No one likes to see a bad review about his or her business on the Internet, especially if it comes from a disgruntled employee or a competitor who is trying to ruin your reputation. Bad reviews can be devastating. Forty seven percent of potential customers who read a bad review will go onto the next business listing without giving yours a second glance.
Here’s the dirty little secret reviewers won’t tell you. The vast majority of bad reviews are from people who are upset, angry or disappointed with your service. Their reason for providing a bad review has very little to do with the product or service they purchased, it almost always has to do with how you made them feel.
Problem is, the reviewer who took the time to leave a bad review is already angry, and it’s going to be harder to change their mind now than it would have been at the time when the problem occurred. But fortunately, all is not lost.
If you have a bad review that you want removed from Google, here are five solutions that will either win back a dissatisfied customer or push spam reviews to the back of the line.
The only person who can edit or remove a review on your Google Map account is the person who put it there. If you know who they are, you can try to persuade them to change it or remove it. But, here’s the trick.
You must be willing to apologize for your mistake and make things right with the person who posted the bad review. And the only way you’re going to do that is to listen to their concern, apologize where appropriate and offer a solution. If you handle yourself properly, you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be to get a bad review removed. If you don’t handle yourself properly, you’re going to make matters worse.
Before you initiate contact, put yourself in the mindset of a problem solver. You’re goal is to make the reviewer feel better about you and your company without making them feel bad about posting their review. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Contact the person who posted the review and tell them that you saw their review on Google and that you want to find out what happened and make things right.
2. Listen to their complaint until they’re finished talking.
3. Paraphrase what they said and apologize for what went wrong.
4. Let them know how much you appreciate them bringing their concern to your attention and ask for their suggestion on what you can do make things right.
5. Follow through on their suggestion before you move onto step six.
6. Ask them if they would be willing to edit or remove their review.
Google will only show five or six reviews on the first page of your Local Business Listing. If you can generate five or six positive reviews, it will move the bad review to the second or third page. Most people will not look that far into your listing before making a decision. But, and this is a big “BUT,” if you ask for too many positive reviews too quickly, Google will push your business listing down in their rankings. When Google sees lots of reviews in a short period of time, it triggers a spam reaction. Spread your positive reviews out over a couple of days or a couple of weeks. Be patient.
Is the review inappropriate according to Google? Read their rules and regulations about reviews and see if this review violates their rules. If it does, you can click the “Flag as inappropriate” button. If it does violate Google’s rules, they will remove it. This takes time, so be patient and be persistent.
Under each review, Google asks, “Is This Review Helpful (Yes / No).” Google will not remove the review if enough people say, “No,” but if 10 out of 10 people indicate the review was not helpful, many of your readers will discount the review and basically ignore it. Ask your customers and friends to rate poor reviews as not helpful.
Google does not allow you to offer a management response, but many review sites do. For example, if you get a bad review on Insiderpages or TripAdvisor, you have an opportunity to respond to the review directly. But let me warn you, there are three approaches you can take when responding to a bad review and only one works.
You can respond in anger. You can respond by making an excuse. You can respond with an apology and a solution. Unfortunately, the management response on another review site will not show up on Google, but it will show up directly under the bad review on the site where it was posted.
The very best way to handle bad reviews is to insure that unhappy customers never get to the point where they post their opinions on Google. If you provide exceptional service, poor reviews should never become an issue.