November 28

How to Manage Positive and Negative Google Reviews


You have to manage both positive and negative reviews.  We’ve talked about how to ask for and get customer reviews in an earlier post but all businesses need to address both positive and negative reviews. In this post, we will talk about tips on how to get Positive Google customer reviews and strategies to deal with negative ones.

Ways to Encourage Positive Reviews

Respond to all reviews immediately.

Regardless of whether the review is positive or negative, you should have a designated person or team who’s in charge of responding to Google Customer Reviews as soon as possible.

While not as urgent as negative reviews, you should respond to positive reviews quickly. You want to show that you are grateful to the customers who took the time to fill out the Google Customer Reviews survey and give you a glowing review. A simple “thank you” can encourage them to make a repeat purchase.

Negative reviews require thoughtful, immediate responses. The longer a negative review sits without reply, the more prospects will read the review and make up their own opinions about your business based on it. The best thing to do with a negative review is to thank the customer for taking the time to give feedback and offer to move the conversation off of Google Customer Reviews and onto a phone call or email exchange. That way, prospective customers will see that you weren’t quick to point fingers, but you can also move what could be an angry conversation onto a private platform.

Create social media accounts to connect with customers.

If your customers can only base their reviews on their experience with your site, it can be a hit or miss. However, offering other options for interacting with those customers will give them more to discuss in their reviews.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great platforms for answering questions and responding to customer complaints. Using social media helps you communicate better with your customers and increases your chances of getting positive Google reviews.

Aim for a percentage, not a number.

The more reviews you get, the higher the chance of negative ones. No matter how hard you work to provide a satisfactory customer experience, there will always be some people who have had one negative experience or make mountains out of molehills.

As your number of reviews grows, allow more flexibility in the types of reviews you’re receiving. And that’s why it’s best to maintain a goal percentage of positive reviews rather than a goal number.

Let’s say your company wants to attain 80% positive reviews. Whether you have eight out of ten glowing reviews and only two negative ones — or 800 out of 1,000 with a whopping 200 complaints — you can feel accomplished in hitting and maintaining your target.

Display the Google Customer Reviews badge on your site.

Google Customer Reviews gives you the option to add a badge to any page of your website, showcasing your average rating. Simply seeing that impressive number on your site will surely entice many prospects to trust and purchase from your business.

Naturally, if your rating is not-so-great, you may not want to place the badge on your site. However, a low rating should only light a fire under your business to do more for its customers. By striving to reach the day when you can proudly display the badge on your website, your company will continue to reconsider its customer experience strategy.

Be kind and patient.

Remember to always remain kind and avoid going on defense when someone leaves you a harsh review that hurts your rating.

Instead, step into their shoes, and try to imagine what could have led them to give you such negative feedback. Often, this kind of feedback helps companies re-align their objectives and attain greater success. So, always thank them and consider their feedback.

In addition, be as patient as you can. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and companies don’t receive stellar ratings overnight. It takes hard work and a lot of dedication to your customers to get a five-star rating.

How to respond to negative reviews on Google

Handling Negative Reviews

Be honest and address negative reviews as they arise. Respond publicly in a polite manner that the issue is being taken seriously; this will convey to other customers reading the review that you are doing your best to improve. If a customer is being unrealistic about a situation, do your best to convey that politely. While it is not possible to guarantee a review can be removed, there are a few methods that help get the review taken down:

Report Inappropriate Reviews

You can flag reviews that contain prohibited or restricted content. To flag, these answers, go to the Google Business Home page, click reviews on the left, find the review, and click “Report review” in the top right.

Ask the Customer to Remove a Review

Contact the customer, let them know you are working to address their issue, and request that they remove the review. Since this method involves reaching out to the customer, it might b possible to clear up the misunderstanding and turn it into an actual promoter. If an issue is handled appropriately, the customer might even change the negative review into a positive one!

Legal Action

If a review is illegal (most commonly slander), you can file a formal legal request with Google. From that link, click “Google maps and related products.” From there, the user forms will guide you through submitting the necessary details to process the request. For example, if you have multiple comments you want to rake an action, you must file a separate request for each.

Make Google Reviews a Priority

Getting more Google reviews can pay dividends for your company, like higher rankings on Google search results and increasing leads. But the process to get more Google reviews isn’t easy. You must have an employee who owns your company’s reviews from end-to-end, including:

  • Creating and managing your review process across your company
  • Monitoring new reviews
  • Responding to positive and negative reviews on Google (and other platforms, like Yelp, BBB, Facebook, etc.)
  • Escalating negative reviews and poor customer experiences to the proper teammate (i.e., management)

Make Google Business Reviews a Habit

Consumers trust what other consumers have to say. Many people feel that reviews posted by strangers are just as reliable as personal recommendations. Use that to your advantage. Make a habit of asking your customers to review your business on Google. As long as you make it as easy as possible to do, you are likely to get more Google business reviews showing up on your listing and therefore reaping all of the ranking, reputation, and revenue benefits it has to offer.


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