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The reason 64% of customers check Google reviews is simple – it’s really difficult to get rid of the bad reviews. People know they can trust Google and their reviewer community to save them from a bad meal, impossible parking, or bedbugs.

Customers are 5 x more likely to read bad reviews than good ones. When there’s so many businesses to choose from, weeding out the companies you should avoid is a real timesaver.

 So if you’re the business owner, knowing how to handle bad reviews could be critical to the health of your digital marketing. Here’s how to remove Google reviews – and why it’s not always the smart move.

Removing Google Reviews

Bad news – this isn’t going to be easy. Google doesn’t like squabbles, and they’re unlikely to get involved in the finer points of your arguments about what happened on that fateful Tuesday afternoon six weeks ago.

 It’s only worth flagging as inappropriate if it falls into one of these categories;

  • Spam and fake content
  • Off-topic
  • Restricted content
  • Illegal content
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Offensive content
  • Dangerous and derogatory content
  • Impersonation
  • Conflict of interest

Wave any of these classic red flags, and Google’s going to whip down that review for you. They’ll also help you remove it if you can legally prove that the review is factually inaccurate, or slanderous.

You can access Google’s ‘flag as inappropriate’ option straight from Your Business Profile – there should be a dropdown next to the review itself.

How a bad review can be good for business

If you’re as committed as we are to providing the very best service we can, then a bad review cuts deep. Not because you can’t handle negativity – it’s because you can’t stand the idea that a customer might come away from your interactions feeling like you didn’t do your very best to leave a smile on their face.

If they’ve found something for you to improve, they’re doing your business a favour. And if you can publicly own your mistake by writing a response, make whatever amends are necessary, and improve your business as a result, then your other customers are going to see how amazing your customer service is. That bad review is going to make them want you more, not less.

If you change your operation as a result of customer feedback, it’s probably worth talking about it loudly in your blogs and social content, too. People understand that business owners are human too (particularly small business owners, where the owner is still in direct contact with customers).

A well-written Facebook post or blog can help you get out in front of that review, and incorporate the incident as a chapter of the story of the growth of your business.

If the mistake the customer has highlighted is such a grievous error that a good response won’t be enough to offset the PR damage, then it’s worth reaching out to the customer directly – once you’ve responded publicly. Show them you’re genuinely sorry, restore the goodwill, then have a private word, and see if they’ll edit or remove it for you.