you may be missing out.
Many who would’ve given positive reviews may be unaware of the need to write one.

Create winning post on your Google listing.

In addition to responding to reviews as best as you can. Create winning posts on your Google My Business listing to draw customers attention to your business.

A verified account can add post to their listing.
Furthermore, you can add images, videos or a Call To Action (CTA) button to your post.
You can use images and videos to draw attention to the uniqueness of your business and to address negative criticisms.
Also, you can use the CTA button to get visitors to see more about your products and services on your business website.
Finally, a Post is a great way to get visitors attention and to authentically speak to your visitors.

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS HAPPY CUSTOMERS

How to use google my business to delight customers
Google My Business happy customers.
Learn how to delight your customers using Google My Business (GMB).
Google My Business is a useful tool for customer engagement.
This article looks at ways small businesses can use this free tool to delight their customers.
It takes a customer-driven business to delight customers.
A customer- driven business is one that is outside-in.
The development of its products and services starts from the needs, wants and desires of its customers.

How to ensure Google My Business customers delight

Every serious business should seek to delight their customers.

Being customer focussed is beneficial to every business.

When customers are happy, the business does well.

Although it is good to satisfy your customers.

However, a delighted customer becomes a loyal customer because they would come back again and again.

Delighted customers would provide free word-of-mouth marketing for your business.

Among all the things a business can do to delight its customers, improving the quality of its products and services is important.

There are certain things a business must get right, if it want to delight its customers and build customer loyalty.

A small business can delight its customers by doing the following:

Providing channels for customers to voice their needs.

Customers pay you to provide them with goods and services needed to meet their needs.
Everyone loves to be heard. Customers are delighted when they have easily accessible channels to voice their needs.

Particularly, when you demonstrate that you’re listening and responding to their needs.
Keeping Google My Business information up to date.

Google My Business makes it easy for customers and potential customers to reach your businesses easily.

Therefore, keep your Google My Business information up to date e.g. your phone number, website URL, business addresses, amenities and opening times etc.

This will ensure that customers can reach your business easily.

Not only that, make sure your listing is well managed to ensure that customers receive timely response.

This provides you with the opportunity to delight your customers.

In addition, a customer’s calls can turn out to be a goldmine.

You can get great ideas for improving your products and services based on the enquiries you receive.

Anticipating customers expectations.

Another way to delight the customer is to anticipate customers expectations.

Customers expectations may be diverse. However, every customer expects a business to exceed their expectations.

Whether you offer bespoke or standardized products or services.
Genuine reviews and feedback whether positive or negative gives your business authenticity and helps to build trust.

Customer experience reviews and feedback on Google My Business.

Google My Business provides the opportunity for customers to leave reviews about your products or services.

Therefore, these reviews are tools that can help small businesses in anticipating what customers expect when next they visit your business.

In addition, prospective customers have an idea of what to expect from your business based on the feedback from current customers.

Reminding customers to leave reviews and responding to the reviews helps to build trust which leads to satisfied and delighted customers.

Creating and communicating value.

By creating and communicating value, a business can delight their customers.
Customers expect reasonable pricing and genuine quality. A business needs to communicate its value proposition.

That is excellent price/quality that ensures that prices are competitive and services is of good quality.
By doing this, a business will not only delight its customers.
It will retain them because customers will repeat patronage when they are getting value for their money.

Adding quality posts to Google My Business

A business can demonstrate value offered to customers by using a Google My Business post. A post helps to connect customers (existing and potential) to your business.
A business post can be used to engage with customers through your listing and Maps.
Through a Google My Business Post, you can promote your sales, offers, events and specials.
A post gives a business the opportunity to:

  • Demonstrate the value being offered to customers, using posts, videos or photos.
  • Provide sales and offers. You can add a coupon code, discounts, terms and conditions within a post.
  • Promote events.
  • Communicate business offers and general information about the business.

Boosting customers confidence with positive image of business

Customers are delighted when dealing with a reputable company.

It is not only an intangible image of a good reputation that wins customers confidence.

Customers also connect the visual impressions with quality.

