How To Get A Bad Review Removed
Getting rid of a bad online review may be easier than you think.
The best way to deal with a bad review? Get more good reviews.
But if you really want to get a bad review removed, read on...
There may be nothing more frustrating that a bad online review. Whether it's justified or not, well-written or not, or even real or not, negative reviews can create huge problems.
Here is our step-by-step guide to dealing with bad reviews and getting them removed whenever possible.
Step 1: Connect With The Reviewer Privately
There are different schools of thought when it comes to responding to online reviews publicly or not (i.e.: posting a public reply to a review on the review site itself).
The important thing is to choose your preference (either respond publicly or not) and then stick to it. If you respond sometimes and not others, it can actually make you look look less involved and less attentive than not responding at all.
What we recommend is that regardless of whether you respond publicly or not, as soon as a negative review is posted you should reach out privately first.
If you have access to the customer's phone then give them a ring. A phone call is typically going to get a much higher response rate than digital communication.
Your conversation (or message if you get voicemail) should be clear, concerned, and above all inquire about what went wrong and how to to make it better. Defensiveness is only going to hurt you here. Admit to the problem if something went wrong, and if the issue was really just in the customer's mind, then at least you can sincerely listen to them and let them know that you completely understand their frustration.
The more personal you make this conversation (the more you make yourself seem like a fellow human rather than a faceless company), the better this conversation will go.
Step 2: Did You Get In Touch With The Reviewer?
If you are able to connect with the person who posted the review, these are the keys to getting the best results:
- Make a genuine apology for the experience they had. Even if it was the customer's fault, you can find a little sympathy for how they feel.
- Ask the customer for more details about what happened. Most people are grateful to have an open ear to speak to.
- Listen to what the customer has to say and ask questions to show you care and also to illuminate anything that is unclear.
- Now is the perfect time to apologize again. This shows the customer that you have really listened to and heard them.
- Offer the customer a reasonable resolution to improve the situation and make up for their negative experience.
- Ask the customer to revise their review. Yes, really.
It's important that you are very clear about this final step.
Here's an example script: "I really appreciate you giving me the chance to make this better. If you feel that I've resolved the problem then would you mind updating your review? Of course it's completely up to you, but it would really help me out."
Start off personal, stay truly concerned and aim to be helpful, and finish personal for the best chance at turning things around.
Step 3: Get The Review Removed
Can't connect with the person who posted the negative review? Then the only remaining option is to attempt to get the review taken down by the review site.
The way to do this is to look for a way in which the review violates the website's Content Guidelines.
To find the review site's Content Guidelines, do a search for "[website name] content guidelines". Common violations include:
- The review describes someone else's experience (instead of the first-person experience of the reviewer).
- The person posted the same review on multiple pages and/or for more than one business (most commonly different locations in a chain).
- The review that the person posted violates someone else's privacy by including information or an image of them.
- The review includes language that is threatening or harassing.
- The review contains information that is obviously false. This information must be easily verifiable as false/fake by the review site's admins; it can't be something that could be argued (even a little bit).
When you find a violation of the website's Content Guidelines, flag the review and explain in clear language which part of the review is a violation of Content Guidelines and why it is a violation.
Nearly every review website has this "flagging" function, usually as an icon or text link next to each review.
If you can't find any clear Content Guidelines violations in the negative review, check to see if the reviewer has any violations in any of their other reviews for other businesses.
That's right: if the reviewer shows a pattern of violating Content Guidelines in their other reviews (even if they didn't in the review posted for your business), many websites allow you to flag their entire profile (including all of their reviews) and request that they be banned from the site and that all of their content be removed.
Now of course as we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, the best defense is a good offense. The best way to deal with negative reviews is to get a lot more positive reviews to drown them out.
After all, who cares about a handful of bad reviews if you have dozens of positive ones and you continually get them on an ongoing basis? And that's exactly what ReputationStacker does.
Step 4: Get More Positive Online Reviews
We know how frustrating it can be to get a bad review. But the truth is, you can't please all of the people all of the time.
And the silver lining? Research actually shows that a few negative reviews sprinkled in here and there amidst a lot of positive reviews is actually a good thing because it makes you feel more trustworthy and "real" to potential customers.
The question then shouldn't be "How do I get a bad review removed?" Instead it should be "How to I get more good reviews?"
Lucky you, ReputationStacker was built for this exact purpose. But instead of explaining it here, we'll let our videos do the talking: