We often get asked by our clients, “what’s the best process to manage negative google reviews, can we remove it?”
I want to mainly focus on handling seemingly legitimate reviews rather than removing reviews you just don’t like the sound of.
But to address that point quickly, to flag and potentially remove negative reviews in Google My Business (Maps), you will need to first check, does it fall foul of Google’s Prohibited and Restricted Content Policy? such as:
If after carefully reading these policies you think it should be removed, then by all means Flag the inappropriate review by following Google’s instructions here and see how it goes.
So now back to the main point, let’s assume that the review your business received has the hallmarks of a legitimate review.
Firstly, if it’s your own business or you are in a position where it matters to you, you might be feeling hurt, misunderstood, confused, disrespected, even furious that someone could even stoop so low to public defame and shame your name or your business’s name in such a public way.
Which decent, law-abiding citizen would do something like that?
The reality is though, the internet has brought life-changing benefits, convenience and transparency to our daily lives.
At the same time it has also opened up a plethora of negativity due to the ease at which people can just start typing their opinions, through from the comfort of their own keyboard, rather than dealing with it like a mensch (a Yiddish term, loosely translated as a “good person”), face to face.
So negative reviews are a reality we have to deal with.
We have a choice – do we respond in kind with the same negative tone, or do we maintain an equilibrium of civility in our reply & show professionalism.
Unfortunately, I have seen some business owners take it all too personal and go on the offensive attacking the person who wrote it or complaining about how the society is out to get them among other conspiracy theories.
A soft reply turns away wrath
In my experience of reading through many positive and negative review profiles, the best way to manage the negative reviews, whether legit or not, is to do the following:
Here’s a sample reply you can swipe:
Hi [Name], thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback, service is a priority for our organisation and we take all feedback sincerely (your values). Whilst we cannot find your name in our system, we’d be happy to discuss your circumstances directly (sincerity to resolve the issue). Please call [Me/Us] (accountability) directly on this number xxxxx xxxx and I will ensure you your matter is dealt with promptly.
Whilst the above text may not suit all cases, it has most of what you need to display a positive approach to negative reviews.
When people research your brand or company and see such reviews and your neutral, yet genuine response, they will see how you have dealt with the negative review in a polite, professional manner showing that you value high standards of customer service and that you take feedback seriously – which is how it should be.
In fact, a study has found that brands may, in fact, benefit when customer write reviews about their product/service, even when those reviews include negative opinions.
To close with a quote from a fantastic, positive book called the Growth Mindset,
“In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weaknesses, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.”
– Carol Dweck
So now that we have dealt with how to handle (and GROW from) negative reviews, let’s now turn our attention to getting some positive reviews, click here to see a quick and effective way to generate positive reviews in Google My Business (or any other platform for that matter).