From social media to search engines, bad reviews are a growing problem for those who own a business in the internet industry. Blame it to the fact that the internet is pretty accessible to anyone which makes it easy to create accounts and leave comments to any businesses online.
It can be frustrating for some business owners to know that someone can easily crush their hard work by leaving inappropriate comments and reviews online. Knowing that the internet is in the age of fake news, a lot of businesses online are starting to take serious action to this problem.
Like Google, other online websites also have ways to deal and manage bad reviews. You know that reputation plays a big part in making your business a success, and having fake negative comments and reviews on your site would lose you a considerable amount of followers or consumers. So here’s a list of tips on how to effectively deal with fake negative google reviews.
Differentiate a Fake Review and a Real Review
Given that you spend most of your time using the internet, you should be able to identify which are the fake Google reviews. This step is crucial in maintaining the reputation of your website. Here are a few things to keep an eye when evaluating a review.
- Multiple positive reviews over a short period of time. One obvious sign of a bogus reviewer is when they post reviews like they’re spamming. These type of users are looking for a chance to get enough viewers for their site and create a promotional buzz which can benefit them.
- Intense review tone. If there’s nothing to be angry about, then a negative review tone would som
- ehow be suspicious. An honest and genuine review would usually use a calm and moderate language. This also applies to users who have negative reviews for the site.
- Not specific or general criticisms. General criticisms tend to become wordy in the review section. On th
- e other hand, authentic and honest reviews usually provide specific information on the writer’s experience.
- Positive reviews by the same person from your profile to one of your competitors. This is hig
- hly suspicious even when you get the same positive review from the user. The chances are that the reviewer and your competitor has a connection with each other.
Don’t Panic and Evaluate the Situation
If you receive a negative or fraudulent google review, the first thing you should do is to calm yourself down. You may feel mad about the user for giving you a negative comment, but keep in mind, it’s not yet the end for everything. Don’t lose your composure in this situation as it will only cause more complications.
Recommended: Handling Bad Reviews and Leveraging Good Ones
Some say that there are bad reviews because you produce a good quality product. In fact, in some research, it indicates that bad reviews increase sales, and there’s a belief that no publicity is bad publicity.
The first problem you need to clarify is to figure out if the review is real or not. Some reviews may not be related to your business, and some are spam. In this way, you need to assess the comment and identify whether it’s from your competitor or customer.
Contain Yourself and Respond Appropriately
Everyone has the right to give comments and opinions in both negative and positive ways. Good reviews leverage the reputation of the brand or the company. However, negative comments are also influential factors that can pull your business down in a short amount of time.
If you received a fake negative comment for your business, take a pause, and think of a good response properly. Avoid the consequences of committing another mistake by giving a quick wrong reaction because of your emotion. Read the comment properly, think of your appropriate response, and plan what to do next.
In this way, you’re handling the complications professionally, and it’s also a good thing for you to maintain the reputation of your business. It might be difficult to contain your feelings especially if the review has words you don’t want to see, so always remember to calm yourself up before typing your response.
Look for the Accuracy of the Review
Most of your customers feel the eagerness to write reviews about the products and services your business or company offers. Reading positive comments from your happy customers is excellent. However, you’ll also feel the complete opposite if you’ll learn you have a negative, disparaging review.
Some users tend to post a review just for them to have something to say and some reviews aren’t related to your site. So it’s essential to asses the comments if it’s authentic. This is also to avoid spam comments as some of them might have a negative impact even if the report isn’t related to your business.
Removing Bad Google Reviews
One of the essential steps to remove a bad review is to know the Google guidelines. If some user left you a one-star rating, you could remove that review if it violates the guidelines such as, inaccurate, offensive, fake, spam, sexually explicit, and dangerous.
If your site contains even one of those negative Google reviews, you quickly need to take action to sustain your reputation. Sometimes, it takes time for Google to remove the flagged complaint. If that happens, you can personally reach out for Google and ask them to take it down.
Disputing a negative review isn’t as easy as it looks, even to those who have experience in the online industry. If you personally want to contact Google, there are steps for you to follow to speed things up and quickly raise your concern, here’s how to dispute a review.
Immediate steps to dispute a negative google business review
- Open Google from your web browser and visit your Google My Business Profile
- At the botto
- m left side part of your navigation panel, click the “support” icon
If you follow these two simple steps, a help box will immediately pop up. To raise your concern and email Google, you’ll need to click your way through this list of help topics:
- Need more help
- Customer reviews and photos
- Manage customer reviews
Keep in mind that ranting on email won’t do you any good, so before you start typing your concern, get yourself organized. Remember, the more you provide information to what Google needs to support your case, the better.
Before you submit, reread your email and make sure you have raised every concern. After reviewing, send your email along with your phone number and email address for them to contact you through it. Also, include a screenshot of the suspicious review and wait for two to three days for their response.
Respond with Respect to the Deserved and Real Ones
A negative review can be both undeserved and honest. Unexpected situations happen, you’re only human, and that leads you to your own unique judgments over circumstances. If you’re a business owner, it’s natural to attend to reputation management beyond everything. This only happens if you lower down your pride and apologize in some cases, entitled or not entitled.
Remember, don’t freak out. If you contain your feelings and organize yourself, that will be the start of how you want to respond to the review. In addition to that, you need to ensure that you preserve the excellence of your product. Here are some do’s and don’ts in when responding to bad online reviews.
- Do respond quickly within 24 hours.
- Keep your response brief to avoid confusions.
- Do own the complaint, whatever it is.
- Apologize, even if it wasn’t your fault. There’s a saying that “Customers are always right.”
- No matter what the problem is, always assure that you’ll fix it.
- Follow up your customers by achieving your promises.
- Don’t ignore the review.
- Don’t deny the problem and say your company did nothing wrong.
- Don’t write a lengthy response and give excuses.
- Don’t leave fake good reviews.
- Don’t threaten to sue.
- Don’t write a defensiv
- e response and blame the reviewer.
In most cases, even if you know the review was fake, you should always respond. Remember, you’re not only mitigating the user, but you’re also showing what type of attitude you have towards your customers. This is also a way to show prospects on how you respond to customer dissatisfaction.
Learning the right way to handle bad or negative Google reviews is essential knowledge for a business owner. If you want to learn more about Google reviews you can visit the website of KKCOC to help you with your concerns and to give you more knowledge about this topic.
In the online business industry, nothing trumps in having an excellent and effective business reputation management strategy, not only by handling negative Google reviews but all over the internet.
Remember, negative reviews tend to drown out by positive ones, so make an effort to get as many positive reviews as you can. Concentrate on building your reputation and making your products exquisite. The more you have consumers, the more reviews you get. Tighten up your customer service until no ones posting another negative review to your site.
Franz Manzano is a seasoned freelance writer of KKCOC with substantial experience in technical writing and just about anything related to e-commerce, SEO, and digital marketing. He's also a bona fide traveler and a big photography enthusiast.