Local SEO in 10 Podcast - Small.png

What Should I do if I Get a Bad Google Review?

Did you get a one-star review on Google?

First step = don't panic! In this episode we go through the steps you should take to address the review and what steps Google gives us to get the review removed.  

Don't forget, if the review pertains to a legal issue,  go to "Report Content for Legal Reasons" here

Jamie:    All right, Adam.

Adam:    Hey Jamie, how's it going?

Jamie:    Crazy as usual, but excited for today's topic. Oh yeah.

Adam:    Today's topic is what should I do if I get a bad Google review?

Jamie:    I don't have any experience with that.

Adam:    Until today.

Jamie:    No.

Adam:    No?Just kidding. There are some steps that I recommend that you go through. So these technically don't have to do with SEO, but they do have to do with the click through rate for your business. So when somebody sees that the star rating next to your business's name on Google, you know, it, the best is have five complete stars, right. But sometimes, you know, crazy people come and if you're one of the good business owners, who's listening to this podcast, then Hey, you're one who cares. So we want to help you so we can help you succeed a little. And so that's why today, I thought we should go over this one.

Jamie:    Well, yeah. It's I would ask him, you know, why are Google reviews even important?

Adam:    Well, because basically once you're in that Google three pack, right? That the top three businesses whenever you look for a service, they have those stars next to them. And who are you gonna contact? Right? Th the, the company with a one star, one five star review, or the company with 85 star reviews, it becomes a no-brainer choice. So that click through rate, that contact rate just goes through the roof. We go through this with clients all the time where they're like, Oh, we don't, you know, we have the same amount as our competitors are about the same. And they don't see a lot of calls or they see a S a few calls. Once we get them at double or triple their competitors, then they start going, Oh yeah. Now I see, because they do become the no-brainer choice. That's awesome. I totally, yeah. That's why,
Jamie:    Well, that makes a lot more sense than I hear all the time. We don't even look at that stuff.

Adam:    That's weird. Most people do. It also does have a ranking factor. So there it is one of the 200 plus ranking factors for local results to get into that Google three pack. But it's just one of, one of, one of, one of many, many, many, many. So you want to make sure that you do have double triple the amount of Google reviews as your competitors, but there are as many, five stars as possible. And of course, that you're responding to all of them. So what do you think the first thing is, if you wake up and you get that message, you got a one-star review.

Jamie:    First call is to my attorney. Who's sends him a threatening letter that, and then, you know, anyway, no, go ahead. Wrongly worded, email strong. Hey, you, Hey, what's that? What's the deal. And if you don't take it down, we'll be suing you for defamation. All right. Well, good luck with that. Google doesn't care

Adam:    Who writes the review? You can write it. You know, you can say that that the review is from, you know, Ronald McDonald's, it doesn't really matter. You don't need to use your real name. It's my, my, my point first thing you want to do is take a deep breath. Don't panic. Okay. don't sit down and write a response out, right, right away. Think about it.

Jamie:    You know, it's not good to fly off the handle at your request. I've seen those hilarious.

Adam:    I've seen those too, and then you start going, okay, now we know what kind of business owner that is. So you want to realize that people do read the review responses almost as important as the review itself. So this this this is on Yelp and on Google, of course. So you want to respond to those reviews, kind of imagine you're a Vulcan. Remove all, all

Adam:    Passion emotion from your response, write it out, thank the person for writing the review, thank them for their, you know, it, it can get difficult. It can be difficult to receive constructive criticism like yours, that kind of response. So what you're doing is two things you're responding to that reviewer. But the other thing is you're signaling to future customers. You are a normal business owner. Okay. So don't get into the weeds. Don't have a long explanation. Nobody's going to read, just say, thank you. We value every, you know, all the constructive criticism like yours that we receive, because it gives us a chance to improve our customer service and do even better. Okay. So if that's a real review for your business, you have to take it seriously. Right? So once you write that response you know, internally you have to check with your staff, make sure that what happened, never happens again, you know, respond internally to make sure that that, that problem is taken care of. Because if that person was that mad that they re wrote a one-star review for you, then Hey, you know, maybe others have experienced the same thing, and it's a great chance for you to improve your business. So that's what the Stoics say. You know, if you get criticized as criticized, you internalize, and then you change that's okay.

Jamie:    Well, and you were like, well, you know, we discuss all the time. It does no good to engage crazy.

Adam:    Right. Definitely. Yes. So you give them that one response and then that's it, the next thing you want to do, if you know who that person is, contact them offline. Right. Don't know, more written communications with them. Give them, you give them one phone call, if you can and say Hey, Jamie, you know, we saw you review. We're really sorry about whatever, whatever happened, you know, is there anything we can do to make it up to you if, and because that's what we're committed to our company, you know, it's driven by our reputation and we, we keep, we keep that that's super important. So whatever we can do to, you know, that make you happy or willing to do now, of course, that's within reason. So if they say we want free everything, and I want, you know, I want to join the next Virgin Atlantic flight into space, and you're paying, you can just say, okay, thank you. I'm sorry. And then hang up. But what you want to do is during that phone call, if you can convince them, right. If they're amenable, you've handled their, their complaint, make sure that you have them on the phone while they take off that review. Because the next time, if you have to call them back after making everything good, a lot of times they don't take off that review. And now you're stuck. You're stuck making another phone call to you know, a semi crazy person. So if you can get them on the phone walk them through how to delete their review or edit their review. That always that's the best way, right?

