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Why You Don’t Want a 5-Star Google Review Rating


Joe Marconi

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Contrary to what many people believe, having a perfect 5-star Google review rating is not something a business should expect to achieve. After all, no company is perfect. And Google realizes this too.

There’s no denying that consumers look at online reviews and base part of their buying decision on these reviews.  A great online review rating on Google is essential to draw traffic to your website and your business.  However, it’s better to have a mix of great and not-so-great reviews.

To consumers, a perfect 5-star rating looks suspicious; they expect some negative feedback.  While most business owners get distraught over a negative review, how a business responds to the review is what’s most important.

For automotive repair shops, a rating of 4.4 to 4.8 is probably what you should strive for. I am not suggesting that you don’t provide world-class service and quality repairs.  However, the reality is that you are not going to please everyone.

Another thing to consider is that negative reviews don’t hurt a business as badly as we think. Rather than worrying about negative reviews, shop owners need to focus on engaging and replying to all customers who leave reviews, which tells your customers, and Google, that you care about what your customers are saying. Responding to all reviews will also help your search engine ranking.

The next time you get a negative review, remember that you will never please everyone. Use the negative feedback as an opportunity to learn from the feedback and positively promote your business.

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Absolutely correct on the negative reviews, they are important. Most important is how you respond to them. Being defensive does not work! Acknowledge the person's concern and then a reasonable response depending on the circumstances. The best reply? It's the one where you have already identified the customer, contacted them, and made things right or at least done your best to do so. Then the reply starts out with: "Thank you for taking my call, it was nice speaking with you. We appreciate.... blah, blah, blah" of pleasantries if possible. Or even if the call is a disaster, it shows you took the time to call and make an effort. Speaks volumes about the company and most everyone will forget the complaint and focus on the fact that you took action.

I'm probably the only one who gets e-mail or phone solicitations promising to remove negative reviews (yeah, right!). I have fun with it and ask them why in the world I would want to remove negative reviews, they are vital to the business. Throws them for a loop every time! It's fun listening to them stumble around and try to understand your response. LOL! 

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13 hours ago, Russell McCloud said:

Absolutely correct on the negative reviews, they are important. Most important is how you respond to them. Being defensive does not work! Acknowledge the person's concern and then a reasonable response depending on the circumstances. The best reply? It's the one where you have already identified the customer, contacted them, and made things right or at least done your best to do so. Then the reply starts out with: "Thank you for taking my call, it was nice speaking with you. We appreciate.... blah, blah, blah" of pleasantries if possible. Or even if the call is a disaster, it shows you took the time to call and make an effort. Speaks volumes about the company and most everyone will forget the complaint and focus on the fact that you took action.

I'm probably the only one who gets e-mail or phone solicitations promising to remove negative reviews (yeah, right!). I have fun with it and ask them why in the world I would want to remove negative reviews, they are vital to the business. Throws them for a loop every time! It's fun listening to them stumble around and try to understand your response. LOL! 

Great perspective on a controversial topic! perspective

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I never cease to be amazed at some shopowners who nearly have a heart attack because they got their first negative review.  They even try to bribe customers to get them changed. I do not like to get a 1 star review but I know if I will get five new five star reviews I basically bury it. An active business will get bad reviews occasionally that you deserve, but often you will also get them from competitors incognito, from disgruntled employees, from idiots that don’t understand anything, or from people who wanted something for nothing. The answer to bad reviews is respond professionally and get enough good reviews to bury the bad reviews. As Joe says a rating in the mid 4s is good enough.  Just don’t let it fall below 4.0 because Google search tends to ignore business below that level.  Our current Google rating is 4.5.  People come to us all the time because they saw our reviews.  We have a few 1 star reviews but some of those have no message.  When we get a 1 star review we always respond.  It is easy for potential customers to read our response, and explanations and see that we are resonable people who own up to failure and try to solve problems. It is also easy for them to see some of the 1 stars are basically crack pots or frauds.  The plus side is many of our 5 star reviews are so glowing they are almost embarrassing.  It is easy to see that we have happy customers who genuinely love us.  

Here is one of our typical 5 star reviews.  "The battery in my truck died and I was out of town. It was nearing closing time on a Thursday evening and I needed my truck the next morning. I searched Google for a repair shop near me and Car-X had a lot of good reviews. I called and asked if I got my truck towed there they would help me. It wasn’t easy for them to get me in on such a time crunch, but they did. Nate talked me through what was probably wrong over the phone, and then the owner Frank kept me occupied with good conversation while the guys changed my battery. I paid a reasonable price and the personnel was amazing."

 

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15 hours ago, xrac said:

I never cease to be amazed at some shopowners who nearly have a heart attack because they got their first negative review.  They even try to bribe customers to get them changed. I do not like to get a 1 star review but I know if I will get five new five star reviews I basically bury it. An active business will get bad reviews occasionally that you deserve but often you get them from competitors, from disgruntled employees, from idiots that don’t understand anything, or from people who wanted something from nothing. The answer to bad reviews is respond professionally and get enough good reviews to bury the bad reviews. As Joe says a rating in the mid 4sis good enough.  Just don’t let it fall below 4.0 because Google search tends to ignore business below that level. 

Words of wisdom, Frank!  I need to admit, that I would be devastated when I got a bad review but learned the reality you speak about. 

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Reviews are especially important in the transmission repair industry due to the transactional nature of the business.  Repeat business is usually either a warranty claim or somebody with very bad luck.  The vast majority of our customers are first-time visitors and they put a lot of weight on reviews because they have nothing else to base their choice on.  It's not like people have a lot of experience with transmission repairs.

When we get a bad review, I simply call the customer up, recognize their concerns, apologize, and ask what I need to do to make it right.  No matter what it takes to make it right, I simply do it.  Only 1 time did I have to give a 100% refund although several times I had to make "price adjustments" to cover stuff like detailing their vehicle or paying to clean their driveway due to a leaker.  We don't need a 5.0 Google rating; we simply just have to have a better Google rating than our competitors.  We had a 4.4 average rating over a 7-year period at our location.

Negative feedback is one of the best business teaching tools around.

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4 hours ago, Transmission Repair said:

Reviews are especially important in the transmission repair industry due to the transactional nature of the business.  Repeat business is usually either a warranty claim or somebody with very bad luck.  The vast majority of our customers are first-time visitors and they put a lot of weight on reviews because they have nothing else to base their choice on.  It's not like people have a lot of experience with transmission repairs.

When we get a bad review, I simply call the customer up, recognize their concerns, apologize, and ask what I need to do to make it right.  No matter what it takes to make it right, I simply do it.  Only 1 time did I have to give a 100% refund although several times I had to make "price adjustments" to cover stuff like detailing their vehicle or paying to clean their driveway due to a leaker.  We don't need a 5.0 Google rating; we simply just have to have a better Google rating than our competitors.  We had a 4.4 average rating over a 7-year period at our location.

Negative feedback is one of the best business teaching tools around.

By our response to negative reviews people judge how we handle issues and those reponses can be use to win over customers. Most people understand things go wrong and if they think you are responsive and concerned it goes a long way with them.

 

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