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Specialising in SEO for Allied Health Professionals

Oh No! I Got a Negative Review!

| Janet Camilleri | ,

Oh No! I Got a Negative Review!

| Janet Camilleri | ,

Wondering how to respond to negative reviews on Google? You’re not alone.

woman shocked by negative review

It’s a disheartening situation for any business owner: Receiving a scathing one-star review with the power to single-handedly unravel your reputation and all your hard work (well, so it feels like at the time!)

But negative Google reviews are really not as big a deal as you think. In fact, when managed correctly, they can actually be an amazing opportunity for growth, and a goldmine for businesses wanting to improve their services!

It’s all in how you handle it – but how do you handle what feels like such a personal and public attack?

The first step is to try to not take it personally. Did you know, unhappy people are around 10 times more likely to write a review, while only 6% of people will leave positive reviews without prompting?

Given 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, and businesses that respond to reviews are deemed 1.7 times more trustworthy than those who don’t – it’s never been more important to manage and respond to negative reviews.

How to Respond to Negative Reviews on Google:

  • Keep Calm and Assess the Situation:

Upon discovering a negative review, take a deep breath and try to stay calm even if your heart is racing! Stop and assess the situation objectively. Is the criticism valid, or does it seem like an isolated incident?

  • Respond Promptly and Professionally:

While it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible to show that you take your clients’ concerns seriously, it’s a good idea to sleep on it first so you can calm down.

What you shouldn’t do is go on the defensive. A carefully crafted, honest, and polite response is what’s going to reflect your business in a positive light.

If somebody is spamming, being obnoxious, or has left their review on the wrong business, you can make that obvious in your carefully worded response. 

A great example is with one of our health care clients here at Front Page SEO. As part of our Google Business Optimiser service, we monitor and manage responses to their reviews – and they received a doozy! After we’d provided a tactful response that still made it clear the customer was being unreasonable, suddenly the customer deleted the review altogether!

If it’s a legitimate complaint try to defuse it, ask them to contact you privately to discuss – get it offline as quickly as possible. Here’s an example response:

“We appreciate your feedback, and we’re committed to resolving this matter. To ensure we address your concerns properly, please reach out to us directly at [email/phone number]. We would like the opportunity to discuss this further and find a satisfactory resolution.”

  • Learn from the Feedback:

Negative reviews can serve to highlight areas where your business can improve. Use this as an opportunity and implement changes that can enhance your overall service quality.

  • Encourage Positive Reviews:

Balance is key when managing online reputation. Actively encourage satisfied clients to leave a positive review to help counterbalance any negative feedback (even before it comes in!). The good news is, over 60% of consumers are likely to leave a review if the business asks for one, so don’t be afraid to ASK.

Will Google Remove my Negative Review?

Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to get Google to remove negative reviews. If they violate Google’s policies you can report it in the hope that they will remove it, but even that can take quite some time.

But all is not lost! Remember: Potential customers are much more likely to read the negative reviews – and your response – than any of the 5-star feedback.

Take Advantage of your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile (GBP) is the first impression customers get of your business, and with only 1 in 3 businesses actively managing theirs, this presents a real opportunity for you to get ahead of your competition.

At Front Page SEO, this is one of our specialties – so if you’d rather relax instead of stressing over how to respond to reviews, contact us today to learn more about how we can assist!