How to Get Rid of a Bad Review on Google My Business
Google My Business reviews hold a lot of power. They can either make or break your business. Unfortunately, some people leave bad reviews, and worse, even some publish fake ones that can ultimately compromise your online reputation. But what if there were a way to do something about it?
Google My Business reviews are like the coffee shop gossip of the internet. It’s handy to tip the scales in favor of a good review and influence your company’s old and new potential customers before they even head to your website or walk into your store.
Here, you’ll learn how to remove a bad Google review and work to build back up the online reputation of your organization.
Start By Not Panicking
It’s important to know that mixed reviews are not the end of the world or your business. Having a few negative ones surrounded by mostly good ones can affect your online reputation. It proves to consumers that your company is legitimate and you haven’t paid for positive reviews or begged friends to leave a nice comment. It’s what makes companies real.
But we get it; when you’ve spent every hour of your spare time working on your business and aiming for positive reviews, it can be disheartening when a negative one comes along. It probably hits harder when you’re still in the early days and don’t have many reviews, as one bad one can drag your score and online reputation down if there isn’t a balance.
But try not to panic. You can reduce the risk of bad reviews by ensuring your services are without faults. That doesn’t just mean your customer service, either. It means the quality of your website, the speed at which it works, and your site’s general day-to-day running.
And besides removing negative reviews once and for all, the most organic thing you can do is try and build up as many positive ones as possible. For example, here at The Reputation Management Company, we recommend asking your customers if they would be so kind as to leave you a review if you’re a face-to-face store, or if you’re online, ask your site viewers to post one before they go.
But if, for some reason, you’re doing all of this and the negative reviews still outweigh the positive ones, what can you do?
Can You Remove a Bad Google My Business Review Someone Left You?
In short, yes, you can. There may be circumstances where false reviews are written, so it’s always good to know how to remove these from Google My Business. And when 84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends, they’re not looking carefully for the red flags of a fake review. So it’s best to take action.
If you feel that a rival company has falsely written a review, there are specific steps you can take to dispute it. However, it’s not an easy process, so be prepared.
In an ideal world, you’d want to evaluate each negative comment. For a small business, this is rarely an issue. However, it could be more challenging if you’ve done something to rile a large portion of your customer base.
Google can restrict or prohibit ten types of reviews that go against its review policy. If the comment you want to take down meets the criteria for one of these reasons, Google can either automatically remove it or remove it once it’s been flagged. The ten types are:
- Fake or spammy content. This is often posted on Google My Business to manipulate and compromise ratings. You can recognize a ‘spammy’ comment if the same one comes from different accounts multiple times.
- Comments that are off-topic and not specific to your brand. For example, if someone starts ranting about a political topic with no relevance to your business.
- Promoting products or items that go against local legal regulations. For example, if someone starts to post restricted content that advertises the sale of guns, alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals, etc.
- Illegal activity. This includes someone sharing copyrighted content, graphic violence, endangered animals, or any other disturbing or illegal content on your site.
- Terrorism content.
- Sexually explicit content.
- Offensive, obscene, or anything profanity-related.
- Harassment. Or anything that could be considered intimidating or promoting hate speech.
- Impersonation. For example, someone who is posing with a false identity.
- Biased or dishonest content. For example, reviews posted about your own business under your name, ex-employers, etc.
So, if the Google My Business review meets any of these criteria, or you think the comments are an unfair representation of your brand, there are ways you can resolve the issue and restore your online reputation.
And the quicker you evaluate these negative responses, the sooner you can assign them as customer service issues and present the problem to the relevant team member. Note that a negative review of a product is entirely different from a customer experience one, so ensure that the problem is assigned to the correct department to be efficiently resolved.
Is the Review Real or Fake?
Before you flag a negative review, you’ll need to confirm that the user who left it was a genuine customer. You can respond directly to customers on Google Review, which will help you determine if the account is real or not. This also allows you the initial chance to ask the consumer for their customer number to confirm if they have purchased your products.
If the customer number you receive is valid, you know the review is genuine. If it’s not, you may need to put your detective hat on to find out where the review originated from. In this instance, recheck the comment and find other reviews the user has left on other business pages.
It’s also common to find hoax accounts commenting similar reviews for more than one company over a short period of time. If you notice a pattern, you can flag it as fake. Here at The Reputation Management Company, one of our jobs is to filter out the real from the fake to resolve disputes such as bad Google My Business reviews.
How Have You Reacted to the Negative Google My Business Review?
To maintain your online reputation, you’ll want to ensure the same team member deals with each review for the entirety of the process. This shows customers that they are a priority. When customers know they’re dealing with an actual human rather than a bot, it can provide a personal correspondence which can typically increase the chances of the person removing or editing their review.
Make sure that your team responds to the complaint in a friendly manner.
How Have You Settled the Issue?
Resolving the issue is important, as it’s the difference between the review staying up on Google My Business or being removed. It’s important you make the customer feel that you worked until there was nothing more you could do for them and that you went above and beyond to help them.
For example, if the product was faulty, most people accept that this happens from time to time. So, as long as you replace the product as soon as possible, they’ll know that you rectified the issue immediately.
Make sure delays are minimal to avoid making the customer feel that they’re not a priority. And to seal the deal and have the customer revoke their review, you can always give them some compensation for their inconvenience—for example, a free gift, some money back, or a gift voucher.
Have You Done Enough For the Customer to Remove or Alter Their Google My Business Review?
If you successfully resolved the problem and the customer is happy, this is the time to ask them to either remove their negative review or change their score.
The way you deal with this part is crucial: Have the team member who dealt with the whole process ask the customer to change their review. This way, the process is still personal, and the customer may feel like they are helping the individual.
Know that while negative reviews are never ideal, it’s the way your company deals with them that’s important. For example, here at The Reputation Management Company, we know that many businesses find that they benefit from going through complaint processes. This is because it shows them what they can do better next time and what they can rectify to give new customers a streamlined and positive experience.
Always keep in mind that the initial sale is only one part of the process. You need to make sure the whole customer experience is high-quality, so people return again and again to your business.
How Can The Reputation Management Company Help Remove Negative Reviews?
Here at The Reputation Management Company, we have the skills and experience to help your business remove bad reviews on Google My Business and restore your online reputation.
The Reputation Management Company team has perfected identifying fraudulent reviews and guiding businesses on how to deal with and manage individual situations. Contact us today if you need some help to ensure your Google My Business page looks appealing to old and new customers.