Who Is Writing Bad Reviews on Google and What to Do About It

Look, we all know how important online reviews are for a business. Nowadays, customers are looking to reviews more than ever to see how businesses function and whether or not they’re even worth giving their money to. So when potential customers search for your business on Google, what they see in the reviews can significantly impact their decision to choose your services—especially if those reviews are negative.

But who’s writing bad reviews on Google? And what can you do about them? Well, if you keep reading, that’s exactly what we’re going to do as we explain who they are and what you can do to maintain your online reputation.

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How Bad Reviews Affect Small Businesses

Before we explore who’s behind those bad reviews, let’s understand how these reviews impact your business. According to BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey, 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses before ever purchasing any product or service. That’s a significant number—especially when it comes to small businesses—if you consider that 46% of consumers treat online reviews as personal recommendations from family and friends.

Negative reviews can drive potential customers away, as people are less likely to trust a business with a poor online reputation. These reviews can deter customers who might have otherwise chosen your services, leading to missed opportunities for growth.

Consistently negative reviews can hurt your business’s visibility on search engines as well, making it harder for potential customers to find you. Google considers reviews as a ranking factor, so a negative reputation can impact your search ranking, further reducing visibility.

Most importantly, negative reviews can have a direct impact on your bottom line. If negative reviews drive potential customers away, then fewer customers equals less revenue. Negative reviews can lead to financial losses and hinder the growth of your business. It’s not just about reputation; it’s about your business’s survival.

Also see: How to Respond to Negative Reviews

Bad Reviews From Dissatisfied Customers

One of the most common sources of negative Google reviews is dissatisfied customers. No business is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, some customers, when unhappy with their experience, might choose to express their frustration online.

Here’s what to do about bad reviews from actual customers:

  • Respond: The first step you can take is to engage with the customer’s concerns by responding to any bad reviews right away. Acknowledge the issue and express your commitment to making it right. A thoughtful response shows potential customers that you care about their satisfaction and are willing to address issues.
  • Follow Up Offline: Offer to discuss the problem privately, offline, or through direct messaging. This shows your willingness to address their concerns and resolve the issue in a more personalized manner. It also allows you to maintain privacy and professionalism.
  • Try to Make It Right: If possible, resolve the issue to the customer’s satisfaction. Afterward, kindly ask if they would consider revising their review. A happy customer may be willing to update their review to reflect the positive resolution, helping restore your reputation. It’s one thing for a business to say that the customer was helped; future customers want to hear from the customer in question themselves to learn what was done with their concerns.

Bad Reviews From Former Employees

Sometimes, bad reviews can come from former employees who might hold a grudge or want to tarnish your business’s reputation. These reviews often contain off-topic content and may not be an accurate reflection of your business.

If you have a former employee who is writing bad reviews on Google, take to doing the following:

  • Report to Google: Google has guidelines against off-topic reviews. You can report these reviews through Google’s platform, explaining the situation and requesting their removal. Taking action against such reviews can help maintain the integrity of your online reputation and protect your business from disgruntled former employees.

Also see: How to Delete a Google Review

Bad Reviews From Competitors

Believe it or not, some of the negative reviews you receive may come from competitors who want to gain an edge by tarnishing your business. Competitors’ reviews can be just as harmful as those from customers, and they are typically considered a conflict of interest according to Google guidelines.

When faced with competitors who are writing bad reviews on Google, try this:

  • Report to Google: Notify Google when you get a review from a suspected competitor by providing evidence that they are coming from competitors. Google takes these reports seriously and may even remove these reviews. Protect your business from unethical competition and maintain your online reputation in one go to ensure a level playing field.

Maintain Your Online Reputation with Broadly

In the battle against negative reviews, Broadly can be your ally. Our platform provides tools and services to help you manage your online reputation effectively. With Broadly, you can:

  • Monitor Reviews: Stay on top of customer feedback from various platforms, including Google, and respond promptly. By staying vigilant, you can address issues before they escalate, showing that you are proactive about customer satisfaction.
  • Boost SEO: Enhance your online visibility and search engine rankings to attract more potential customers. Strong SEO practices can help ensure that your business is easily discoverable, increasing your reach.
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction: Identify areas for improvement based on feedback and enhance your services. By continually improving, you can reduce the likelihood of negative reviews in the first place, ensuring long-term success.

Don’t let negative reviews control your online reputation. Take control and start managing your business’s image effectively with Broadly, ensuring your business’s continued growth and success.

Ready to boost your online reputation? Try Broadly for your business with our 30-Day Free Trial and discover how we can help you strengthen your online presence and attract more customers.

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