Jamie:    Yeah. Yeah. That's if you can have them take it down.

Adam:    Right. So now if the review is

Jamie:    Fake or competitor or ex-employee, or, or yeah,

Adam:    An angry person down the street, who, who found your business online, you know,

Jamie:    Who saw those,

Adam:    Who saw your dog pooping on his lawn?

Jamie:    Yeah. No, that was, father-in-law not me.

Adam:    Okay. Anyway. All right. So, the first thing you want to do with that case is definitely respond just like you would normally, then you're going to log into your Google, my business, listing hover over that review, and then click on flag review. So what then happens is another pop-up will show up. Google will say we'll ask you you know, they'll give you some options to flag that review. And then one of them, you know, not relevant to this place, conflict of interest offensive, or sexually explicit or privacy considering or legal issue. So any of those that could be, yeah. Any of the, any of those things. So Google doesn't have racial part I think Yelp does, but anyway, click on one of those, understand that when you report that review, it goes into a giant circular file that just spins

Jamie:    Forever.

Adam:    Google says they take this very importantly, and they've taken this very important,

Jamie:    Just like all the spoof emails that you get all the time.

Adam:    Yeah. So they say we use automated spam detection, measures, measures to re remove reviews that are probably spam anyway. So that that's the step you should do. You got to go through that step then we'll, we'll put this link on the show notes so you can follow it, but you can. The next thing I want you to do is go to your Google, my business dashboard, look on the, on the left of the, your dashboard. You'll see support, click on that support button. And then your main focus is you want to get the contact, email, or email support. You want that option to come up so you can type in fake review and then other, other other, because Google is obviously trying to shuffle you off into their, their help screens, not into actually giving them or their people work. So once you see that email support button click on that bad boy, fill out that form. It's pretty long and it's pretty involved, but what that does, it basically gets you into their system and into a higher level person who will respond. So you'll get an email back saying you know, we've received this, and then you should follow up with that email as many times as you, as you know, over the next week or two or three that it takes for them to respond.

Jamie:    So this is your new full-time job is what you're saying.

Adam:    Well, if this review is really early, I mean, I do talk to owners, Jamie, who, you know, they, they fall asleep at night wanting to throttle that person who dared, you know, that's how important though, you know, your, your reputation,

Jamie:    Right. And that's great. Yeah. That's really great that they are that interested in, they, they value their, their reputation that much. I mean, you definitely want to do business with a company like that,

Adam:    That, and it emotionally, it's very draining on that owner. So yes. If you want to have somebody in your staff do that, then go forward. If you want to have an agency do it. You know, we do it all the time too. So the next thing, if you don't get any kind of good response, you can tweet them at Google, small biz say the whole thing. So when that, when you do that, it goes to another support team so that they could address this issue. Then lastly and lastly, this is a big one is if this pertains to a legal issue. So that means you have a lawsuit going on with, with whoever left that review. You can go to report content for legal reasons on Google. You can search for that. We'll also put the link in there for that in the show notes for that. And then you fill out that form that is definitely a more serious you know, report. They take it a little more seriously. I'm sure. All of these measures have worked for us in the
Jamie:    Past. So if you have a, an attorney, you can have the attorney write a letter to that client as assuming you can identify them and then flag it for legal. And then
Adam:    Yeah, you can also go through Google's way, which is flag it like that, go through that process. Each one of these will they do have the potential of working. They don't always work obviously. So take this as a chance to get even more reviews, more positive, five star reviews, push that one star down, you know, take a deep breath and realize that, you know, pretty much every business gets a one-star review sometime in their business life. Understand that and realize that it's not a personal attack. It's most likely a crazy person. So,

Jamie:    You know, for, you know, it's like you said before, this is my first, you know, go into the restaurant. Food was great. Service was great. Loved it. Can't wait to go back three stars.

Adam:    Yeah. Those are awesome for now. It's, it's even worse than that with door dash and the food came late, one star, it was delicious. One star, what do you do then? Nothing. so with those, if it's like that, then there is a, you know, it's a what conflict, not con it's not relevant to this place. You can click on that. Yep. So these are, the Google does try to, you know, give us some Avenue you know, it, all we have in in my agency's experience, we've used all of these and all of them have worked at one time or another. We do definitely have had ones that haven't worked and then you're just stuck with, okay, now we have to move on. We've done everything we can move on. Okay. Yep. Yep. That's all we got. That's all I got for today.

Jamie:    All right. Well, that was a really good and useful podcast.

Adam:    Whoa. That's always!

Jamie:    Oh, I was going to say for a change. Yeah. Anyway, so please make sure if you liked this podcast, please make sure to rate and review it, make sure to share it with another business owner. If you know someone that absolutely detests Yelp or detests, Google and hate or say, Oh yeah, we don't, we don't even pay attention to those. They definitely pay attention because it can affect their business for years. These reviews never go away unless you take an active role. So definitely share this out. And if you're in a chamber of commerce, please share this out and let turn everyone onto this podcast. It's all information they need.

Adam:    Great. Good one, Jamie. All right.

Jamie:    Til next week.

Adam:    Bye everybody.