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We’re hearing this question more often. Businesses want to know what they can do if someone leaves a bad review on their Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). People leave negative comments for a variety of reasons, like:
- The reviewer mistakenly leaves a poor review for a business they didn’t actually use.
- The reviewer leaves a bogus review for personal reasons. Sometimes, they may create multiple fake accounts to complain about your business.
- An disgruntled employee leaves a negative review.
- A competitor leaves a poor review, hoping to send business their way.
- A controversial media story incites negative reviews.
Studies show that 89% of customers read reviews before patronizing a business. Google accounts for 57.5% of all reviews, which means that one poor Google Business Profile review could determine whether or not someone uses your service.
Google has very good systems in place to catch spam, offensive language, and other inappropriate content, but sometimes, things slip through. If your business receives a bad review, you may be able to have it removed if Google determines it doesn’t comply with their review policies.
In these instances, you can “report review” by selecting the three dots in the right hand corner of the complaint:
The next screen will ask why the review is being reported. Select the correct option and “Submit” your report.
Be patient. It can take several days for your report to be reviewed. If the review isn’t removed, you can also contact Google Support for additional help.
What if the negative comment is from a real customer with real concerns? People are more likely to write reviews if they’ve had a poor experience, so it is possible your customer has a legitimate gripe. In this case, we suggest you:
- Respond as soon as possible. This shows the Customer, the public, and Google that you’re professional and prompt.
- Consider reaching out directly to the Customer, politely and professionally, to help resolve their issue. If all goes well, you may even be able to get them to update their review with a more positive rating.
- If that’s not possible, leave a courteous (we can’t stress this enough!) reply to the review. Take the high road, acknowledge the complaint and the reviewer’s feelings, and look for an opportunity to fix the problem or learn from the feedback. You may not turn a bad review into a good one, but others will see your response and use that as additional evidence of how you run your business.
- Did we mention “take the high road?” This is so important, especially in a world where more and more people are hiding behind their phone and computer screens and trolling with ferocity. Do not fight fire with fire.
Don’t let negative reviews ruin your day. Create a protocol for responding promptly and professionally to all reviews (yes, the good ones too!) and remember that even a bad experience can be turned into a positive for you and your business.
For more information and help on handling negative Google reviews, please visit:
Reach out if you have any questions. We’re always here to help our Customers succeed.