The last thing you want to see is a negative Google review of your business online. Your prospective customers might see it and people may talk about it. As a small business owner, it’s only natural to wonder how to delete a Google review.
The first thing you have to understand is that every business will get negative reviews. Check the social media feed of the world’s most loved brands and you’ll see people posting negative feedback.
Put simply: not everyone will like your product or service. It’s not a comment on your hard work or dedication to your business.
In most cases, a mix of positive and negative reviews adds credibility to your business. If everyone said wonderful things about your salon or restaurant, that may raise some eyebrows. So, a negative review once in a while won’t hurt your business.
Also, remember that negative reviews can tell you things about your business or service that you were previously unaware of. They may give you the chance to take care of problems that will eventually improve your business.
In some cases, the review may be fake, off-topic, defamatory, slanderous, dishonest, profane, racist or obscene. While you can’t stop anyone from posting such negative reviews, since the conversation is happening around your brand name, you’ve got to respond to them.
If you let such baseless, biased and negative feedback accumulate, it’ll signal to others that there’s something wrong with your business. So, you’ve got to take action.
If you’re the victim of negative reviews, like the ones mentioned above, the only course of action is to flag the review. This will bring it to Google’s attention. What you’re doing is telling the search engine that the review violates its policies and therefore has to be removed.
To flag the review, you can take the following steps:
Log into your Google My Business account
In case your business has several locations, choose the relevant one
Go to the menu and choose “Reviews”
Go to the negative review
There’ll be a three-dot menu next to it. Click on it
Click on “Flag as inappropriate”
It may take a few days for Google to look into it. Meanwhile, you could ask others, including your team members, to flag the review. That’ll make your request seem more credible.
If nothing happens, you’ll have to contact their Small Business Support. You can do it via the following steps:
Go to the support site at support.google.com/business
Scroll down and click on “Contact us”
Choose “Customer reviews and photos” and then choose “Manage customer reviews”
Now you can select whether you want help through email, web chat or phone
Usually, the support team will get in touch within a day. You can also escalate it by tweeting @GoogleMyBiz directly.
Just because you got a negative review doesn’t mean you have to think about deleting your Google account. If you think the complaint is genuine, apologise publicly and state that it was a departure from what is the norm. Be kind and empathetic and offer to take the chat to a private channel like phone or email.
Getting negative reviews is an unavoidable part of doing business. Without panicking and getting defensive, you should reach out and try to engage. If that fails, you can flag the review and try to get it removed.
Whether you want to erase online data from your small business or you no longer use your account, decide if deleting your account is the right decision