How Do I Handle Negative Google Reviews?

Has it happened to you yet: the dreaded, negative Google Reviews? Your heart drops into your stomach, your heartbeat quickens, and your mouth goes dry. “How did this happen?” you wonder, followed quickly by, “How do I handle negative Google reviews?”

Negative reviews happen to the best companies. If it’s happened to you, take a deep breath. Not only can your business survive negative Google reviews, you can actually flip them into positives. We’ll show you how.

How to Handle Negative Google Reviews

1. Check Your Heart at the Door

Just like you, we pour our hearts and souls into our business so we know how badly a negative review can sting. Since our business is our passion, a negative review feels personal and that’s what makes this first step so important. When emotions are running high, it can be hard to respond rationally. If negative reviews require anything, it is a rational response.
It’s okay if you need to take some time to center yourself before you respond. Go for a jog, phone a friend, watch some cute kitten videos: whatever it takes to pull you away from an emotion driven response. Do that and then move on to step 2.

2. Research

Once you’re ready to refocus, it’s time to research. Take a look at the client’s name. Do you recognize her/him? Believe it or not, even Google reviews occasionally fall prey to internet trolls. Yours would not be the first business to fall prey to a fake Google review.

If you have fallen prey to a fake reviewer, take heart. You can contact Google and request the review be removed but most report only limited success. Your better bet would be to respond.

Dear Ms. X, We’re so sorry to hear of your negative experience. Unfortunately, we are unable to connect your name to anyone on our client list. Please contact (staff member’s name) at (insert phone number) so that we can identify your account and rectify any errors.”

Responding in this way tips potential clients off that the review may be fabricated. It also let’s them know that you are responsive which is important to establishing trust with clients.

3. Act

If the review comes from an actual client, all is not lost. Potential clients will be very interested to see how you respond to criticism and this is your chance to shine.

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Respond in a timely manner.
  3. Apologize for their negative experience even if you don’t think your company is at fault.
  4. Offer a specific contact person and phone number.
  5. Assure them that you will resolve the problem quickly.

The Silver Lining

When you handle negative Google reviews, calmly, respectfully, and with the focus on finding a solution, you assure future clients that yours is a business of integrity that strives for client satisfaction. Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase grace under pressure and woo new clients in spite of, or perhaps because, you received a negative Google review.

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