You can also delight your customers with good aesthetics.

The appearance of your business and products or services adds magic to customer delight.

Adding images to Google My Business

Adding photos to Google My Business helps to boost customers confidence.

Using real images from your business helps to put the spotlight on those aspects of your business you are displaying.

The images can also help to differentiate your business from your competitors.

Images of the interior and the exterior of your business can create a feeling of delight in customers.

In addition, business photos influence customers judgement of your business.

And also their willingness to do business with you.
Clear product images also help to drive sales.
By using clear and authentic images on Google My Business, you create an opportunity to delight your customers.
From the first contact with your business listing.

Giving good impression of your business

A business that seeks to delight its customers must always create a good impression.

Positive first impression helps to build strong relationship with customers.

Whether over the phone, by email or in-person.

A polite, prompt and warm response will delight a customer.

Managing Google My Business Listing

When your business is listed on Google My Business, be prepared to handle increased volume in terms of email, phone calls and messaging.

A business looking to delight its customers will plan ahead. Ensuring quality across all channels.

Managing your listing professionally helps to ensure quality across all channels.

Benefits of having your Google My Business listing managed include:

  • Having someone to read and reply customers feedback on a timely basis.
  • Making sure that quick and efficient responses are given to enquiries.
  • Regular update of posts.
  • Provide useful insights that can help your business understand customers interactions with your Google My Business listing.

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS IN NIGERIA

Google My Business Guide for small business owners in Nigeria. This article is a Google My Business step-by-step guide (with pictures) for small business owners in Nigeria. It serves as a guide to help small businesses set up their own Google My Business listing and for optimizing your listing for local searches.

how to set up google my business

One of the challenges small businesses in Nigeria face is getting customers to find their products and services. Especially, after struggling to invest in starting a small business and there is almost nothing left to spare for marketing.
Yet, everyday Google is being asked questions relevant to your business. Examples of recent questions people are asking Google are:

  • “Where can I hire a bicycle in Abuja?”
  • “Where can I buy Infinix smart 4c in Ikorodu?”
  • “Where can I get an organic soap in Bariga?”
You might be saying in your mind, “if only I can get people to know about my products and services”.

Google My Business guide for small business owners

The good news is that Google My Business is a free and effective marketing tool by Google for small businesses.
With Google My Business, you create a listing and a website that allows you to manage your online presence in local searches and on Google maps.
Therefore, it allows customers and potential customers to easily find your business and to contact you.
A Google My Business listing is how your business appears in search results when a potential customer Google’s (searches for) your business name or service.

Google My Business guide – types of small businesses that qualify for  Listing

Your business qualifies for a Google My Business listing if:

  • It has a physical address.
  • You serve customers face to face.
  • You serve customers at their locations.

Do you have a storefront where you display your products? For example, a fashion store that sells items such as shoes, clothes and bags.

If you have a physical location where you meet with or attend to customers.

That is, if your business involves attending to customers in-person during particular times in a day. For example, a salon where customers come in to get a hair cut.

Also, if you serve customers in their locations. For example, if you provide services to people in the homes or offices such as a plumber or an electrician.

Your business can be a mix of these three.

For example, if you are a photographer with a physical address where customers can come to your studio for a photo shoot.
However, you also attend events or visit people’s homes to take their photographs.
Therefore, if your business is similar to these examples or meet these criteria, then it business qualifies for a Google My Business listing.
However, if your business is online-only for example digital agency or an eStore, then it doesn’t qualify for a Google My Business listing.
Only businesses with brick and mortal locations qualify.

Three factors that improve search results on Google

Before you set up your Google My Business listing, there are three factors you need to be aware of. This is because, local search results on Google are based on these three factors namely:

  • Relevance
  • Distance
  • Prominence

When someone searches for businesses in your area, these three factors improves the likelihood of them seeing your business in the search results.

Relevance

In terms of relevance, your business is more likely to appear in search results if your listing has relevant business information.

For example, in the case where a customer is searching for “a beauty salon where I can fix my dreadlocks in Tanke Ilorin”.

