As we have discussed already, obtaining new 5-star reviews on Google and Facebook is one of the keys to building trust with potential consumers of home improvement services, such as kitchen remodeling. As part of Google’s ranking algorithm to determine if a company should be displayed in the local pack (top 3 on a local map for searches by users on mobile or for a geographic area), reviews are one of the most important factors. Every home renovation contractor should endeavor to engage their customers to get online reviews as soon as the home improvement project is complete.
Does Google filter GMB reviews?
There have been a lot of rumors recently that Google My Business (GMB) may have a specific “5 review filter,” which has not been confirmed, but for sure it does have a review filter that is applied to all reviews. The review filter is designed to remove reviews that are spammy, fake, or otherwise low-quality, in order to ensure that only the most helpful and accurate reviews are displayed to users.
The review filter is automatically applied to all reviews, and it is not possible to disable it. If a review does not meet the criteria for being published, it will not be displayed on your GMB listing, even if you have received more than 5 reviews.
It is important to note that the review filter is not a hard and fast rule, and there may be some variations in the way it is applied to different home service businesses.
If you believe that a review of your business has been wrongly filtered, you can report it to Google and request that it be reevaluated. However, it is not guaranteed that the review will be published even if it is re-evaluated.
Best ways to get online reviews
There are several strategies to accomplish the goal of receiving new 5-star reviews. Of course, the simplest, but generally most ineffective way to get new reviews is to just ask a customer when you finish a project to go onto Google or Facebook and submit a review. Many customers have the best of intentions when you do this, and they say, “yeah sure, I’ll do that.”. However, life often gets in the way and the review is never written or posted.
A better approach is in your Google my business account, click on the “Home” section in the main menu. From there, click on the “Get More Reviews” section. Copy the URL that appears in this section. You can use this Google review link to provide an easy way for your clients to submit a review.
Another great way to get new reviews is to create a text message, that can be sent out in mass to all of your customers whose projects were completed within a 7 day period, and not only ask for a review, but include the link to your GMB profile, as discussed earlier. The reason a text message is better than email is that so many emails get lost in the spam folder or are just ignored. However, text (SMS messages), have a much higher open and engagement rate. In fact, research shows that text message open rates are as high as 98%, compared to emails that are opened less than 20% of the time. It has been reported that 75% of people wouldn’t mind receiving an SMS text message from a brand (after opt-in)More importantly, text messages are responded to on average in under 2 minutes, while the average email is not responded to for over 2 hours form the point that it was read. However, there are strict rules as it applies to sending text messages that you do want to review to ensure you stay out of trouble.
The best approach to generate 4 star and above reviews is if you are already using Facebook messenger, you may want to use Manychat to send out a broadcast message to your subscribers who meet the criteria of a newly completed project and build in the AI to ask how they liked your project and how they would rate it on a scale of 1 – 5. You can then incorporate their responses in messenger to generate more reviews on your Facebook business page. The best part of this is that if someone were to give you 1 – 3 stars, you can build in the conditional logic to ask follow up questions and even set up a phone call with your customer service agent to derail a negative review before it is posted in a public forum. If the review is a 4 or 5 star, you can create a way for them to simply copy their review, click a link and paste it directly to your Facebook business page reviews. Again, Facebook does have rules on when you can contact an person beyond 24 hours after they communicated with you on messenger, so you do want to do this through a broadcast to a list and not send individual messenger requests. Also keep in mind that your GMB profile will show reviews from not only Google, but also Facebook, so you can double dip and improve your online reputation with Facebook reviews, so long as your Facebook is connected to your GMB.
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