Google has totally revamped its scoring system. Gone are the 4-5 star ratings. Now it’s Zagat’s 30-point scale. According to Google, this “expressive” rating system makes it easier for users to better share their view about what makes a place unique.
Your customers will be able to rate your business on multiple criteria on a 1-3 scale.
Averaged scores are calculated on a 30-point scale based on user reviews.
26 – 30 Extraordinary to Perfection
21 – 25 Very Good to Excellent
16 – 20 Good to Very Good
11 – 15 Fair to Good
0 – 10 Poor to Fair
Scores with multiple “aspects”
These scores will show you several scores for different criteria. For example, restaurants are scored across three areas—food, decor, and service—with food being the primary aspect.
When Google doesn’t have enough user ratings on different aspects, it will just show an overall score. An overall score is comparable to a score in the primary aspect for a location, like food for restaurants.
Why do customer reviews matter?
It’s pretty simple. Users put a TON of trust in their social networks: 90 percent trust online recommendations from people they know. But get this: 70 percent trust opinions of unknown users they have never met…
In other words, Google+ Local gives your business an incredible opportunity to harness the power of social proof—a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect “correct” behavior. That’s a high-flown way of saying that we’re pack animals—we follow the herd. Google+ Local will help your business fully capitalize on our innate desire to fit in and belong.
70 percent of consumers trust opinions of unknown users they have never met…
The flip side…
Of course, the flip side is that bad reviews can damage your reputation and hang like an albatross around your neck … and while that is an unpleasant thought, I want to stress one important fact: opting out of things like social media in order to protect your reputation isn’t an option. People will talk about your business regardless of whether you have a page or not! (What’s more, anyone can set up a Google+ Local page for your business.) By maintaining an active presence on various networks, you have the opportunity to shape the conversation, respond to reviews, learn from your customers, and improve your business.