What do you do with a fake negative review?
So, you’ve been hit with a fake review…what’s next?
Many in the small business industry have been hit with a fake Google review, including us here at Cultivate! It’s annoying, untruthful and can severely impact your rating. Here are some ideas about how you can counter a false review:
Firstly, don’t panic! Take a deep breath then move to the next point below.
Evaluate the situation and respond quickly. This however, does not mean belittling the reviewer or writing an explicit-laden retort. Instead, counter their claims ensuring that you address the claim, offer a solution and give them contact information (probably not a personal number, an email address would suffice!) If it is a fake review, possibly from a competitor, it is important to highlight that you are unable to recall their name or their custom at your business. You can also post on social media as shown below:
Joy Hawkins @JoyanneHawkins
Dear: Whoever spammed my listing this morning with fake reviews. You probably should have gone with more believable usernames. #StopCrapOnTheMap
Next, flag the review as inappropriate with Google. This one is challenging as Google rarely deletes a review unless it violates their policies (ie. explicit language, hate speech etc.)
Finally, stay on top of your negative reviews. Be diligent and track your reviews as they come through. A mass of positive Google reviews can drown out negative ones. Ask your customers to review your services and/or products and you might soon find that negative review has little to no effect on your business!
Questions and Answers
Q. How do I flag a comment as inappropriate on Google?
A. Open Google Maps and search for your business. Click to see all your reviews, and find the one you want to flag. Click on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of the review, then click “Flag as inappropriate.”