Brad Bialy: Are you responding to both negative and positive feedback that you receive on Google? If not, you should start, and here’s why. There’s a support article on Google My Business titled Improve Your Local Ranking on Google. We’ll put a link to that article in the show notes, but what we really want to talk about right now is why you should be responding to these online reviews. What I’m going to do is read a real short clip from the article.

“Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location. Encourage customers to leave feedback by creating a link they can click to write reviews.”

Brad Bialy: We’ve talked about online reviews specifically on Google before on InSights, but we talked about how to manage those negative reviews. We specifically mentioned Jay Baer’s book Hug Your Haters and his rule of twos, which is to respond to that negative review twice and always come back to leaving that secondary feedback offline. We never want to get into a shouting match when we get into chatting with somebody about the reviews that they left. This is interesting because as we look at Google My Business and we look at ranking factors and how to rank on Google, it’s interesting to me, Matt, that managing and responding to reviews is actually seen as a ranking factor by Google

Matt Lozar: Google wants you to build trust with your audience and that’s what responding to positive reviews and negative reviews actually does. It’s not just Matt goes and leaves a positive review, Brad goes and leaves a positive review, or we go and leave negative reviews and then it just goes down into this abyss of the internet. It’s an actual person-to-person interaction, which you know has been a really big push of Brad’s, especially the first half of 2019 was putting that personal back in social media. Now it’s just moving over to that online review area, and online reviews are more of a ranking factor in 2019 than they were in 2015. Google’s telling us it’s a ranking factor, so you have to use that as part of your overall local SEO strategy.

Brad Bialy: Yeah, and that comes from a book called Marketing Rebellion by Mark Schaefer, who talks about the most human company wins, and bringing the most human approach to everything you do with your marketing is what cuts you through the noise and the clutter. For me, it comes back to being human and putting the social back in social media. If we think about online reviews, yes, we want to respond to those negative reviews because we want to position our brand in a positive light. If somebody says that they had a negative experience with you, you want to get out in front of that and say, “Hey, I’m sorry that we fell short here. We strive for world-class service and it looks like we didn’t hit the mark. Please give me a call.” Personally, I’d love to chat about this, but what’s often overlooked is the positive. You might even think about the day-to-day. If somebody has a problem with you in your office and they say something about it, you have that conversation.

Brad Bialy: If somebody says, “Hey, Matt. Great job on that work yesterday. Hey, thanks,” and you’re done. We still want to acknowledge that positive, especially on Google. We want to acknowledge that and say, “Hey, thank you for leaving this feedback. Thank you for taking the time out of your day.” Everyone’s busy. Thank you for taking the three to five minutes for responding and letting us know about our service here. We really appreciate it. If there’s anything we can do to help you with your job search in the future, please let us know.

Matt Lozar: Right, that’s exactly the point. That Brad says in the end, I think is really key worth. Thanking them, maybe we can be a little specific about their experience, but then how can you get them back or maybe other people as well to grow your business. Once you’ve made that initial connection, that returning visit is going to be easier than to get an entirely new visit, so. You’re focusing on that returning customer or returning candidate, returning client to build on that relationship and get them to come back to maintain that business relationship with your staffing agency. Then also, as Brad said, that most human company wins, you’re thinking someone, you’re being positive, you’re thanking them for that kind of feedback. Then maybe another potential candidate or sales lead sees that interaction and they see 10 of them, they see 20 of them like they’re real people. They’re not just another staffing agency on the corner who says their service wins.

Matt Lozar: So you’re actually going out there and proving it and showing in an online open public forum that you appreciate someone taking the time out of their day to share their positive experience that they had with your team of recruiters and maybe your sales team as well.

Brad Bialy: If you’re leaving feedback off of somebody’s review, if you’re thanking them, if you’re acknowledging them, always mention them by name. There’s scientific research that shows hearing your name has a positive impact when you hear your name personally. So when responding to an online review, either negative or positive, always address that person by name, always be human. Even though you’re hiding behind a brand, acknowledges them.

Brad Bialy: Matt, thank you so much for leaving this feedback. We really appreciate it. Then negative or positive, understand the situation. Maybe you even want to sign that. So you’re responding to an online review as your staffing company, but maybe you want to sign it as the CEO and actually write your name there as well, so people know somebody is listening to this. Somebody is actively monitoring these reviews and somebody here if you have any questions.

Matt Lozar: I think more on that negative side too, we focus on the positive because I think people aren’t doing as much but just to reemphasize some of those key points to focus on when somebody leaves your company. Negative reviews actually try not to take it personal. Maybe take a step back for five minutes, 15 minutes kind of know yourself a little bit there, really apologize and thank them for that feedback. Don’t make it personal or assign any blame and then short and sweet get it offline. I think Brad said a couple of minutes ago, “Give me a phone call,” or send me an email here. Get that offline because the absolute worst thing to do in the entire world is to get into a 20 posts back and forth just argument about yes you were wrong or no you were wrong or you’re crazy or we’re crazy, and it’s just that will hurt your business more than anything that you could ever do.

Matt Lozar: So whatever you could do to get that offline and then have a really mature discussion offline will help respond to that review quickly and then hope not hopefully do any major harm to your staffing when you see your business.

Brad Bialy: I think it was Warren Buffet who said, “It takes 20 years to build your reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”

Matt Lozar: Yep.

Brad Bialy: The last thing that you want to do is get into a shouting match with a candidate that might have been unemployable that is down on their luck that you can’t find a job for. The last thing that you want to do is ruin 20 years working towards building that reputation in your local area because of five minutes shouting match.

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