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How to Respond to Bad Google Reviews

Getting a bad review on Google is never the way anyone wants to start a day. However, if this happens to your business, there are several different ways you can go about handling it! First you need to decide if that bad review was a fake review, or a factual one.

If you received a fake review:

Still take the opportunity to respond.

Be sure not to sound aggressive. For example, start with - "I'm sorry you had a less than satisfactory experience. We take situations like this very seriously, but are not finding you anyway in our current customer database. Could you contact 'person' at 'email' and explain more about what happened? We want to rectify this situation!" Responding to the review will show potential customers that you care when things don't go well, and you do what you can to fix the problem. Plus, most potential customers will be able to recognize fake reviews. 

Flag the Review

Google wants reviews to be honest, customer experiences so will take down anything that doesn't follow their review policies. Google will remove content that violates these content policies:

  • Advertising 
  • Spam
  • Phone numbers, email addresses, or URLs
  • Off-topic reviews
  • Keep it clean
  • Conflict of interest
  • Illegal content
  • Copyrighted content
  • Sexually explicit material
  • Impersonation
  • Personal and confidential information
  • Hate speech 

For clarification on any of these policies, please click here. Google reviews all these, and if it is genuinely a fake review, they will take it down. But be patient - it can take awhile. That is why it would be wise for you to reply to the review, even if you suspect it is fake.

To flag it, you simply hover over the review, and a flag icon should appear. Click on the flag icon, then complete the form and hit submit. 

If you received a poor, factual review:

Respond to it and try to get it resolved.

No business is perfect. Everyone will receive a bad review at some point, and consumers understand that. In fact, it makes your company look more "human". The important thing is how you respond. As mentioned above, be sure not to sound aggressive in your replies. If you don't feel like you can reply without getting heated or aggravated, then don't. However, this is your opportunity to rectify a situation and potentially fix a problem you may not have known about within your company. Thank the reviewer for their response, ensure them that you'd like to fix the problem that they had, and invite them to contact you. Sometimes you may have to swallow your pride and follow "the customer is always right" rule. 

After speaking with the reviewer and finding a satisfactory solution, take the opportunity to ask them to either take down the poor review or update it. They won't think to do this on their own, so be sure to ask them to do it. Also, make sure to only ask if you know for sure that the situation has been rectified. If it isn't - this will only aggravate them more!

Flood your Google profile with good reviews

One of the best ways to combat a poor review is to have an enormous amount of good reviews to offset it. If your reviews are almost all good, then a potential customer will think of the poor review as just a one-time situation. Make sure you are consistently surveying your customers and asking them to review your company. Not a very high percentage of people submit reviews - not because they didn't love your company or the experience they had, but probably because they are busy. Reminding them to do so can be a helpful way to get a lot of reviews. 

Hope these tips helped and good luck!