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How Do I Deal With Bad Google Reviews?

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If you own your own business, you know that it is the worst feeling when someone leaves you a bad Google review.  It is often the case that you knew that the customer was a challenge during the project or when you were providing the service.  But, it still stings when you get that bad review.

Sometimes it is worse when you think you have done everything right, and a customer surprises you with a bad review, without even giving you the chance to address any issues at the time you were providing the service. Regardless, the bad Google review makes you feel powerless because you tried your best, and now a bad review of your business is out there in the ether.  What to do?

We at Oamii, pride ourselves on being the best digital marketing agency in West Palm Beach, and we have often been approached by clients who need help handling bad Google reviews.  In fact, we have a strategic process to handle bad Google reviews for our clients, as well as ideas on how to tackle an issue with a customer before it results in getting a bad review.

Indeed, if you need assistance with online reputation management, you will want to talk to one of our marketing professionals.  Feel free to fill out our online contact form, or call us at 561-228-4111.

In this article, we give you a primer on the best way to deal with bad Google reviews.  But, if you want more information specifically tailored to your circumstance, we welcome you to contact us today.

The Two-Angle Approach with Bad Google Reviews

First and foremost, you should be aware that you cannot control the Google reviews of your business.  Of course, that can be frustrating because that makes you feel as though you are powerless to rectify a review that is either bogus, or unfairly harms your star rating and public appearance.

One can surmise that the inability to control Google reviews is important for potential customers, so they know that the reviews they are reading are unfiltered and unedited by the effected businesses.  That said, the loss of control puts a business at a significant disadvantage, particularly when the review is simply not an accurate depiction of what occurred.

But have no fear!  There actually are some things in your control that allow you to respond to the review appropriately, and to minimize the impact of the bad Google review.  It is a two-pronged approach.

First, minimization and context.  You need to address the actual review itself.  That should also be public so a potential customer can look at both the review and your response at the same time.  The result is that a potential customer now has context for the issue, and the response may minimize any negative vibe the potential customer may have based on the initial bad Google review.

Second, consult with Google.  There are times when a review is malicious and simply untrue.  In that vein, you do have some control over the situation by contacting Google support.

Let’s discuss each approach in a little detail.

  1. Address the Review Itself – Minimization and Context

Your first question might be – do I even need to address a bad Google review?  The answer is “yes.”  A bad Google review already hurts your reputation, but a bad review with no context or follow up is, in almost every circumstance, worse.

Assume that you receive a one-star review that says something like this:

What a bad experience with this company.  The work group promised more than they were able to deliver,
the work was not on time based on our schedule, and overall we had a very poor customer experience.
I do not recommend this business to anyone.

Right off the bat, there is nothing positive about this review that can help you.  The only real way to minimize the damage to your reputation is to provide a response.

What makes Oamii the best digital marketing agency in West Palm Beach is partly the marketing advice we give.  So, when we say ‘respond to the bad review,’ we don’t mean that you do it in a huff.  Remember, count to 10, take some deep breaths, meditate, or do some yoga, and then start to craft a response. In crafting your response, here are a few pointers you should follow:

First, acknowledge the review and the reviewer, and apologize. While it may be tough to apologize when you feel that you have been burned by a review, that is the best course of action. That approach has a number of benefits. It shows that you are responsive, that you care about your customers (use their name whenever possible), and that you want to make it right.

Second, offer to give extra help.  This shows that you want to continue to try to correct any issues, even after the customer gave you a bad review.  You are taking the high road.

Third, wish them well.  Leave on a good note.  It should be sincere, and it provides a contrast to the negativity of the reviewer.
With the sample complaint above, here is a good example response that employs the three tips above:

Bob, I apologize that you were unhappy with your experience. I agree that there were issues with the project,
even though we worked diligently to address your concerns. I would be happy to discuss the project further
if you would like.  Again, I wish you and your company the best moving forward.

  1. Consult with Google

After addressing the bad Google review, you can also reach out for Google help.  To dispute a false or bad Google review:

  1. Flag the review as inappropriate.
  2. Go to the Google My Business dashboard and click on support.
  3. If necessary, you can also submit a Legal Request through Google.

It is up to you on how far to take your case to Google, but you should always respond as soon as possible to the reviewer online.

Get the Best Digital Marketing Agency in West Palm Beach on Your Side

Oamii is your one-stop-shop for digital marketing expertise.  Whether it is SEO advice, an enhanced website, or reputation management (like handling bad Google reviews), Oamii is there for your business.  Learn more about what we can do to help you by filling out our online contact form, or calling us at 561-228-4111.  Don’t let bad Google reviews get you down.

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