Pro’s and Con’s of Google Reviews | Love ‘em or hate ‘em | Part 1
Recent history has seen the popularity and impact of online reviews increase significantly. Whether business owners like it or not, potential customers often use reviews of a service or product as a vital tool in their decision-making process.
Whether people are looking for a restaurant, car rental, car park, garage or a reliable leasing company, online reviews have quickly become an integral part of promoting the business online.
There are of course, two sides to everything, and to provide you with a full picture of the pros and cons of online reviews, we have drawn up a list of potential positive and negative impacts.
The Positive Impact of Online Reviews
Positive reviews can result in:
- Increased conversion rates (customers spending more money!!)
- Creating increased trust with your clients
- Free advertising (great reviews on external sites can be key in drawing in new customers)
- Improved results on search engines (regular reviews are strongly believed to play a role in ranking algorithms)
- Increased feedback (the ability to leave reviews can be key in opening lines of communication with customers)
The Negative Impact of Reviews on Businesses
On the flip side, receiving negative reviews can result in:
- An impact on the perceived reputation of the business
- The most significant impact is to provide customers – or anyone, in fact – with a free platform to lie about a perceived negative experience with impunity and without fear of retribution.
- What’s worse, some of these negative or false reviews linger on the home page and fresh reviews do not push the false review into obscurity.
- CitiRental, is the recipient of a false negative review written by one “MZ” who, on Christmas Eve 2021, tried to rent a car using somebody else’s credit card. The company response explains the circumstances and how CitiRental saved his holiday by crediting and charging the correct cards. CitiRental point out that there was no way “MZ” would get another car rental on Christmas Eve from CitiRental or any other company for that matter, especially if “MZ” was using somebody else’s credit card.
- The issue here is not the false review, but this review stuck on the home page, and no number of positive reviews will shove it down into obscurity. Google, of course, cannot or will not intervene. Two years’ publication of this false review has surely passed its sell-by date.
- Damage to trust levels (Too many negative reviews or no reviews at all can impact the trustworthiness of a business)
- Increased costs (some 3rd party review sites will charge to use their services)
- Reviews being left which may not be accurate (3rd party review sites offer complete freedom on the reviews that can be left)
- Without a drip feed of fresh reviews, old reviews get out of date.
- It is essential to remember that regardless of the platform the business will always have the option to reply to any review. Positive or negative, responses are strongly encouraged. However, taking the high ground in response to a negative review is also strongly encouraged!
- The answer remains an enigma. Who the hell reads the responses?