DON’T PANIC. Sure, a ONE STAR REVIEW can be a business owner’s nightmare. After all, you place a high value on customer service and quality products. And now, your hard-earned prized reputation is tarnished! Not to mention, positive reviews are part of Google’s search algorithm, and it pulls not just Google reviews, but Facebook, Yelp, and other review platforms. That means one unhappy customer’s review—depending on how many reviews you have—can potentially tank your overall rankings.
So, before we get into the removal of a bad review. Let’s talk about the legitimacy of the review. If the customer truly received lousy service, then you cannot get the review removed from Google. And it’s critical that you use it as an opportunity to solve a much bigger issue.
After receiving a bad review, the first step is to check your records to see if that person really is, in fact, a customer.
If the review did come from a real customer, be sure you get to the bottom of the issue quickly – and before responding to the review. The more you know about the situation, the better equipped you are to handle it, and prevent it from happening in the future.
Now, even if you find out that the bad review was fake, you still need to respond. Here’s why:
Remember, you’re not only pacifying the reviewer, you’re showing prospects how you respond to customer dissatisfaction.
Regardless of the situation, a prompt response (within 24-48 hours) is important. Prompt action shows prospects that customer service is a priority. Remember, customers are only complaining because your company did something they did not like. Sure, it could be a misunderstanding, but in the end, the customer is looking for a solution – and to be heard. How you handle the complaint is critical.
Seven out of ten consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service.
Once you’ve talked to your service team about the issue, use this as an opportunity to come up with a solution for the customer. Yes, there are cases when an angry review isn’t really about you or the company at all—maybe the customer just had a bad day. But at the end of the day, you want to do what you can to keep all your customers happy. Contact the customer directly, let him/her know you appreciate their feedback and that you want to do whatever it takes to resolve the issue. Just knowing that you want to resolve the issue will go a very long way. Once the customer demonstrates appreciation for your efforts and appears “satisfied”, let them know how much you would appreciate their updating the negative review. They won’t be able to delete the review, but they can update it. If they agree – this is a huge victory for you.
Now let’s talk about fake or non-legitimate reviews. These can show up from a number of resources, including competitors, a disgruntled employee or even from content developers. These reviews can absolutely be disputed with Google.
Here are the steps:
- Open Google Maps and search for your business.
- Click to see all your reviews, and find the one you want to flag.
- Click on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of the review, then click “Flag as inappropriate.”
- In a few days, call Google and follow up on your flagged review status. Go to your “Google My Business” home page. At the bottom of the menu on the left-hand side there should be an option for support. Click it and ask for a status on your flagged review.
- Stay on top of it until the review has been removed.
If the review is seriously alarming, the review can actually be counted as slander and false. You also have an option of filling out a Google form for a legal removal request. The requirements for these are pretty high, so you may need to grab your nearest legal professional before you go this route – but at least it is there as an option.
Lastly, if all else fails and you can’t get a customer to update a review or if Google deems that the review does not violate their terms of service, then you can work on burying the review.
Bury a negative Google review
A good alternative to having that negative review be prominent on your google profile is to push it down by getting more good reviews.
Send an email to a few of your top customers, asking for a brief review of the services your company has provided. Be sure to include the link in your email to your Google My Business page so it’s super easy for them. Below is an example of what we provide our clients to help them get more reviews from their customers.
Dear (Customer Name) – in an effort to attract more great customers like you, we’re asking a few of our clients to please leave a brief review on our Google Business page (link below). We greatly appreciate your time and support in helping us grow our business! – Warm regards,
Let us help you
Negative reviews don’t have to be a nightmare and they don’t have to impact your reputation. It’s all about managing them and resolving or eliminating the ones that are unfair or untrue. If you need support in this area, the reputation management team, here at seelutions is always happy to help.