How to react and remove abusive customer reviews on Google My Business?
Is there a way to remove or erase a negative review from Google My Business?
This is a frequently asked question, especially for businesses that received negative feedback on their Google My Business listing.
A negative review on Google can tarnish a business’s reputation online, especially if the review stands out in a Google search result.
Negative reviews have become, for businesses, and mainly local establishments, a full-fledged e-reputation issue. Tripadvisor and Google my Business have become some of the most widely used and visible customer rating sites. Gone are the days when brands enjoyed a high degree of direct control over their image.
Today, the image of a company and its notoriety come almost entirely to its customers. A few negative reviews can damage their online image and credibility. Many restaurateurs and hoteliers want to remove reviews on Google My Business.
It is estimated that 91% of consumers read consumer reviews and opinions online before making a purchase. One bad first-page review from Google can cost a business dearly and generate mistrust, especially if it’s a startup or establishment that hasn’t yet managed to build a solid foundation, visibility and collect many opinions to counterbalance negative results in the framework.
The management of customer reviews and the image given by the first Google page on your company’s name becomes an issue to be addressed, monitored, and integrated into your digital strategy. Here are some tips to better manage the reviews of your store or your establishments and, if necessary, remove abusive reviews often left by unscrupulous competitors.
Small stars are quickly visible in Google results and influence the visitor’s decision. A lousy rating influences the decision of Internet users whether or not to continue the visit. The chances of converting an Internet user into a customer are significantly compromised if the rating is already dissuasive even before discovering the products or services. All establishments should be mindful of the importance of customer reviews on Google My Business, TripAdvisor or others.
How to remove fake reviews and inappropriate comments from your Google my business listing?
It regularly happens that fake reviews are posted on Google Review. They then appear on Google My Business, Google Map and Google address, giving them high visibility, impacting the transformation of new potential customers during Google search.
Coming from rogue competitors who use their friends and family to mass-write fake reviews or from former employees, leaving some through spoofed Google Accounts is easy. This bad publicity can heavily impact a store that struggles to collect reviews. We can manage the removal of abusive reviews and clean up your online reputation to get you started again on a sound basis.
Fake reviews can be spotted in different ways
Establishments can easily spot fake reviews.
- The buyer is not in your customer database.
- Items purchased or transaction date does not match.
- No customer service calls were recorded.
- The advice is very brief and poorly documented.
- Lots of negative reviews were posted in no time.
- There is a link between the person giving the negative review and a competitor.
- A competitor is mentioned in the notice.
- Avatars who use non-personalized images for accounts are created only for the occasion.
Steps in reporting abusive comment
You can only dispute and remove a Google review if it violates any of these guidelines:
- Spam and fake content: content must be genuine. Google will remove false information intended to improve rankings.
- Off-topic: Content should reflect an individual’s experience at a location. Irrelevant social, personal or political comments will be removed.
- Prohibited content: Google will remove illegal content and blatant defamation, locally restricted, sexually explicit, offensive, dangerous or pejorative (defamatory posts, disparagement). This includes hate speech.
- Conflict of Interest: You cannot review your own business, a current or former employer, or a competitor’s business.
Steps to report content:
- Hover over the journal in question, and a flag icon will appear.
- Click the Flag icon to go to the Report a Policy Violation page.
- Enter your company’s email address and select the type of violation.
Once these steps are completed, the Google service will contact you only if it needs more details.
How to manage and respond to genuine negative reviews?
Receiving a negative review is never fun. They can be abusive, but in numbers, they usually reflect the quality of a business, product or service quite well.
Rather than systematically removing or hiding them, here are my tips for using positive and negative reviews to showcase yourself and improve your flaws.
Use negative reviews to show your responsiveness and turn the negative into a positive. A negative review from Google can be more of a blessing than a curse, as it gives you the immediate opportunity to show your willingness to fix issues with your business. Responding to negative customer reviews online shows proof of your good faith with consumers.
- Be patient and reassuring. Apologize and adopt a cordial, positive tone.
- Be action-oriented. Now is the time to suggest remedying the situation. This can be the subject of an immediate refund, a free product or service for the future, or even a gift card.
- Challenge yourself and don’t blame the customer.
- Never be aggressive or threatening.
Think about anticipating problems. Most customers leave scathing comments when they feel trapped and helpless. They are upset that they lost money or had issues. If you make them feel like they’re in control from the start of the dispute, they won’t feel the need to complain online.
After resolving the customer’s issue, the customer may be willing to edit or delete their review. Be diplomatic and tactfully bring him to this action.
How to stimulate the creation of positive GMB reviews via satisfied customers?
Building up your positive reviews by encouraging loyal and happy customers to leave you an online review and positive reviews is an easy way to mitigate the risks of receiving a fake review and show how good service your business is.
Internet users who are dissatisfied or have harmful intentions will always be more motivated to leave negative opinions and comments. You must therefore mobilize your customers and make them ambassadors for your company.
Invite your satisfied and most loyal customers to leave positive reviews; they will serve as a shield and dilute any negative reviews.
Tip to facilitate the retrieval of reviews:
Retrieving Google review opinions is quite tedious and requires Internet users to “make an effort” to adapt. This explains why the most aggressive or dissatisfied Internet users go to the end of the process.
Therefore, the goal is to provide your customers with a direct link that will facilitate the entry of positive opinions via the automatic opening of the rating window.
- Get your business’s unique location code by entering its name on this page.
- Get your place id by enetring your business name
- Create your custom link: http://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=”your place id here”
It will suffice to choose a layout of this link in various strategic areas to solicit opinions from your customers and make it an effective collection tool (email signatures, link on the site, thank you email). An excellent way to stimulate the addition of positive reviews and to counteract any negative reviews.
Can I delete my Google My Business page?
Deleting your Google My Business page is a radical solution that many professionals consider starting again on a healthy basis in terms of their local SEO. It is particularly justified following the takeover of a company so as not to suffer the opinions left to the former owner.
The deletion can be long, more than six months, and remains at the discretion of Google, who may very well leave the page online in the end. The chances of success are not high.
Deleting your listing will also make you lose old positive reviews and its position in the search engine. It will take all the steps from zero, which is essential.
With time and the right tools, it may be more expedient to repair the degraded image than to remove everything.
My team of specialists in internet content removal at ufound can assist you.