We're excited to announce that you and your clients can now discover new Google reviews, instantly! As soon as a customer leaves a review on Google, we send you an email or push notification to allow you to respond to the review quickly and easily within the Reputation Management dashboard.

Our close relationship with Google has allowed us to be one of the first to offer this innovative feature. And since timely responses build positive reputations, you and your clients need instant review response.

Hello everyone and welcome to the weekly sales webinar. My name is George Leith, vice president of sales here at Vendasta Technologies. We're really excited to take you through something that we're super pumped about and it has been...we've been expecting it for quite some time and we're very excited to say that it is live on the platform today and that is instant Google reviews. And we're gonna take you through that in just a few moments. Make sure that you're reading the product insider when it arrives in your email box weekly. It gives you an overview of things that are being released into the platform during that seven-day period. We also show you things that are upcoming.

And a reminder if you have not yet done so, please subscribe to the Vendasta blog on the website, some great content coming from our content writers in the marketing department. I was on the road over the past week traveling to see some partners, it was in Bradenton, Florida and Atlanta and Nashville. And, you know, I was getting a lotta positive feedback around the blog. If you have not subscribed to the blog, please do so. And you can also subscribe to the product insider and you can do that at vendasta.com.

We talk about beta. We have our beta program in place where you can see the latest releases that are into the beta program. One way the partners have been working with the beta program is to set up a market inside their instance [SP] of the Vendasta platform and turn that on for beta. So you've got one place where it doesn't really interrupt general release and you can see all of those new features. So if you want to be part of the beta program, that's a great way to do it, is to set up a market and then turn beta on for that market.

Well today we're talking all about instant Google reviews, and this is very exciting. Google recently announced changes to their API to allow instant reviews and because we have that close relationship with the folks in Mountain View, Brendan King, our CEO, was actually at Google headquarters last week. Because of that close relationship, we're able to tell you that instant Google reviews was released by Google on Monday and we have it today. And we're gonna be talking about that today. The importance of reviews has done nothing but grow over the past four years. I entered into this space four years ago this month actually, four years ago in the month of September, and, you know, we were talking to businesses about the importance of online reviews. Back then Facebook didn't have online reviews for business. And, you know, that's been a game changer when they added that functionality around the review...around the business pages to have reviews to be left on a Facebook profile.

Of course, Google has been involved in that space for quite some time, and other review sites, they were talking all about Google and the fact that you can get instant Google reviews inside the Vendasta platform. Ninety percent of U.S. consumers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. And it's really important because it can help influence your search engine optimization. Having Google reviews could increase the number of eyeballs seeing your website, it showcases the things that you're doing right inside your business. You know, positive reviews, those are testimonials from customers, and it actually can help you increase revenue, there's been lots of surveys and data that supports that if you get over that 50 review range, you can see a 10% lift in your revenue.

So reviews are really important. And online reviews are trusted by consumers more than traditional advertising because those online reviews are coming from other people that have purchased products and services and it's not just a propaganda campaign from the business, you know, that only touts the very best pieces, it's very authentic to read that online review. And we know that consumers are going to 15 different places to make their...do their research around their buying decisions. And for the past 5 years, over 85% of all buying decisions are made online. So reviews are really important. I think everybody understands that, and what is becoming even more apparent is we need to be taking action on those reviews right away.

The three scenarios that businesses want to avoid is not having reviews at all. If you do not have reviews, people are just gonna shop at businesses that do, that's a fact. And not just having reviews is important, we need to have recent reviews and this is something that's come to light in the last nine months or so. We used to just say, "You need to have some reviews." But now consumers are saying, "If you don't have anything that's recent, meaning you got great reviews from two years ago and then nothing until today, well I'm again gonna go shop at a competitor that has some recent reviews." So the recency of the reviews is as if not more important than having reviews at all. And then we've got this idea of negative reviews. So what is... You know, when we say negative reviews, are we talking about a one star, are we talking about a two star, do consumers shop at three star businesses?

Harvard Business Review did some research around this and found that if we could move a business from a 3.5 to 4, we could impact their revenue by a little bit over 10% because consumers don't think of their shopping experiences as average. They don't wanna just go to an average business, they want to go to a good business. And in our minds is consumers a good business for or above? So when we talk about businesses that have negative reviews, I'm basically talking about anybody that's below a four. And if you have blatant negative reviews, so maybe you've got a good review score over a four, but you have that one stinking negative review out there, we need to be responding to those negative reviews and telling our story. I like to call it leaving some marketing. So when we respond to the review, we leave a little bit of marketing that negates what was said in the negative review. And we actually...what we're doing, we're not just responding to reviews, we are providing customer service and customer service in 2016 lives online.

The other thing that we want to avoid as businesses is a healthy unmanaged review pipeline, meaning we're getting lots of reviews, most of them being positive, and we're not doing anything with them. We're not sharing those positive reviews, we're not responding to our customers, we're just not interacting with those review pipelines. We need to be responding to reviews because it is going to improve your average review rating. It's gonna definitely say that you are engaging in customer service and it's gonna help you have that positive online word of mouth. But now, we need to be responding very quickly.

Online review experts are suggesting that we should be responding to reviews within 24 hours, but that is something that if you're not even thinking about responding to reviews as a business person, we need to start talking to our clients that we need to be responding very quickly. And here's the reason why, it actually isn't rocket science, these so-called experts, and why they're saying to be...we need to be responding within 24 hours, here's a scenario. Consumer goes into a business and they have a less than stellar experience. They go online, they press the all caps button and they let the business have it, there it is, negative review in all its glory. And the business doesn't take any sort of action, so that negative review just sits there online and it's doing damage to the business every time somebody does a search, every time somebody looks for that business, on the virtual doorway we see that negative review. But in addition to that, the person that has left the negative review has a circle of friends or a circle of influence and they go out and they tell all their friends about the bad experience that they had as well.