A “Nikky Beauty Salon” located in “Tanke Ilorin” is relevant to that search.

Therefore, relevance  involves being as detailed as possible when adding your business information.

As a result, Google would better understand your business and match relevant searches to your listing.

Distance

Using the same example above, the “Nikky Beauty Salon” listing in “2 University Road, Tanke Ilorin” is very explicit in terms of its location.

Although, Google will calculate distance based on what is known about the user making the search.

However, your listing is more likely to appear in search results because you have given Google a specific business location term to match the searches with.

Prominence

The prominence of your business is based on the information Google has about the business across the web.

This can be through articles, links or directories. Therefore you’ll notice that many businesses that are prominent offline also tend to be prominent online.

Your business prominence in local search result can be improved through customer reviews and ratings. In addition, your ranking in web results also influence local search optimization.

How to set up Google My Business for small business owners

In this section we’ll go through the steps to get your business on Google My Business.
Please note that only business owners or authorized representatives (individual or company that manages your business information on Google My Business ) may verify and manage their business information on Google My Business.

Step 1: Go to Google My Business

Sign in using your business Gmail account. Click “Manage Now”.
google my business guide

Step 2: Enter Your Business Name and Address in the Search Box

Note that your business name is expected to be represented on Google My Business as it is in the real world. Therefore, use the same business name that is on your signage, stationery, and other branding.

Add caption

Step 3: Add business category

The next step is to add your business category. We’ll add “beauty salon” as the business category for Nikky Beauty Salon.
Underneath this, you’ll find a notice that you can change and add more later.
However,  please don’t stuff in your business categories. It is advised that you choose the fewest number of categories that accurately describes your overall core business.
For example, since most people already have an idea of the services they can get in a beauty salon, you can add one or two unique services your render.
For example, dreadlocks fixing and waxing hair-removal service. Don’t worry, you also have the opportunity to add images that will tell more stories about your services.
The next thing you’ll be required to do is to add a location. This is useful if you attend to customers in a particular location.
Since our example is a Beauty Salon, we’ll say yes.
After that, add your address.
You’ll need the following information: your accurate street address, Local Government Area, City, Postcode and State.

Make sure your address is as accurate and precise as possible. This can be a challenge for some small businesses in Nigeria.

Especially if your location is in an area that is not well numbered.

However, the key is to ensure that your give the most accurate and concise description of your business.

Next you’ll need to place your business on the map. You can use a popular landmark to make it easier to locate.
Drag and zoom the map to locate the exact spot your business is located.
For our example Nikky Beauty Salon is close to the Unilorin Lake, so’ll we’ll place it near that on the map.

You’ll be asked if you also serve customers outside this location. For our example we say yes because Nikky Beauty Salon also offers home service.

google my business guide
In addition, if you serve other areas, you should add those areas at this point.
For Nikky Beauty Salon, we added other locations where Nikky Beauty Salon has branches – in neighboring Osun and Oyo States.
google my business guide

Step 4: Add contact details

The next step is to add the contact details you want to show your customers.
The information you give here will be on your listing and available for potential customers to see.
Make sure your business phone number is correct and available at all times.
If you already have a website, include the url. If not select the option and let Google automatically build one for you using the information provided. The website is also free.
google my business guide

Step 5: Verification

Finish and manage your business listing. Now Nikky Beauty Salon can now be managed on Google!
how to setup google my business

However, before you can manage and represent a business on Google. You need to confirm that the business is actually yours. Although there are a number of ways Google verifies businesses such as:

  • Phone Call
  • Email
  • Postcard
Nevertheless, the type of verification process is usually determined by Google and is typically through postcard with a PIN on it.
Immediately you complete the previous steps and get to the verification stage, you will get a notice that your postcard will be delivered to the business address you have provided.
Therefore, at this time your listing status would show pending verification.
This means that the verification process has starter but not finished.
The verification would be completed when you enter the PIN sent to your business address by mail.
It should take about 2 weeks or more to get your code.
Contact support if you haven’t received your postcard in 30 days.
Please ensure that you don’t make anymore changes at this stage because that will mean you need to be re-verified.