Did you receive a fake or unreasonably negative review for your business on Google?
If you are in this situation right now, take a breather.
It feels unfair. I get it. A good star rating is a huge trust signal that you don’t want to lose.
Unfortunately, deleting reviews from your Google Business Profile is not that simple.
You can request the removal, which we will be going through step by step, but it takes time and doesn’t work every time.
In the meantime, you have other means to deal with the situation.
You can respond to the review to mitigate the reputation damage or even turn the situation to your advantage. You’ll find some templates in this article that you can copy to your response.
Let’s get to it, then.
First, let’s assess the situation here.
You want to get a review removed. Why?
In these cases, you have all the right to be mad and demand the review be deleted. In the meantime, you can also signal this in your reply. See the review response templates below in the article and use one of them.
Is the reason one of the following:
It’s time to calm down for a moment and step into the customer’s shoes.
Even if you don’t see the big deal, it doesn’t mean that the customer is wrong.
Take this as an opportunity to learn your customer’s perspective. You can learn how to improve your business and win in the long run.
You have to put your feelings aside and reply to the review in the right way. Otherwise, you’ll make the situation even worse.
In the best-case scenario, the customer might relent enough and remove their own bad Google review.
Read further to learn how to handle Google reviews the right way.
Google doesn’t allow businesses to delete reviews very easily. If it did, everyone could manipulate their review page unfairly.
To get a Google review deleted, you basically have two ways:
Google will only remove reviews that are against its content policies. In a nutshell, the review must be fake or include language and content that is forbidden in Google’s guidelines (e.g. harassment and illegal content).
If you think the review belongs in these categories, you can try to get it removed by following these instructions.
Through Google Business Profile:
Through Google Maps:
Keep in mind that it takes a few business days until Google decides on whether the review will be removed or not.
In any case, you better also respond to the review.
If you deal with the situation correctly and can fix what triggered the negative review in the first place, the reviewer might agree to delete or edit their own Google review.
Remember to always deal with this privately!
You can advise your customer to follow these steps:
If you want to edit a review you’ve left on a business page:
As mentioned several times, it is crucial to respond to positive and especially negative Google reviews. It is the way to salvage your reputation if you aren’t able to get reviews removed.
The concrete steps to replying to a Google review include:
Here’s how to handle a reply appropriately.
First, you should acknowledge the customer’s concerns and provide a solution or explanation. It’s important to maintain a professional and respectful tone, avoiding defensive or confrontational language.
In the case of false or misleading reviews, you should respond carefully, addressing the issue directly without engaging in a public dispute.
You can still be a little bit sassy if your brand is flexible for such a reply, but try to keep it amusing and lighthearted.
Below are some model replies you can use depending on which type of review you are responding to.
If the review stings but is still from a real customer and fairly respectful, you should swallow your pride and be as polite and amicable as possible.
Sometimes customers aren’t right in the way they address problems. Even though they have a right to voice their opinion and share a negative experience, they don’t have a right to do so in an abusive manner.
You can always report such reviews, and respond to them firmly yet politely. Don’t fall to their level.
In the case of spammy reviews, you can be a bit more creative. Those people aren’t real customers (maybe not even real people!) so you don’t have to be as polished.
It can even be an entertaining moment for actual potential customers to read a funny exchange of comments.
Consider this real example:
“Hi Phil, you are not one of our customers, your wife is one of our competitor’s close friends, why review us 1 star when you have never been, also you passed away 2 years ago Phil.”
I think it is a perfect reply. It clearly states that this is a fake review, but does it in a way that an outside reader can find hilarious.
If this style fits your brand and you get obvious false reviews, go for it!
Here are some more neutral templates to use:
When you understand the principles of Google reviews, you can better assess whether deleting Google reviews is necessary, or if you should do something else to manage online reviews.
Positive reviews are very important for businesses on Google Maps. They can boost the overall rating, while negative reviews can lower it. People often use these reviews to decide which businesses to support.
Positive reviews help build trust and credibility, attracting potential customers. On the other hand, negative reviews can discourage people from visiting a business. Businesses with better reviews tend to attract more customers and do better on Google Maps.
So, it’s important for businesses to maintain positive reviews and address negative feedback to succeed online.
However, don’t be afraid of a few less than 5-star Google reviews. Having a full 5-star overall rating can sometimes appear fake.
According to studies, the best overall rating for business success is between 4.2 and 4.5.
The occasional 3 or 4 stars are good for your credibility and trust.
Public ratings on platforms like Google Maps can greatly affect how people view a business. Good ratings can improve a business’s reputation and sway people’s decisions.
Conversely, bad ratings can have the opposite effect. For instance, a restaurant with high ratings is more likely to attract customers, while a low-rated hotel may find it hard to compete with higher-rated ones.
Businesses can manage public reviews by monitoring and responding to feedback, addressing customer complaints, and actively encouraging positive reviews from satisfied customers. This helps them shape a more positive image and maintain a good reputation.
It’s important that you address Google reviews effectively to maintain a positive public perception.
Do this by responding promptly and professionally to both positive and negative feedback.
Addressing negative feedback by acknowledging the issue, apologizing, and offering a solution can help mitigate the impact of a bad review.
Negative reviews should not be deleted but rather used as an opportunity to showcase exceptional customer service.
Sometimes a customer might leave bad reviews simply because they have no other way to leave feedback to you directly.
To prevent this, you should offer your customers a chance to voice their opinions.
A proactive approach to reviews is also needed because a happy customer probably won’t leave a review unless asked to do so. However, big negative feelings make customers more inclined to leave a Google review unprompted.
Only by constantly asking for more Google reviews and acquiring positive reviews you can ensure that the few negative comments don’t dominate your star rating.
You can easily do this with tools like Trustmary.
You can send Google review requests to your customers automatically with Trustmary’s easy campaign tool, ensuring the best chances of getting new reviews constantly.
The campaign can also separate reviews from constructive feedback with a conditional logic in the review request.
Depending on which star the customer chooses initially, they are forwarded to either leave feedback or write a Google review.
This way, you get the best of both worlds without putting your online reputation at risk.
And if and when you get bad ratings and negative comments, don’t treat them as “leftovers” from your positive Google reviews.
They are actually a very valuable gift from your customers.
They teach you something you would never have learned if the customers didn’t spend a couple of minutes telling you this.
Needless to say, taking feedback seriously and improving your business will automatically lead to a situation where people love your business and give you good reviews.
The review removal process on Google is not straightforward. You can’t count on Google to remove poor reviews, so you need further tools as a business owner to handle your online reputation:
To keep new reviews flowing into your Google Business Profile, you need the right tool.
With Trustmary, you can constantly collect more reviews and keep your online reputation on point. You can also add your positive Google reviews to your website with a stylish widget.
Check out Trustmary App for free from the link below!
How to remove bad reviews from Google My Business?
You cannot remove or hide reviews that someone else has written for your business. All you can do is report a fake review, a review that features inappropriate content, hate speech, or other content that is against Google’s policies. After that, you have to wait and see if Google will actually remove the review. But you can respond to the review and mitigate the reputation damage the fake or negative review might cause.
How to remove a 1-star review on Google?
Just because a review has 1 star is not enough to get it removed. Only if the review can be proven to be fake or if it includes inappropriate language or content, it can be reported to Google.
How to remove photos from Google My Business?
If you want to delete a photo from a review you left, you can delete your own Google review. As a business owner, you cannot delete photos someone has left for your business, but you can report an inappropriate image.