Bad Google reviews are bad for your online business. They negatively influence your online reputation and purchase decision of the potential customers. As a result, you lose both credibility and sales. There are just two ways to deal with negative reviews. Either you have to delete bad Google reviews or prevent it.
Once a review is posted on any platform it is very difficult to remove it. The only thing you can do is prevent them as much as possible. In this blog post, we are going to list 10 ways to prevent negative Google reviews.
1. Improve the quality of your products and services
No matter how good your digital marketing campaign and online reputation management efforts are, you can’t survive competition unless and until you have quality products and services. Improving the quality of products and services is a must. Only then, your online marketing makes sense.
Customers leave negative reviews for many reasons. A potential customer can ignore a negative review written due to late delivery, but he won’t overlook the reviews that say the quality of the product or service is not up to the mark. Hence, your marketing journey begins with having above average quality products and services.
2. Provide all the necessary information
Lack of information is the leading cause of bad Google reviews. Write detailed product descriptions. Customer cannot hold the product in hand and have a look, so you should be giving all the necessary information so that the customer takes a well-informed purchase decision.
What happens if full information is not provided? Customers buy the product with half knowledge. As a result, they are more likely to get unpleasant surprises when the product is delivered. Here is an example. If you are selling a ceiling fan, you have to specify the details such as RPM, Power input, operating voltage, bearings, sweep, etc.
3. Matchup to expectations
Making tall promises is one of the biggest mistakes that business owners make. Tall promises encourage customers to have high expectations. And when these expectations are not taken care, they get disappointed and leave a negative Google review.
A business interaction does not end after the sale. In fact, it begins after the sales. After buying a product from you, a customer uses it. If the product is good, he will continue buying from you, which improves customer loyalty. Further, when a customer is satisfied, he is more likely to recommend your products and services to others. That is how your reputation is formed.
So, it makes sense to make practical promises, which you can fulfil. In the long run, it establishes trust and lowers the risk of getting negative reviews.
4. Be punctual
Nobody likes to wait.
If you offer products, make sure they are delivered at the right time. Most of the time, delivery time matters. That is because people order products for various reasons such as birthday, anniversary, or some other event. If you deliver late, then it is going to spoil the entire plan. In the end, the ordered item will have no purpose. The customer will be left with no option other than cancelling it and writing a negative review.
If you offer services, make sure you call them at the right time. For instance, if you give an appointment of 5 PM, the service should begin at 5 PM. Start the session at the right time, and finish it at the right time. Any delay caused for any reason can end up you getting a negative review on review platforms.
5. Gather feedbacks
Here is what Bill Gates said
– “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
It actually makes sense. If you know why your customers are unhappy, you can fix it and make them happy. In other words, it is an opportunity to evolve your business. Directly asking the feedback is not the only way to obtain feedback. There are some other methods too. Below we are listing some.
- Read both good and bad online reviews
- Send follow up emails with a link to a feedback page
- Take the help of SMS surveys
- Read or listen recorded and saved online interaction
- Post a link to feedback page on social media
6. Fix the issue
Is it possible to delete bad Google reviews? Yes, it is quite possible. There are only two ways to get rid of negative Google reviews.
- Check whether a bad review has violated any review guidelines. If yes, flag them. Google will remove it. This might take a little time but works every time. But what if a negative review does not violate any guidelines? Read the next point.
- Since only the person who has posted the bad Google review can remove it, you have to please him. But how? There is no better way of pleasing other than solving his issue. When the problem is resolved, the customer has no reason to be mad at you. He or she will more likely convert the bad review into a good one.
7. Help the customer in decision making
The saddest part of online reputation management is that wrong decision of the customer also lead to bad reviews.
Here is an example.
Consider a customer buys a camera by seeing ratings. He finds that the camera is not able to capture quality images in the low light. What does he do? He will straight away go to a review site and post a bad review saying, this camera is bad when it is dark.
Clearly, the customer has taken the wrong decision. He should have bought a low light photography camera such as Nikon D7200. It is wrong to buy a basic camera and expect pro features.
This can be solved by helping the customer in decision making. Ask them why do they need a camera and what features they are looking for? Based on that suggest some cameras and explain the features of each one. Create the content on below topics.
- Best cameras that fit in your budget
- Top cameras to begin photography
- Guide for buying the lens
- Types of cameras, etc.
8. Dominate your Google 10
Do this activity. Google your business name and see what you get in the first ten search results. Do you see any search results with negative content? If yes, that is going to harm your business. When a potential customer finds negative content, they are more likely to mention it while writing a negative review.
In order to solve this issue, you have to dominate your Google 10. In other words, you should decide what your customers are going to see when they google your business name. This can be done by creating high-quality content in high quantity. That is, write blogs, create infographics, make videos, create a Tumblr account, sponsor industry events, etc. under your business name.
Doing so will push down the negative content to the second or third page. The advantage of ranking negative content beyond the second page is that they get very less traffic. In other words, hardly any internet user visits Google’s second page.
9. Follow up the customers
Many business owners think following up the customers is a waste of time and energy. However, the fact is that it is one of the effective best practices in online reputation management. How following up the customer avoids the negative online review? Let us answer this with an example.
Consider that you sell wrist watches. A customer purchased a wrist watch from you. Immediately after the sales, you should follow up with the customer and ask whether he or she is facing any issues. If there is an issue resolve it then and there.
What happens if you do not follow up? In this case, the customer is more likely to leave a negative review on review sites or post a bad tweet, which harms your online reputation and makes it difficult to attract new customers.
10. Develop a plan B
One bad review can become a source of several bad reviews. Further, if something goes wrong, you are more likely to be flooded by bad reviews. So, it makes sense to create a plan for a bad event. This plan should be able to answer the below questions.
- How should I react?
- How should I minimize the damage?
- What is the cause of the problem?
- How the issue can be fixed quickly?
- Should I call online reputation management experts?
What if you do not have a plan to tackle the difficult event? In that case, you will panic. And in panic, you are more likely to do more harm than the problem itself. So, it is better to keep things planned.
These are the ways by which you can avoid negative online reviews. Being said that, one cannot fully avoid negative reviews. They are inevitable. No matter, what steps you take, which online reputation management company you contact, how good your products and services are, and how experienced you are, you will get negative reviews. The problem arises only when the number of bad reviews are significant.