Ways to remove false reviews from Google and Yelp
Importance of Reviews:
Before talking about how to remove negative reviews about your business, you need to understand the importance of online reviews. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter about which business vertical you belong to, as long as you have a business profile online you need to keep a check on it. The fact is 90% of customers read online reviews before contacting a business. According to a study, 84% of people take online reviews almost as equal to a friend’s suggestion.
According to one Moz study, even a decrease in 1 star (5-star system) can result in a significant decrease in the number of website visitors. I guess now you know the importance of having online reviews and the need to keep a check on them.
Effect of negative reviews:
Negative reviews can be like a parasite, you will get it unknowingly and it will continue to suck your business growth as long as you don’t get rid of it. Just like you do for any other diseases. I understand the hard work and sweat you have given to your business in order to build its reputation and it will be a complete disaster if one person decides to put negative reviews about your company all over the web.
If you have been running your business for even 6 months and have an online presence then you must have got some really bad reviews. The thing is that it’s okay, you don’t need to panic because it’s not something that can not be worked upon.
Yelp was founded in 2004 by Jeremy Stoppelman and has become one of the most popular websites for listing small businesses. It gives you the capability to not only show your business but to also book appointments directly from Yelp.
It has been a perfect place for the customers to get to know about the business and to see how other customers have rated their experience with the company.
It can be really hard sometimes for a business to stay away from negative reviews. These reviews can be from a competitor trying to defame or it can be a disgruntled former employee who wants to make you look bad or it can be an unhappy customer who might have said more than required.
Identifying the bad reviews:
- If one of the reviews says that your company is the worst and recommends another company at the same time then definitely something is fishy there.
- If someone pretends to be your customer and writes a negative review, you can cross-check about him in your customer list and if you don’t find any connection then go ahead and report the review.
- New account: Make sure to check the account details once you receive a bad review and look if the account was just made to send bad reviews or is it a pre-existing account.
Once you have identified all the negative reviews, your next step will be in identifying the right approach in order to remove it.
Yelp doesn’t really allow you to remove any kind of reviews from the platform but if you can present a document with proof then you might have some chance! The first step is to flag the fake review for the moderators of Yelp. The moderators will get back to you about the status and during this process, they might just ask you to provide some documents to back your claim.
Since Yelp is a bit hesitant in removing the reviews, your best option is to reply to that review quickly as Yelp allows the business owner to reply to all the comments. Let’s talk about the ideal case scenario when an unhappy customer posts about your service.
For example “Just got a new inverter installed at my home from Jacob electric after waiting for 2 days. I mean how hard can it be for them to install and connect wires?.”
In this scenario look for the details about the job and reply with empathy and professionalism. Focus on what went wrong and show your concern. Your customers need to know how much you care.
A proper reply to the above review will be “We are sorry to hear that you are unhappy with the amount of time it took for us to connect the inverter connection. We strive to give the best customer service and while working the technician encountered a leakage current in your internal wiring. We are extremely sorry for the amount of time we took and we hope to serve you soon.”
To summarize, the Yelp algorithm does not allow any random review to come to the top. They segregate them into different categories so if someone randomly created an account to give your business a review then it will just be put into the “not recommended” section.
Google is the world’s number 1 website and having a bad review on it is something you don’t want right?. In case you have a lot of reviews about your business then it’s okay to have some bad ones but if you only have a few reviews then it will be best that you take some actions. So now the question is how to take care of any false review you received?
It is the same as Yelp, it can be an ex-employee trying to sabotage the image of your business, it can be a competitor’s conspiracy or it can be a really unhappy customer. You need to be able to defend yourself on the largest platform of all. To identify if a comment is fake or not follow the same process as you did for Yelp.
When it comes to reviews Google has different policies as compared to Yelp, they try not to get involved at all but if the review falls under the categories like spam, fake content, and off-topic rants, threats, impersonation, and conflict of interest then they will surely consider it.
The procedure here is simple:
Just sign in to Google My business, select reviews on the menu and click on the 3 dotted line on the right side of the false review to flag it. Since Google isn’t really involved in getting the false review down, what you can do is to contact the customer personally and request him to take the review down and probably solve whatever issue he had. If it is a fake one your best bet is to respond to the review in the same manner as we did for Yelp. That way you can come out as the one who really considers whatever review you get and try to work on it.
In conclusion, yes reviews do play a very important role in developing your business image in front of the entire world and hence have a direct connection to the number of jobs you will be getting but if you stay true to your service and do your best then you don’t have to worry about false reviews at all things will just fall into their perfect place.