Your customers’ comments, especially on Google search results, inevitably influence the business. And, potential buyers often turn to the valuations of other consumers and use them as a reference before making a decision. But what if a rating is disproportionately negative or even has a malicious intent and, consequently, damages your company’s image unfairly? In all likelihood you will want to make it disappear. Under certain circumstances, it is possible.
Business Risk: Negative Reviews from Google
Just as positive reviews have a good impact on the business, negative ones can be very damaging – they not only influence the user’s purchase decision, but can also affect the company’s position in the Google ranking. The real risk comes from the fact that each user with a Google account can publish their valuation, regardless of whether they have ever interacted with your company. You can do it anonymously with a fake name and no profile picture. Google does not verify the identity of its users. The conclusion can be somewhat disturbing. Any Google user can abuse the system at will and invent negative criticisms to deliberately damage a company.
Now you may wonder if it would not be possible to deactivate the evaluation function of your business profile. It is not possible and would go against Google’s desire to provide users with the best possible information. Therefore, the only thing you can do, if you want to make the negative comments disappear, is to change or try to delete them from the page. The following section describes the options you have available to carry it out.
Remove Google Reviews: what can you do
As soon as your company’s profile receives a rating, Google My Business will automatically notify you by email. If it is negative, it is best to take a screenshot, in case it is necessary to have some evidence. Now time starts to run against – potential customers can see negative criticism, which can have negative consequences on your business. Therefore, you must act quickly.
Respond to Google rating
In the first place, you should try to contact the person who made the review. To do this, write your answer directly after your rating. Do not forget that your comment is public, so you should always maintain an educated tone and provide objective data. After all, you should not forget your main objective. Apologize for any mistake if you think it is relevant and try to get a solution to the problem that benefits both parties. Show your regret, but don’t give in to blackmail. You could even get the person making the review to reconsider your rating and change it accordingly.
Contact service provider: Google
After several data protection scandals and thanks to the entry into force of the GDPR, Google seems to have realized that it must take user interests seriously to avoid complaints and legal disputes. If you do not agree with a rating on Google, the service provider offers you different points of contact. On the one hand, you can use the flag-shaped button located at the star rating that serves to “mark the message as inappropriate”. Since this assessment is very subjective, Google establishes in its guidelines what requirements the published content must meet.
Contact a Lawyer as soon as possible
Contacting an expert lawyer is necessary to know the available legal options. The same happens if Google has not contacted you within 14 days after the technical support service or the legal department has received the claim. A lawyer is much more likely to contact a Google representative and enforce your rights. In reality, ratings and reviews as criticism of customers are protected by the right to freedom of expression. It is also not possible to eliminate criticism just because it is not positive for the business.
Conclusion: Deleting Comments from Google is not easy, but it is possible
As you can see, removing an inappropriate or even slanderous Google rating is a challenge, but not an impossible one. However, as popular wisdom in the proverb correctly reflects, prevention is better than cure: if you have an effective customer service and efficient claims management, you can minimize the number of negative evaluations and thus avoid possible future reputation issues.