I mentioned a few months ago that ratings between 4.2 – 4.5 were generally seen as more trustworthy than a 5-star rating. Google has now updated their help document for Google Business Profile (formerly “Google My Business”) to say exactly that:
Value all reviews: Reviews are useful for potential customers when they’re honest and objective. Customers find a mix of positive and negative reviews more trustworthy. You can always respond to a review to show the customers that you care and provide additional context.
It’s a struggle, for sure. As a business owner, I only want to see 5-star reviews for our company. On the other hand, I absolutely understand the logic behind what Google is saying. When I’m looking at products on Amazon, I’m immediately suspicious of anything that is 100% 5-star reviews.
Taking that further, particularly with local businesses, I try to find some of the non-5-star reviews, see what the issue was, and then see how the business responded. Heartfelt responses from a business can mean a lot, and if you combine that with a ~4.5 kind of average, things should work out pretty well for you.