AUTHENTICITY AND NEGATIVE REVIEWS ON GOOGLE

Authenticity and negative reviews on Google

This article looks at 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 estabilishing 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, a business builds 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.
  • 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 postive 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.
  • Take 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.
Don't delete negative reviews because it shows transparency; which counts towards estabilishing your authenticity.
Afterall, 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. 
In addition, 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 vistors to see more about your products and services on your business website.
Post is a great way to get visitors attention and to authentically speak to your visitors.


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