Some customers can’t be pleased, even when you do everything right and then some. Some will go so far as to write negative reviews on every site they can, like Google, Yelp, and Amazon. Everyone sees those reviews, and it could hurt your business. Your first instinct may be to get the reviews removed, but should you try? Most times the answer is no, and here’s why.
Deleting reviews can also hurt your reputation
If you try to get negative reviews removed often enough word will get out, and the backlash will likely be severe. You risk developing a reputation for not listening to your customers. People will start to doubt whatever high star-rating you have achieved if they never see complaints. You stand to lose credibility.
Use your words
You might as well accept that negative reviews are a part of doing business and try to turn a negative into a positive. A non-defensive, sincere response will demonstrate that you take customer complaints seriously and want to make things right. Customers will see that you care about their experiences. Your reviews will have credibility. A high star-rating will have meaning. That’s the type of reputation you want to foster.
Dealing with fake reviews
Everyone hates internet trolls. If a troll writes a ridiculously fake review, everyone will see it for what it is. They will want you to take the troll down – diplomatically, of course – so respond. Google suggests saying something like, “We investigated but could not find any record of this customer experience.” When everyone sees your level-headed response, you will look like a hero.
How to get a review removed
Some reviews may be overtly offensive or threatening. Those are the reviews you should try to get removed, but you can’t do so on your own. You must contact the website owners. Google, for instance, has a “flag” system for reporting. Hover over the top left portion of the review and click on the flag icon that appears to report the violation. If a review is extreme or threatening you should contact Google directly by going to their “Google My Business” support page so that they can remove the incendiary review right away.
Other websites will have different reporting procedures. Go to their help centers to see how. Just remember, removing a negative review should always be your last option. Providing an earnest response is always your first.