How To Deal With False Negative Reviews

Getting good reviews is important to your business. Whether they are on a third-party listing website like Yelp, featured on your own website, or on Google My Business. Reviews play an important role in how new customers view your service and offerings. And for the most part, reviews are not in your control. In theory, the benefit of reviews is that customers can get opinions from like-minded customers. However, there are two types of reviews that are wholly unhelpful to your company and your customers: false 5-star reviews that are either bought or created in-house and false 1-star reviews that come from competitors, disgruntled employees, or internet trolls.

How To Deal With On-Site Reviews

Your website belongs to you. Which means, you should have complete control over comments on your website. CMS programs like WordPress have comments plugins and rating plugins that will not display comments, testimonials, or reviews until they are approved by you. With these style plugins, it is possible to fully control what goes on your website and what does not. Generally, you should only filter out spam and reviews/comments that are written by competitors or ex-employees. However, some companies choose to only allow positive reviews to show up on their website. The one caution for that strategy is that if your reviews on third-party platforms are drastically different from the reviews on your website, it can have a negative impact on how new customers view you.

How To Deal With Google My Business Reviews

If you are the victim of false negative reviews on Google My Business there are a few steps you can take. First, you can appeal to Google to have the review removed. Google has content guidelines that must be followed by both businesses and reviewers. If a review violates these guidelines it may be taken down. This process can take time and does not always work 100% of the time. If your appeal is denied or is taking a while, the best recommendation is to honestly reply to your reviews. If you know a review is fabricated, reply to it in a professional tone. This will not change your overall rating, but it may help customers who see your reviews understand your rating.

How To Deal With Third-Party Reviews

Third-party websites like Yelp, Amazon or Angie’s list also have review functions. You may not even know all the websites you have been reviewed on. If you have issues with reviews, you will need to research their unique review guidelines as well as contact their customer service in the event you would like a review taken down. Generally, like Google My Business, a good strategy is to encourage your customers to honestly review you after they have enjoyed your product or service. Flooding your review channels with genuine positive customer reviews is the best method for combating false negative reviews.

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