Over sixty percent of customers will check Google reviews before visiting a business – more than any other online review site. Therefore, managing your brand reputation on this platform is critical for new business.
While it would be nice to believe that everything on the internet is true, there is the possibility for your Google Business page to receive negative, fake, or even defaming content that could put your business at risk. Safeguard your business by taking these steps:
- First, check Google’s policy.
Remember, you cannot flag a review just because you disagree with it or don’t like it. Google doesn’t get involved when merchants and customers disagree about facts, since there’s no reliable way to discern who’s right about a particular customer experience.
- Open your Google Business Page and find the review that you believe to be fraudulent.
- Click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner, then click “Flag as inappropriate” from the drop-down menu.
- Google will assess your request, and if necessary, remove the review from your listing. Be patient. It can take several days for a review to be assessed.
How to respond to real negative business reviews
- Respond quickly
A study by Convince & Convert found that only 24.6% expect a business to respond to their online review within three days. What’s really surprising, only 21% expect a response within 24 hours, and just 6.1% of those surveyed expect a business to respond within seven days.
This means that if you make it a priority to respond faster that it sets your business apart and shows your dedication to both taking feedback seriously and resolving issues in a timely manner.
- Address the complaint and apologize
According to research from Qualtrics, 89% of consumers read businesses’ responses to reviews. That means leaving your bad review unanswered could leave your reviewer to be even more triggered to harm your businesses reputation, but also shows future customers that they are not of value.
- State that you can’t find their record as a customer
If true, this information is critical to utilize in your response back to the complaint. It gives an underlying acknowledgement to the rest of your potential customers reading that the review could be from someone who has in fact never been a customer. It also shows that you are doing your due diligence to look into the matter closely.
- Provide a reasonable solution
Responding back to the negative review could potentially lead to the customer changing their review to a positive one. If you respond quickly and diligently with a solution, you might see your one-star change to a four-star. Remember, when people complain, they just want to be heard and treated nicely. A little honey goes a long way. Here is how they can edit their review…
How your customer can edit their negative review
- Open Google Maps on their computer or device.
- In the top left, click “Menu” (3 horizontal lines).
- Look for “Your contributions”, click, and then choose “Reviews”.
- Next to their review of your business, click “More” (3 dots).
- Choose an option (edit or delete) and follow the instructions.