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How To Remove Negative Reviews from Your Google Business Profile

How To Remove Negative Reviews from Your Google Business Profile

Your online reputation can significantly impact your business, and there is nothing more frustrating than a negative review you don’t deserve. The good news is it is possible to get reviews removed if they are libelous, fake or for the wrong business. Google provides this list of the types of reviews it will remove:

  • Spam and fake content
  • Off-topic
  • Restricted content
  • Illegal content
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive content
  • Dangerous & Derogatory Content
  • Impersonation
  • Conflict of Interest

How to Flag a Google Review

If you think your negative review meets one of the above criteria, you can flag it.

Use the following steps to flag a review as inappropriate:

  1. Access your Google Business Profile
  2. Click Sign In
  3. Select your business location
  4. Click Reviews
  5. Click ellipse (three dots in upper right of the review)
  6. Click Flag as inappropriate
Screenshot showing how to flag a Google Business Profile review as inappropriate.

How to Reply to a Google Review

Unfortunately, Google may choose not to remove a review you flag. If they don’t, you’ll need to reply to the review.

It would be nice if there were a Delete button next to every review, but there isn’t. Customer sentiment is reflected in reviews, and even the best companies don’t meet the expectation of all their customers all the time. When customers are upset, don’t feel heard, or just didn’t like their experience, they may react by posting a negative review.

It’s important to reply to negative reviews. First, it shows other prospects you care. Second, it gives you a chance to make reviewers feel heard. Sometimes a thoughtful response will encourage them to remove the review or increase their star rating if they feel you address their grievances.

To reply to a review:

  1. Access your Google Business Profile
  2. Click Sign In
  3. Select your business location
  4. Click Reviews
  5. Click Reply
  6. Enter your Reply
  7. Click Post Reply
Screenshot showing how to reply to a Google Business Profile review

Want to make sure you have replied to all your reviews? Click the Haven’t Replied tab.

If you reply to a review and want to adjust your response, you can click the Edit button that appears after you’ve replied to a review.

How to Respond to Negative Google Reviews

If you are like most people, you’ll feel defensive after reading a negative review. While this is understandable, letting this feeling seep into your response will be counterproductive. Keep your eye on your goals which are to make the person who left the review feel heard and fix the issue, if possible.

While approaches vary from company to company and from review to review, a negative review response is structured as follows:

  1. Apologize for the issue
  2. Suggest a way to resolve the issue
  3. Leave next step to resolve the issue
  4. Apologize again

For example, let’s suppose Chris B. had a clogged kitchen sink and the plumber who came out to fix it cleared the drain, but left boot marks on white carpeting. You might reply:

I’m very sorry our service didn’t meet your expectations. We value your business. Please contact me at 206-222-1234 so I can make things right. Again, my apologies.

If you require your techs to wear booties, you probably want to know about this lapse, and you’d want to investigate what happened further. You can’t always tell who left the review based on the Google username. By adding contact information and a call to action can help, you are inviting the person to get in touch and give you the opportunity to resolve the issue.

Sometimes reviewers leave a less than fully positive review and it’s beyond your control. For example, they might have buyer’s remorse. Let’s suppose Gina C. toured your community and moved into an apartment with an unrenovated kitchen. You leased the apartment to her, so you know that’s all she could afford, but now she is envious of her neighbor’s apartment. She left you a 3-star review and while the review praised the staff, it expressed disappointment with her kitchen. She posted a photo of her clean but dated kitchen.

The response structure would vary slightly. Here’s how you might reply:

Gina, thanks for your kind words about how our maintenance staff. I’ll let them know how much you valued their help. I’m sorry your kitchen doesn’t meet your expectations. We have upgraded kitchens available in other units. Please call me at 206-222-1234 or visit me in the leasing office at your convenience. Joe

In this case, there might not be anything you can do for Gina, but you are letting others reading the review that you offer upgraded kitchens and that the picture doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of all your apartments.

How to Get Help Removing a Negative Review from Your Google Business Profile

When all else fails, you can send an email and get help from a human from Google.

To access Google’s support team and request assistance with removing a review:

  1. Access your Google Business Profile
  2. Scroll down and click Contact Us
  3. Select Your Business
  4. Enter “customer reviews” (without the quotes) to describe what you need help with
  5. Select Remove Reviews
  6. Click Next Step
  7. Click the Email icon
  8. Fill out the form
  9. Click Submit

Keep in mind that unless the reviewer has violated one of Google’s policies, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get the review taken down, but sometimes the automated systems don’t work perfectly, and you’ll get a different response from a representative.

How to Get More Positive Reviews

If you are in business long enough, it’s more than likely you will eventually see less than perfect reviews posted to your Google Business Profile. As they say, sometimes a good defense is a good offense. Proactively soliciting reviews from happy customers will build up your reputation and insulate you from the occasional negative review. Learn how to solicit Google reviews from your customers.

Have you had success getting negative reviews removed? Share your story below.

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