Customer feedback is highly essential in ascertaining the overall reputation and goodwill of a business. Hence reviews play a pivotal role in helping the business prosper. Whether you are a hotel or any other business, your reputation over the OTA or public platforms is extremely important for your customers.
One of the biggest players is Google.com which, again, traffic-wise is the most popular platform in the world. It accounts for 57.5% of all reviews worldwide. In fact, 63.6% of consumers visit Google to check for reviews of a business.
Understandably, reviews on Google have a crucial role to play. Again, a review from one user is likely to influence other customers’ decisions to a great extent. For instance, if someone claims that the property is immaculate and the staff service is excellent, you are likely to be drawn positively towards that comment. On the other hand, if someone complains about the property being grungy and staff incompetent, this will generally be a massive turn off for others.
It is equally important to stay away from negative reviews. Everything that a customer writes about a hotel or any other service, to that matter of fact, may not always be accurate. Again, a deliberately crafted negative review bringing ill reputation to a business counts as fraudulent behavior. Hence every owner would be concerned about keeping away from such Unreliable Google reviews which might have a stronghold over influencing the customers’ decisions in a negative manner.
Since one has no control over the negative reviews posted by the users, one has to opt for a viable solution. Sometimes an owner might just disagree with the content of a review as it might be a little misleading or detrimental to a property’s reputation. After all, there are two sides to every story! Again, it is not so easy to delete a negative or bad review from Googe just like that.
It must be remembered that Google reviews are public reviews which can appear on both Google maps and a business’ Google listing. Hence one cannot write a review on Google anonymously.
One legitimate scenario that the business owners face nowadays is that of fake reviews. Sometimes, the fake reviews are drafted specifically to defame a business or to simply bring an ill reputation to it with the aim of stunting its growth. Again, it could be from a rival business or spammer. While it is not that easy to identify the authenticity of these reviews, you can still try your best with Google’s spam detection measures and do your own part-time simultaneously when you have ascertained for sure that the review is authentically fake.
Righting the Wrongs
Step 1: Respond To The Fake Review And Flag It
Here are the steps you will be required to follow:
• Sign in to Google My Business.
• Choose your business location and click “Reviews” from the menu.
• Find the review you’d like to flag, click the 3-dot menu, then click “Flag as inappropriate.”
Perhaps, there’s one “unbelievable” thing that we have suggested as an option in the above passage which is to respond to a fake review before attempting to take any action against it. The reason behind doing this is that it creates trust and lets the potential customers know that you can handle even the negative criticism well. Again, prompt action shows that you are committed to customer service.
This is how you can reply to a fake or spam review:
Hi (the reviewer’s name),
We thank you for posting your review and at the same time, we apologize for any dissatisfaction that you might have experienced. Unfortunately, we do not have any recollection or record of a customer experience befitting this account. Again, we apologize that we are unable to verify anything about your identity from your name in our records. We take these issues very seriously and we humbly request you to contact our executive (name) immediately at (email address) to allow us to look into this matter and resolve it immediately if you were a guest of ours.
Name, General Manager
In a nutshell,
• Verify your records.
• Thank the customer and respond to the review (Yes, even if it’s fake)
• Address the complaint and apologize for the dissatisfaction they might have experienced.
• State that you can’t seem to trace them in your records or are unable to verify their identity.
• Offer them to reach out to you by providing your contact details.
• Once you’re convinced that the review is fraudulent, report or flag it!
Step 2: Request Google Support
You can also expedite the process of review removal by requesting a call-back, email or chat support from Google.
Here is how:
- • On Google My Business, click “Menu,” scroll down and look for “Support.”
- • A popup will appear, look for “Contact Us,” and click “Need More Help.”
- • Choose “Customer Reviews and Photos > Manage Customer Reviews.”
- • Choose from any of the three contact options: request callback, request chat, or email support.
[Note: You can also send a tweet to the Google My Business team (@GoogleMyBiz) from your company’s Twitter account. Someone may reply to you and you can take things from there. You could also search for more advice about the removal of reviews in the Google community support forum.]
Step 3: Seek Legal Advice
If flagging the review and reaching out to the platform does not work, you can always rely on legal support to do the needful. You do have the option to fill out a Google Form for a legal removal request. However, just be aware that the requirements for this are a bit on the higher side. But with the right legal advice, you can definitely expect to head in the right direction.
You can still be on top of fake reviews with some extra effort and additional tips:
• You can always reach out to customers for reviews because Google reviews are non-verified. This means that any person out there can leave you a review even without having tried your product or service. Hence use this technique to ask for more positive reviews as it is imperative to be proactive and ask your guests for reviews and more importantly make it easier for guests to leave more reviews.
• An effective and technology-driven end-to-end solution like Instant Review invite or Guest Messaging will be the most effective in helping you with your reputation management which, in turn, will help you increase your Google Reviews. Again, a review generation tool will help streamline the entire review process and drive more business.
How to Manage the Reviews Effectively to Avoid the Hassle of Removal
• Manage your Reviews on an everyday basis. Review Management Solution can come in handy to help you respond to the reviews accurately on go by managing them all on a single dashboard.
• Give timely responses to your reviews. • Make your offline actions better by seeking to improve. Overhaul or renovation can influence your reputation and ranking to a great extent.
• Formulate a schedule to check your reviews • Take your time to analyze or distinguish a fishy review from the real one. • If fake, flag the review for removal by filling out all the necessary details appropriately. • For further assistance, you can also seek Google’s support by following the steps mentioned above.
• Get a Reputation Management Solution to save yourself from the peril of fake or negative reviews as it allows you to check and respond to your reviews timely by bringing them all in one place.
Fake reviews are generally negative in nature drafted with the intention of driving the traffic away from you. So while Google should be trusted for its part,on your part it is best that you focus on implementing strategies that will help you fetch more positive reviews.
Have questions? We can help!