The data speaks for itself: according to Hubspot, 72% of users do not make a purchase decision until they read the reviews of a product or service on the internet. A figure that becomes even higher when it comes to establishments such as hotels or restaurants.
If we take into account that Google is the most accessible space to consult business reviews, a bad review in this search engine can be decisive for the reputation of your brand, hence the importance of knowing how to manage a bad review on Google. Here we tell you some of the most advisable practices that you can choose in these situations.
Google reviews are the new word of mouth
It is not that we have lost trust in our family or friends when asking their opinion about a business, a product or a brand. What happens is that now we have the possibility to go to Google and consult the opinions of other users quickly and comfortably.
Word of mouth has not died, but let’s say that, now, it has diversified its channels, with reviews in search engines and social networks being much more accessible, although also more damaging to a brand’s image due to its greater visibility and easy spread.
Today there are many applications, web pages and social profiles in which you can leave a comment, positive or negative. However, in the case of Google, the reviews are unique as they are integrated directly into the search engine itself and into its applications and commercial tools such as Google My Business.
Who can leave a review on Google?
Any registered user can leave a review on Google for free and without the search engine authenticating if that person has really been in that business or has tried that service.
Google reviews come in two formats. On the one hand, there is the numerical assessment based on the famous stars with which we rate a product or service. And on the other hand, there is the option of leaving a comment sharing if the experience has been good, average or bad.
It is recommended, as a user as well as as a brand, that you do not let yourself be guided by the numerical average of the valuation and pay attention to the comments, especially the outstanding reviews of the Google Local Guides ( Local guides). These are people who are validated by Google and whose opinion about a product, service or place is assumed to be objective, disinterested and based on real experience.
How do we handle a bad review on Google?
Reviews can be removed but you face a long process as Google will not remove a review simply because it is negative for your business. The purpose of these reviews is precisely to provide users with unbiased opinions to help them in their purchase process.
In addition, it is not about eliminating any unfavorable comment, unless it is false, but about knowing how to manage it through these options that you can put into practice when someone leaves a bad review on Google about you:
1. Verify all the reviews you receive
We do not discover anything new if we tell you that there are people who write negative reviews about companies of their competition, in the same way that there are well-meaning friends who can leave you excessively positive comments about your business.
But going to the part that concerns us in this post, before a negative review, it does not hurt to verify it. And if you suspect that it may be a false review, look for evidence that will allow you to confirm it.
Fake reviews are usually written by profiles without photography, who have not left other reviews of any kind. In addition, they tend to be very generic, lack details and have a particularly incisive tone or it is directly a troll that seeks to annoy or attract attention without more.
And you should not only eliminate false reviews, but those that lack sense or do not focus on your product or service, and although in some cases, as in the example, they may be funny, deep down they are lowering the average of the rating of your business.
2. Always respond to the negative review
The best advice we can give you to manage a bad review on Google is to always respond, and do so correctly, politely and without spelling mistakes.
You should not be obsessed if you receive a negative review, the other way around! This will help you improve and know the opinion of your consumers first-hand (and without paying for it). Also, don’t forget that a business that receives opinions of all kinds has more credibility than one that only receives wonderful reviews.
3. Talk to the client through a private channel
When you receive a bad review on Google it is important that you reflect on it and admit, if it is the case, that you may not have done things as well as you thought and that is why you are receiving a negative comment. The good part is that now you know it and it is up to you to solve it.
Perhaps in this way you will not earn the forgiveness of all dissatisfied customers, but surely one party values positively your way of caring about their experience, something that ends up having a positive impact on the reputation of your brand.
4. Do not neglect the reviews of the past
We already know that human beings are a bit lazy and when it comes time to research a product or service, they usually only look at the latest reviews published, corresponding, in most cases, to the last two or three months.
But apart from this, your business may have changed a lot in recent times, which means that a review published two years ago may no longer be entirely accurate due to the improvements you have made.
Well, if you have a negative review from a long time ago, you can try to contact the user to ask for a “second chance”. If you can get him to return to your business and be satisfied, he may decide to delete that negative review or publish a positive one that counteracts it in the global count.
5. Publicly offer a solution in a grateful and polite way
Never forget that, in the same way that users read the reviews they leave about your business, they will read your answer to know what to expect if something similar happens to them.
f the complaint has its reason for being and there is a solution, respond by apologizing and explaining the measures that you are going to implement so that this situation does not recur and the compensation you offer.
If unfortunately there is no solution to the cause of the user’s discomfort, always respond with an apology and clarify why it has happened, stating that you take charge and how grateful you are for sharing that experience.
Although in this post we have focused on Google reviews, the online reputation of a brand, in general, is a very valuable intangible. Every business has the obligation of not losing sight of it and knowing how to measure it and act on it when a crisis occurs.