22 Jun What to do with a negative review on Google
Whether you are a business owner or a customer, we have all read some negative reviews on Google right? So what exactly do you do when you get a negative review on Google? Let take a look at whats going on, how to address them and some best practices around the subject to try and sort things out.
Most negative reviews are the result of someones expectation not being met and are generally written in the heat of the moment usually pretty obvious when you read them and see the way they have been written. Fortunately, this can also work in your favour when other people are reading them as most reasonable people can spot an unreasonably negative review but in some cases, you might have to go a bit further than that.
Addressing the negative review on Google
Obviously addressing the issue at the time it was an issue with the customer in front of you is the best way to avoid the negative review but the problem is, a lot of people are not comfortable confronting you about things face to face so this opportunity is sometimes not possible which is a real shame as this would generally solve the issue for both parties and waste less time and effort for everyone involved.
So if we look at the idea where someone is unhappy due to their expectations not being met and how to address that we need to look at the reasons around why they had the expectation in the first place, this applies even more so if you are getting regular negative reviews for the same thing.
Although it may be unreasonable, you have to ask yourself, is there something you can do to avoid this in the future such as making terms, timeframes, prices etc a little bit clearer. Is there something you add into your process that highlights the potential issues and gives you an opportunity to confirm or discuss the options with the customer before it becomes a problem and perhaps get them to sign off on it first? Either way, looking inward and taking steps to avoid the situation to begin with, should always be the first place to start.
Addressing the situation where the customer leaves unhappy without you realising and leaving a negative review later is a little trickier to address as you have no control over this and sometimes it can be difficult to even remember the customer or the exact situation itself. In these cases, the best thing you can do is reply to the negative review in a calm and non confrontational manner. It’s also a good idea to respond to any positive reviews too and create a sense of involvement with your client base and show that people are not ignored and that their opinions and suggestions matter. Other customers will see this as well and it will go a long way in creating an overall positive feel even if you do have some negative google reviews.
Responding to the negative review on Google
So how do you respond? First of all you need to thank them and apologise regardless of what has happened, be the better person and then try to address the issue for them. It’s always a good idea to ask them to contact you so you can deal with it in person as you don’t want a long drawn out conversation on a public forum for everyone to see and it gives you the opportunity to discuss a resolution with your customer privately.
Try not be dismissive and put any blame on the customer as it might make you look rude and defensive and people will see that in your response. You have to remember that they have probably calmed down a bit by the time they see your response and there is no point in getting the customer more upset or angry and continue to be a problem for you.
Talk to them calmly and try to see it from their point of view and try to establish what sort of resolution they might be looking for before they ask or you could simply ask them what would you like me to do to make this right for you, it might be easier than you thought and if handled correctly, and the problem has been addressed, you might find they will even change or remove their negative Google review.
Part of rectifying any problems should include you asking them to change the negative review and you should even be reasonable and tell them that they don’t need to change it to 5 stars but if they could at least meet you halfway and mention that you have fixed the issue for them so that people can see you are actively addressing and responding to issues.
Bigger organisations might even want to have some pre written responses that can be used to respond to negative reviews and can be helpful where someone might not have authority to make decisions on their own but still need to address the issue of the negative review.
Reporting the negative review to Google
Ok, so let’s look at those situations where the negative Google review is either completely false, abusive, fake or not even related to your business at all. Unfortunately there are people out there who don’t seem to have a problem leaving negative reviews on their opposition, or are just plain negative people and the sort of people that just go around complaining at anything and everything.
Fortunately though, Google do have a dispute resolution process that you can use but don’t think you can just contact them and have any reviews removed as they will only do so if there has been a breach of their terms and conditions. To do this, you really need to have some access or control of your Google My Business listing so if you don’t currently have access, you can find out hHow to provide 3rd party access to your Google My Business account and flag any inappropriate negative Google reviews.
Reviews may get taken down if others label them inaccurate or if they don’t comply with Google’s review policies. You can’t contact someone who left an inappropriate review, but you can request that Google remove it. This can take some time for them to investigate and you don’t really have any control over the result but it does give you some options to state your case.
You will need to be logged into Google and be connected to your Google My Business listing first and then on your computer, open Google Maps.
Find the review that violates Google’s review policies.
Next to the review, click More More and then Flag as inappropriate.
You will then be asked to select the most appropriate option and the review will be investigated. Its always a good idea to make sure you have already responded to and stated your case to try and resolve so this can bee seen when it is investigated and from this point on it is up to Google and how they want to proceed.
We do need to understand and appreciate that Google also need to maintain integrity of their system so will only remove reviews that breach their policies so using the methods above should help to mitigate and deal with situations where you get a negative review on Google.