‘How do I respond to a negative google review of my business?’ is a really common query we get from businesses. Firstly, in case you’re not sure, you can access your business’ Google reviews from the back of your Google My Business account under the reviews heading. To get access to your Google My Business profile you can follow the steps here – if you’re having trouble the Webfirm team is available to help.



Reporting Bad Reviews

You may want to report a bad Google review to try and get it removed. There are only 5 reasons that you can report a review to Google to ask for it to be removed:

If the review fits one of these descriptions, you can report the review from the console of your Google My Business profile. Unless the review clearly falls into one of these categories, it’s unlikely Google will remove it. 



Best Practices when Responding to Reviews

If someone has left a bad review, it’s best to reply to the review and ask them to contact you through another means (phone or email) to try and resolve their issue. Hopefully you are able to fix the customer’s issue offline and may then be able to ask them to change their review, but don’t ask them to remove it straight off-the-bat in your response to the review. Always try and be empathetic and acknowledge their problem when you write your reply.

Also keep in mind that it’s best practice to respond to all your reviews. This shows potential customers that you care and are accountable, and is a trust signal to Google as well. Google has openly stated that responding to your reviews will improve rankings for relevant search terms. It’s a good idea if possible to add the name and role of the person writing the review response. This also shows accountability and builds trust.

Google Reviews can be a key factor when people are trying to decide between which business to use online. Being aware of your customers experience with your brand and responsive to it will help win new business.



How to Handle Fake Reviews

Often businesses have negative reviews from people they don’t believe were genuine customers. The best thing to do in this case is to respond to the review making it clear that you don’t have a record of this person using your business/service so that others can see that it is not a genuine reflection of your business. You can also try flagging the review as ‘not relevant to this place’, but we haven’t seen this work often in the past. As always, be understanding and ask them for more information so you can try and understand their issue, and apologise even though it probably wasn’t your fault. It’s possible the review won’t be removed so it’s best to show other potential customers your high standards of customer service.

Another tactic which you should be using whether you currently have any bad reviews or not is to actively ask your customers for reviews. If you really are providing a good product/service then any bad or fake reviews will soon be buried by positive reviews from happy customers.



Negative Review Response Template

Hi [Customer Name],

Thanks for taking the time to give us feedback. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t have a good experience with [Problem]. We’d like to make sure this doesn’t happen again, so if you could give us a call on [Phone Number] I’d be more than happy to chat about the problem further and resolve your issue.

[Your Name] | [Role]


You can use this as a template/idea of how to respond, but I’d suggest you make each review response original to show you’re tuning into the feedback your customers or clients are giving you. Make sure you tailor this to your industry, for example in a negative review for a retail store you’ll want to reference the specific product.

If you’d like to know more about how you can use Google My Business to build your online presence and get more customers, shimmy over to our blog post on building a successful local SEO campaign.

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