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What to Do About a Bad Google Review

Posted by Zach Chapman

Angry customer yelling and crumpling paper on his workplace

Google reviews can make or break a business. They're often the main criteria customers use to decide which businesses to patronize. That's why it's so important to take an active role in managing the Google reviews of your business. Customers not only look at your best reviews they also look at your worst reviews. Knowing what to do when a bad review comes in can save your online reputation. Here are a few ways to proactively make the most of a bad situation.

1. Respond Quickly

A quick response means fixing the problem quicker. The faster you respond, the better you'll be able to prove to the negative reviewer that you care about their complaint. Others will also see the prompt response and see that you value their feedback and are willing to change for the better.

2. Respond with Empathy

Whatever you do, don’t get defensive and argue with the reviewer. Keep it diplomatic with something like, “I am sorry you feel this way about our business”. If appropriate, offer a full cash refund. Depending on the situation, might also be able to say, “We weren’t aware of this problem. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. We will be sure to fix it by…”

3. Remedy the Situation

Message the reviewer privately. Ask to have a conversation with him or her about what your company can do to fix their personal problem. Sometimes, all they want is a refund. They might even take down the bad review if you go above and beyond fixing the issue.

4. Look on the Bright Side

Customer feedback, good or bad, is great for business! Businesses can guess about what their customers all day long, but it's hard to know what they truly want unless they tell you explicitly. Even the customer might not know what they want! Use the feedback constructively. If one customer had a particular complaint, it's likely several others had the same complaint. Don’t take it personally. Make the necessary changes to your business to prevent the same issue from happening in the future.two potential customers reading negative reviews

5. Check If They Broke a Google Review Policy

Google has strict policies about what can and cannot be a review. Before freaking out about a negative review, check to see if it violates Google’s Review Policy. One example: former employees cannot write a review.

6. Dilute the Bad with the Good

Bad reviews can do harm but they don't have to; it's the ratio of good reviews to bad reviews that really matters. Empathize with the customer and do your absolute best to resolve the issue up front. Every business is bound to make mistakes. Just be sure to encourage all of your happy customers to leave a review too. It is recommended that you take some of your best Google Reviews and put them on your website as testimonials.

Don’t leave bad reviews untended. Angry customers can be scary to deal with but don't let your fear get in the way of you running your business. Confront the problem head-on, genuinely listen to their concerns, and use the feedback to grow your business.

To find out other areas where your business and your marketing operations can improve, schedule a digital marketing audit today!

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