Google have now made it possible for customers to edit reviews on Google, and have equally given business owners the chance to edit their responses to reviews.
Having the chance to edit reviews on Google is beneficial for a number of reasons, because being able to amend information enables issues to be resolved and ratings improved, as well as genuine and representative feedback left, keeping shoppers well informed.
As a customer, having the opportunity to edit reviews on Google feels like a fail safe. You shop with a company, have a good experience, so leave them a cheery 5 star review. The company sees your feedback, and thanks you for your custom and kind words.
You visit them again due to that great initial purchase, and this time the service was lacking. Clearly they're not hitting satisfaction across the board, so you feel like this should be reflected in your review.
We've all been there. I ordered a curry from a newly-discovered restaurant when I was in Manchester in August. It's fair to say it was amazing!
I visited Manchester again for a week last month and was determined to order from the same restaurant. Because I'm a bit boring, I actually ordered the same thing knowing how much I loved it. It was mediocre. The sauce was watery. They were stingy on the sundries. It wasn't all bad as the flavours were there, but it wasn't that 5 star experience I had last time.
Being able to edit your opinion - maybe reducing it by a star or two in this instance - enables other shoppers to see that they did have merits, which you highlighted, but they clearly need to appraise some areas. In my instance, was it a new chef? New recipe? Different staff or management? Or did I just catch them on an off day. Hit and miss would seem appropriate, and no-one wants to make their purchases a gamble, so shoppers are now aware of what to expect.
As a business owner being able to edit your response is equally as important. You're able to reflect updates in circumstances or customer queries, as well as amend your response to match a newly edited review on Google whether negative or positive.
If a customer left you an initially shining review, such as the scenario above, which you thanked them for. But down the line changed it to reflect a more negative experience, this gives you time to shine.
You can edit your response to apologise for their new experience, offering an explanation as well as offer to resolve the situation. You're probably one step ahead and realise this works in the other direction too.
Whether an initially negative review, or a review amended to reflect a follow up poor experience, you have the opportunity to change this into a positive with your response. An apology alone generally won't cut it - it also gives an air of not valuing that individual:
We're sorry you had a bad experience, we apologise for any inconvenience.
That's great, but how does that help me, and how does that make the situation better? It's a bit empty.
If customers see you're quick to respond when things go wrong, and active in resolving issues - even if you are unable to change that particular event - it bodes well for the future. You can even suggest a customer change their review to reflect that new exchange. That's when your customers have the opportunity to edit reviews on Google and turn a negative into a positive, making the process dynamic rather than static and stale.
Not only does an editable response allow you to reach out to customers to apologise and make things right, in order to do better, you can also update customers if they have queries in their review.
Unfortunately, many individuals jump online to leave reviews on local sites such as Google Local to vent frustrations, whether fair or not. Being able to respond, and edit your responses, means you can update that individual to a case or ticket they may have submitted, as well as inform other shoppers that said feedback is not supported.
However, this is not to advise you get into a slanging match with your customers online - no-one looks good in this light - but instead can be used to alert them to any new developments and try and reduce any frustration.
Reviews.io & local review sites
With our Local Reviews solution, we enable businesses to collect reviews across numerous local review sites, such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Local, to amplify your customer voices in these areas, and positively enhance your presence across the web. This makes keeping on top of all your customer feedback - and thus any edited reviews on Google - quite simple.
All our reviews can be found within your timeline in the Reviews.io dash, and with alerts set up, you'll be able to keep your finger on the pulse to everything your customers are saying. In line with Google's new edit review/response addition, we will also be applying this within the Reviews.io dashboard, facilitating quicker responses - so watch this space!
Having the chance for customers to edit reviews on Google, and businesses their responses, is a positive addition for everyone! As a shopper, make sure your review reflects your true experience with a company, and as a business, make sure you take on board customer needs and receive 5's across the board!