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I Got a Negative Google Review: Now What?

By: SmallBizClub


Got a Negative Google Review

As a search marketer, one of the most important jobs I have is making sure clients have a positive Google review profile. This not only ensures better ranking power, especially for local businesses, but it’s essential to reputation management. So what happens when an angry customer attacks? Or worse—a spammer or competitor? Here are a few tricks for making the best out of the situation.

Don’t Feed the Trolls

This one may seem like a no-brainer … until it happens to you. It can be challenging to think calm and rationally when it’s your business that’s being taken to task, but keeping a cool head is the No. 1 way you can mitigate the situation. Answer in a calm, professional manner. Offer your direct line to help with the situation. If you can’t confirm their order, mention that too but not in an accusatory sense—you really are trying to help the customer (let the onlookers put it together that it could be a bogus review.)

Here’s an example:

Dear Mrs. Smith,

Sorry to hear your experience at Subs ‘n’ More didn’t go well. I’d like to try and make this right, but was unable to track down your order. Could you please call me directly at 555-5555 to discuss this further? Looking forward to your call!


Jane Doe, Owner

Channel Your Inner Detective

Take some time to ask your team and dig around in company records to get a better feel of what you’re working with. Was your company really in the wrong or is this a rogue spammer sent by your competition? Context is everything. Also, angry reviewers love to tell their tale everywhere. Make sure you’re checking Facebook, Yelp and other review platforms to get the full scope of what’s going on. Pro tip: If they’re not using a real name, it is less likely that it is a genuine review.

Invoke the Google Overlords

There are a few instances outlined in the Google review guidelines in which you may be able to flag as inappropriate and get the review removed. There are several things banned in a Google review, including explicit language, hate speech and revealing one’s personal or confidential information. It can be difficult to pull off, but if there’s a clear violation you’re in luck. For example, the review can’t be off-topic. If somebody marked you 1-star then starts ranting about vaccines, there’s no reason Google should want to let this stand. Meanwhile, that 1 star is hurting your ranking power and reputation! Remember, Google is on the side of the users and nobody wins with that kind of nonsense.

Finally, make sure your Google My Business notifications are going directly to an email address that you check often. When somebody leaves a negative review, you’ll always want to know immediately because the quicker you respond the better.

Sarah Snyder CastanedaAuthor: Sarah Snyder-Castañeda is a Brand Manager at Leadhub, a digital marketing agency in San Antonio, Texas. Follow her @sbcastaneda.

Published: January 17, 2017

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