Why Client Reviews on Google Matter (And How to Make Sure They Don’t Suck)

In the world of modern barbershops, you're not just competing with the shop down the street. You're stacked up against everyone in town.  

Word-of-mouth will no longer keep your chair full—not when everything has gone digital. These days, reviews are everything. Glowing reviews and five-star ratings can boost your barber brand to the top of search pages; whereas bad reviews and ratings—or no ratings at all—can bury your shop in the digital abyss.

With so many competing shops vying for new clients, barbers simply can’t afford to ignore the power of Google reviews. They hold too much sway over customers searching for their next cut. 

So, how do you get reviews? More importantly, how do you make sure you get positive ones?

Here’s how you can transform your barbershop into a digital powerhouse. 

Digital Word-of-Mouth: Why Every Review Counts

There are countless businesses to choose from, and consumers want to make sure they’re not wasting their money. How can consumers know which business to trust?

The answer is social proof. 

Just think: if a friend or family member recommends a business to you, you’re probably more likely to give that business a try compared to a similar business you know nothing about. 

The same is true for your prospective clients. If they observe others praising the service and customer experience they received from you, they’re more likely to feel confident about booking their very own appointment. This is key to learning how to build clientele that will be loyal to your brand in the days, months, and even years ahead.

Here’s the thing, though. People aren’t just asking friends and family. They’re asking Google to tell them about your shop. Having a solid digital presence, including great reviews, will help boost your brand to the top results.

That’s because customers aren’t the only ones who value reviews—search engines do, too. 

Businesses with a higher quantity of positive reviews show search engines your shop has credibility and authority. This means that Google Reviews have a real impact on both your local search rankings and overall SEO.

But you also need reviews simply for the feedback. Whether good or bad, hearing what left an impression on your clients can help you improve your business and ultimately, give you the info you need to take your shop to the next level. 

Not All Reviews Are Created Equal

You may be surprised to learn that some client reviews are actually more important than others. 

For instance, Google Reviews are some of the most crucial when it comes to snagging prospective leads because those are what show up alongside your business info when people search for your shop on Google. Optimizing your Google Business Profile is a top priority. 

On the other hand, some reviews make less of an impact. If you use a barber booking app with a marketplace for appointment scheduling, the feedback you get there will be limited in how many people it can reach. Those reviews aren’t showing up in Google, so they’re only useful to people already searching in the marketplace. But why would you want to be on an app that’s trying to give your loyal customers to competitors constantly?

The bottom line is this: a majority of your traffic will come in from search engines like Google and Yelp, so it’s important you get clients to leave positive reviews on these platforms. 

Turning Happy Clients into 5-Star Reviews 

You want to encourage your clients to leave reviews about their experience in your shop. If you’re just starting out, here’s a few tips to get your clients to leave a review:

  • Make it personal – Lots of customers simply don’t understand how much a review might mean to you. It can feel awkward, but it’s worth explaining that if clients take a few minutes to share their experience through a review, it could be incredibly helpful for your business. 
  • Show your appreciation – With the permission of the poster, highlight your favorite reviews on your social media with a kind caption about how much their feedback means to you. Other clients may see this spotlight moment and want to be featured on your page, too. Be sure to tag the client’s account to give them credit in your shoutout. 

Although these techniques can be effective, be careful not to push your clients too hard. When barbers are too aggressive about requesting reviews, it can make a bad impression on customers.

Why You Have to Highlight Positive Reviews On Your Barbershop Site 

Great reviews can make great content for your barbering business’s website, so you should definitely feature any glowing testimonials you receive.

Many businesses choose to feature a few short reviews on their homepage, but you can also create an entirely separate page on your website dedicated to longer, more in-depth reviews that customers can scroll through at their convenience. 

There are a number of third-party tools and widgets you can use to embed Google reviews straight from your Google Business Profile into your website.

Once you’ve set these systems up, you’ll want to make sure to: 

  • Strategically choose the best reviews to display 
  • Refresh your reviews regularly so that they remain recent and relevant 

Turning Lemons into Lemonade: How to Handle Bad Reviews 

Nobody wants to receive negative feedback, but it’s an inevitability of running a business. Although you can’t control bad reviews, you can control the way you respond to them. 

If you receive a negative review, consider the following best practices:

  • Take some time after reading the review before responding so you don’t write back in anger.
  • Thank the reviewer kindly for their feedback 
  • Apologize and own up to any wrongdoing
  • Offer to remedy the situation to make things right 

Remember, potential clients are paying attention to the way you respond to negative feedback. Show prospective clients that you’re confident in your skills and compassionate even in the face of adversity by receiving bad reviews in a mature and understanding way. 

Even if you don’t win back a disgruntled customer, your efforts can still result in a net positive outcome because you’re showing prospects that even if you mess up, they can trust you to make things right. 

Level Up Your Client Experience (and Reviews) with SQUIRE

Worried about adding Google Reviews to your ever-growing list of things to do as a business owner?

SQUIRE’s got your back with Reviews Booster. Our system intelligently identifies clients that are most likely to leave a positive review and automatically invites them to leave a review directly on Google. The process is simple for you and your clients and it gets rid of those awkward conversations where you have to ask for reviews.

SQUIRE shops are seeing 4x more five-star reviews using Reviews Booster. Learn more about it here or reach out for a demo to see it in action.

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