Something Amazing Happened On The Way To A Google Review

For Barbara Oliver, of Barbara Oliver Jewelry, something amazing happened on the way to a Google review. She got answers to her Google Questions. But not just any answer.

Google Q & A

Google’s Question & Answer Feature

Barbara Oliver, like most small business owners, was alarmed when I called her and described the new Google Question & Answer feature for local search. She, with good reason, was concerned about competitors, spammers and other crowd-sourced miscreants that might leave negative questions or up-vote inappropriate answers. She was also concerned as to how she would monitor the content.

But she trusted me to help her get out in front of the feature. She worked with her staff to compile the questions they were getting over the phone. And within a week of the feature being released she had Questions and Answers posted to her Google Knowledge Panel.

Her hope was that she would, in fact, help consumers make decisions and by being proactive, perhaps head off any negative content from showing up.

Barbara has, over many years learned the benefit of asking every one of her clients for feedback and reviews. Using the GetFiveStars direct mode, she gives her clients the option of giving her direct feedback or if they prefer, just go directly to Google or Facebook and leave a review. In doing so she gets plenty of reviews at the review sites and for her own website.

Barbara sent out her email review request to her new customers within a few days of her questions going up on Google and then something surprising happened.

Apparently by seeding questions and answers she gave users “permission” to also answer those questions. And by sending her customers to her page on Google to leave her a review, she exposed them to the questions.

Several folks who left reviews for her business also left answers to the questions she had asked. But that wasn’t the only surprising part. When they did so, they not only left accurate answers but advocated on her behalf as only loyal customers can.

In answer to the question that Barbara herself asked: Do you do jewelry repairs?, reviewer DaVinci 104.06 answered: Yes they do! And they are wonderful people on top of it.

And reviewer Keith Rowsey noted in answer to a question as to whether she does customer jewelry design: Yes she does… Beautifully.

What started as somewhat defensive marketing on Barbara’s part has quickly become a place where her advocates now sing her praises. By giving her customers an active choice to review her, she also gave them an opportunity to speak out on her behalf in other ways.

Something truly amazing happened on the way to a review.

About The Author

Mike Blumenthal is a co-founder of GatherUp and helps oversee our research, industry insight and agency offering. Mike has long been regarded as the foremost expert on local search and Google Maps, earning the nickname “Professor Maps”. Mike also co-founded Local University, which provides small business and agency training in sustainable local search marketing. His motto: All Local All the Time.  He writes at his blog and does a twice a week LocalU podcast about Local marketing. 

5 Replies to “Something Amazing Happened On The Way To A Google Review”

  1. Our clients are experiencing similar results. We have been contacted by a few that are experiencing spam such as the taxi industry being spammed by people saying they should have used UBER.

    Another client in the car dealership industry complained his competitors have gone as far as posting prices on makes and models as an answer and directing them to their business.

    It would be helpful if Google gave some control to the business owners or Local Guide users to help remove, prevent spam.

    Thanks for your great post as always Mike!

    1. @Nathan
      Thanks for the comment.

      There is an opportunity to flag them but it isn’t clear what that process entails and what criteria are in actual use. If you flag some Q & A, I would love to know the response time.

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