Imagine if we knew about the negative review, imagine if we knew that there was a negative review the minute that it was left and that's what we're talking about today is we have connected with Google through that relationship and we now have instant Google reviews. So you're just gonna know in the Vendasta platform the minute, the second you get that review, and you can take action on it. So there is that whole thought about...and if you've been listening to our webinars for quite some time, you know I talk about the virtual doorway and how we have to make sure that we're responding to reviews for everyone else that's looking at reviews doing their research, but what if we could just solve the problem of that one customer, the one client out there that had the problem because we know about it instantly.

So we go in there, we respond to the review, we get a hold of the customer, we solve their problem and they stop telling people about the bad experience that they had, I mean doing that in real life, and they also may remove the negative review. So, you know, if you've been listening to my webinars, we always talk about that. If you get the customer on the phone by responding the negative review and showing that you care, you should ask them to remove the negative review. And what we've been finding is they don't actually remove the negative review. What they're doing most times is they'll go in and they'll change the review to a five star review, and that is the holy grail of review management. We get a hold of the negative reviewer and we turn that negative into a positive.

So customers are expecting responses to their reviews and we need to be doing it in a very timely manner. So we now have in the Vendasta platform instant Google reviews. I get a lotta questions sometimes from people asking me what is an API? The best way that I could describe an API is it's a set of pipes. And we've got a set of pipes going right to Google. And they released this on Monday, they launched this on Monday and we it live today less than 48 hours afterwards. So we're super excited to have this inside the platform.

Here's how it works. So somebody goes online and we've got our dentist here, Dr. Connor McDavid, and they leave a negative review on Google about this dentist. Instantly, the business through the Vendasta platform is notified with your agency's logo, you see that right at the top, they get a notification. And the business is now able to go into the platform and respond to that review right inside the Vendasta platform, and next thing you know, it is online on Google and the response is taken care of.

So imagine if somebody goes to a car dealership and they have a bad experience and they leave that one star review, just a stinky one star review on the virtual doorway of the auto dealership. If they have subscribed to the Vendasta platform through one of our partners, they're going to get notified immediately, the owner or the manager of the dealership can respond to the review within minutes, and now that reviewer isn't running around town telling all their friends they had a bad experience, they see that exceptional customer service that the business person was listening to them. And then online there's a paper trail of the whole thing, it's a virtual paper trail that says here's a negative review, here's the business responding, maybe we get that review changed, that'd be fantastic, maybe they take it down altogether, maybe they don't do any of those things, but we just...at least we have a response there showing that we care as a business person.

This is exceptional customer service in 2016 and all of that lives in the virtual doorway. So this information or this new innovation in the platform is live today. It is an example of our outstanding relationship with Google. We have that close communication, our product teams talking to their product teams on basically a daily basis. And we continue to be on the forefront with these innovations and we're really excited as you can tell by my voice today, we're really excited to bring this new improvement to the platform. It's live today inside the Vendasta platform for all of our customers, those close to 500,000 businesses worldwide that rely on our platform can utilize that today.

So I'm gonna open it up to questions. If you have any questions, please go down into the question box and type them in. And we hope you get a chance to go into the platform today and that your customers start giving you positive feedback about this new improvement. Super exciting and we're very excited to bring it to you. I'm just gonna go to the questions now. So we have a question, customers get notified instantly when a Google review comes in, is that mean that review will be generated faster into concierge? So the concierge piece is not quite there yet because we just developed this in the last couple of days, but it is going to be coming soon, and it is put into the reviews tab and reputation management instantly.

So business owners, if they're working directly with Google, of course this is going to be inside Google My Business, but that is not an aggregated view of all of their reviews. So they don't get to see all of the reviews, so that's where you would be able to do this within the Vendasta platform and see all of the reviews and then respond online. So just a couple of the questions that have come in today around this. It's live on the platform today, our success team standing by upstairs to answer any of your questions, so you want to get in touch with your success account manager, partner success account manager, they would be more than happy to take you through this. And I think this is going to offer a lot of value to your customers. Any of the business people that I spoke to last week when I was on my tour, and I knew that this was coming, were telling us that they were very excited about. It gives them...they can just go right at the platform, respond right there. There are more exciting things coming in the weeks to come.

Thanks to joining us today in the weekly sales webinar. I'm gonna be on holidays for a couple of weeks, but I will be back here in a little bit over two weeks time. We're gonna have some special guests coming in and hosting next week and the week after. Hope you have a great week out in the field selling, sell lots. My name is George Leith, I will see you when I see you.

George Leith

George Leith

Chief Revenue Officer

George is responsible for business development with Vendasta’s large media partners, as well as managing our in-house sales team. A digital interpreter, George has preached the gospel of online reputation management directly to the local businesses of hundreds of cities across North America. He translates his knowledge of the digital landscape into accessible information for those still stuck in the rut of traditional media.

With nearly three decades of experience in marketing, sales and promotion, George is a highly compelling speaker, always in demand across North America — vital content and emphatic delivery are combined for an enlightening presentation. George’s expertise in sales, training, networking, management and marketing comes from the numerous executive and ownership positions he has held across multiple media and service related businesses. His track record of success is continued here at Vendasta.

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