Negative reviews on Google
If a customer has posted a negative report on Google+ it poses a particular problem.
The only way to remove it may be to delete your Google+ account / Google My Business listing which will take the reviews down.
However, it may be worth trying other things first.
- Flag and fix inappropriate reviews (there are specific guidelines for those posting reviews) https://support.google.com/business/answer/4596773?hl=en Flagging alerts Google to have a look at the review.
- Contact Google Support (My Business support or Google+ support)
What can you do about FAKE reviews?
This type of review is typically from a business competitor you can expose this fact by responding to the review something in the lines of:
“Dear reviewer, we are always concerned when a customer of ours in not happy and satisfied with our service or product. With this in mind we have checked our customer data base and it would appear that we do not have a record of you as a customer. Please contact us immediately so that we can learn about your dissatisfaction with the aim of putting matters right”
Other readers will get the message that the review is fake and then ignore it.
It will also show, that you are willing to fix issues with dissatisfied customers.
Keep professional throughout (see How to Fix Things )
Every week keep an eye on your Google page to check for negative reviews. Then you can take remedial action as above and on How to Fix Things
Fight Negative Reviews with Genuine Customer Reviews
Given that removal of negative reviews is not always possible the next option is for you to ask all of your customers to post a review on the Google My Business / Google+.
You cannot ask only happy customers to post a review because it would also be illegal because it would be misrepresentation to consumers. A balance of good reviews and a minority of negative reviews is the better balance.
Send them a link to your page with instructions on how to post a review.
Good reviews will then outweigh the negative reviews and also push the negative reviews down in the list. You will also have a realistic list of some negative reviews within the positive ones.
If happy customers choose star ratings then potential customers often just look at the star rating rather than read every review that has been left.
Sue The Reviewer
(read about the legalities of online reviews)
You would have to weigh up the cost, the time, and whether it would gain you bad exposure.
It has been advised by Yelp for example that to sue a customer is to intimidate consumers into removing reviews.
However, in the case that follows, the business was a dentist practice and claimed that, ‘A review such as yours puts our practice and our employees at genuine risk. It affects the livelihoods of dentists, nurses and supporting staff. Nurses and staff with families, young children and mortgages.’
Read the case here
Obviously review sites will defend their registrants right to post a review, but it is up to individual businesses to decide which action to take.