So you got a bad review. What should you do?

1. Review Google’s Content Policy .

If you’ve received a review you don’t like, there are steps you can take to address the situation. You can’t delete Google reviews yourself, but Google can remove one that violates their terms.

If you think your review meets the criteria above, you can flag it for removal.

1. Open Google Maps and navigate to the review in question
2. Beside the review, open the three dot menu
3. Select «flag as inappropriate»
4. From the form, select your reason for reporting the review, and submit

If your review does not violate Google’s User Generated Content Policy, though, you might want to explore alternative ways of addressing the issue.

2. If You Can’t Delete The Review, Respond To It Directly.

Here are some tips for handling negative reviews:

  • Respond in a timely manner
  • Show that you value a reviewer’s opinion by being polite and constructive.
  • Please take responsibility for explaining or rectifying the issue
  • If required, please continue the discussion offline
  • For fake reviews, for example, you might say:

“Thanks for taking the time to leave a review. Feedback is important to us; however, we were unable to find any record matching your name or details. If you feel that you have received anything less than 5 stars, please let us know by contacting us at 111-111-111.”

Responding to negative reviews can be beneficial in maintaining your online reputation, as it demonstrates your dedication towards improving the customer experience.

Always respond calmly, honestly, and openly. A thoughtful post-review interaction can even encourage the customer to update their review.

3. Take Action Against Fake Google Reviews and Boost Your Positive Feedback.

Dealing with fake Google reviews can be an unsettling experience, but fortunately, Google provides options to address them.

While waiting for Google to take action, focus on highlighting your positive reviews. Show appreciation to your real customers for their support and encourage them to share their positive experiences on Google. Remember to respond to these reviews promptly, showcasing your exceptional customer service abilities.

4. If you flag a review but the verdict says that it doesn’t violate Google Policies, you can submit a one-time appeal.

You’ll receive an email with the verdict about your appeal.

  • If the review is found to violate Google policy, it’ll be removed.
  • If not, the review remains live and its status remains “Escalated – check your email for updates” in the Reviews Management Tool.

Several studies have shown that you don’t want a perfect review score. The sweet spot is a score between 4.2 and 4.5, with a few bad reviews here and there. No one will think your reviews are fake, and you’re more likely to attract customers.

So it’s best to focus on how to improve customer sentiment as part of your local SEO strategy.