Chris Anderson, the prominent journalist and the head of TED, once quoted that “Your brand isn’t what you say it is; it is what Google says it is.” This couldn’t be any closer to the truth, considering how the first choice in search engines of the majority of the internet users is, in fact, Google.
When people type the name of your venture in that little search bar on their screens, what shows up first after your address are reviews- critical pieces of writing, left by people you may or may not know, talking about how you do business. Did you know that nearly 3 out of 4 consumers tend to trust a company more if it has positive reviews? This ought to be a strong enough driving force for you as an entrepreneur to stop neglecting the part of your business that exists online.
What Negative Google Reviews Can Do to Your Business?
If you are an entrepreneur who works around the clock, disparaging words under your Google My Business (GMB) listing are not exactly desirable. Many of those ‘reviews’ are often borderline defamatory and can turn clients away as quickly as they found you, never to be seen again. Who do you think they will trust: a man who claims his services are top-notch, or a ‘former customer’ who has seemingly employed those same services, only to come to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth the money? Whether you believe it or not- it actually does come down to the value people think you can provide to them in exchange for what they pay you.
Man is a competitive being by nature. In the contemporary world, this manifests itself in the form of underhand means brought into play by quite a few entrepreneurs looking to bring down competitors. Believe it or not- to emerge as the top player, people will stoop as low as leaving forged negative Google reviews to simply put off visitors and drive that traffic towards their own website. About 85% of the consumers searching for a service on the web trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and a majority does not know how to discern which ones are fake. The probable truth is that they also do not care about troubling themselves with the task of distinguishing one from another- an entire ocean of firms is waiting for their ship to move forward and sail on. This means that one negative review is all that it might take to make them look the other way.
The conclusion? You need to figure out an infallible solution to make those prospects stay the moment they lay eyes on your listing. In order to do that, you need to learn how to attend to the matter of hand: negative Google reviews.
Is the Review in Question Legitimate?
When you first receive a negative review from a customer, your initial reaction may be to fight back and defend the company that you have built from scratch. Take a moment to stop yourself from lashing out and think- is the review even real?
Your first reaction should always be to go back and check if the person has ever even visited your place of work or hired you as a client. Equip yourself with knowledge like what service they made use of or if the said person tried to get the issue resolved by contacting you first.
News flash: Google does not give the option to delete any reviews left online to business owners to maintain a certain level of authenticity. Here is what you can and should preferably do:
- Contact the customer and assure them that the matter has been taken care of. Offer a genuine solution. Then, politely ask them to consider deleting the review.
- If they refuse to delete it, leave a sincere apology as a reply to that review, acknowledging where you went wrong and giving your word that you strive to be better as an entrepreneur. Those humble words reinforce that you care and show the world how you respond to those who do not like you.
What to Do in Case the Review is Fraudulent?
- Do not leave the review unattended and respond to it as quickly as you can.
- Flag the review as inappropriate on Google Maps. Though the review might not always get deleted, a short reply asking for more details and mentioning how you cannot find their existence in your client records might go a long way.
- Be patient by giving Google time to go through your request. You can follow-up after a few weeks under the “Support” section.
- If nothing else works, you can also file a legal request for removal of a review by filling out a simple form.
In both cases, if a negative Google review seems to be tarnishing your reputation and affecting your business, don’t hesitate to ask happy clients to leave positive reviews. It is always better to have 50 positive testimonials against a couple negative ones.
Do a bunch of negative Google reviews perturb you and have sent you on a quest to look for solutions online? You can put an end to that quest, as the professionals here at Blue Ocean Global Technology might just be the right fit for you! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a call today.