How to get rid of bad google places reviews?

25 replies
Hiya Offliners,

Just a quick question......

I am about to go and grab dinner (Sat night fish & chips, yummo)

I had to look up the phone number for the local fish and chip shops and they have a barrage of bad reviews.

The entrepreneur in me sees this as an opportunity :p

Is there a way to get rid of bad google places reviews OR what would be a strategy to gain this business as a client

My immediate thoughts are that they should run some kind of promotion and ask for reviews on google places? Obviously this business needs to pick up its game ... the reviews do have a point it is a little expensive.

The other issue is perhaps they need some kind of process in place to receive complaints as opposed to the customers just posted on google places

Anyway just wanted to hear some thoughts on this

I am off to pick up my fish and chips

Love Emma
#bad #google #places #reviews #rid
  • Profile picture of the author rbrShorty
    Emma,

    Here are some personal answers:

    "Is there a way to get rid of bad google places reviews" - nop, the only thing that could be done is to report them as inappropriate but this works in less than 1% of the cases + as you state the reviews seem to be real and appropriate, so this would not really work

    "they should run some kind of promotion and ask for reviews on google places?" - good idea, but I'd suggest not to focus simply on Google Places, as urbanspoon, truelocal, menulog, menufeast would also be a good choice for an Australia-based business. Of course Google reviews would be very important, but from holistic reputation management POV the others I mentioned + a few more could also be valuable.

    "they need some kind of process in place to receive complaints as opposed to the customers just posted on google places" - also true, easier feedback opportunities would work great, either in the restaurant itself (surveys, complaint book, etc), or on their website (feedback form, survey form, etc)

    In addition to the these, I'd recommend that appropriate answers are being given to all the negative reviews. Facing the problem and trying to resolve it, while showing concern publicly is a great way to deal with the possible negative impact.

    Cheers,
    Nyagoslav
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    • Originally Posted by rbrShorty View Post

      Emma,

      Here are some personal answers:

      "Is there a way to get rid of bad google places reviews" - nop, the only thing that could be done is to report them as inappropriate but this works in less than 1% of the cases + as you state the reviews seem to be real and appropriate, so this would not really work

      "they should run some kind of promotion and ask for reviews on google places?" - good idea, but I'd suggest not to focus simply on Google Places, as urbanspoon, truelocal, menulog, menufeast would also be a good choice for an Australia-based business. Of course Google reviews would be very important, but from holistic reputation management POV the others I mentioned + a few more could also be valuable.

      "they need some kind of process in place to receive complaints as opposed to the customers just posted on google places" - also true, easier feedback opportunities would work great, either in the restaurant itself (surveys, complaint book, etc), or on their website (feedback form, survey form, etc)

      In addition to the these, I'd recommend that appropriate answers are being given to all the negative reviews. Facing the problem and trying to resolve it, while showing concern publicly is a great way to deal with the possible negative impact.

      Cheers,
      Nyagoslav
      Awesome suggestions. You mentioned you'd be "picking up" your fish and chips... I'd like to add putting a 5x7 card in the order bag to remind the customer to submit feedback would work well. They could also offer a weekly draw for every "suggestion" submitted. Asking for suggestions is better than asking for complaints.
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  • Profile picture of the author k60mall
    HI Emma

    First of all you want to find out if the business actually knows they have bad reviews on Google, then offer to help them get pushed down onto the second page where most people wouldn't look.

    I agree with rbrShorty that you should get reviews on the other sites he mentioned but as the maps listing is normally the first thing they see it's important to sort that out first.

    I would advise the shop owner to ask for reviews by giving out review cards maybe offering some sort of intensive to fill the reviews in and place in a box.

    This will do two things..

    1. The shop owner will get an idea of where he is going wrong and be able to rectify them

    2. He will have good reviews from real people you could post to Google using different user accounts.

    Keith
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    First thing I'd look at is the owners attitude towards the negative reviews. I'd also look at WHY the reviews are negative and can the business make changes to address and fix the reason for the reviews.

    If the owner is unwilling or doesn't care then don't bother as you'll never prevent negative reviews from showing up on Google, and you'd have to ask yourself if you want to be associated with a business who doesn't care. Some do, some don't believe it or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author Review Notfier
    For example Google Maps there are a few things you can do:
    1. Report the review as inappropriate it if is
    2. Click on the reviewers user name to see if their is a pattern of negative reviews only and if so report the user
    3. If it is a genuine bad review report the review as not helpful and have the business owner respond directly to the review as soon as possible
    4. After the business owner has responded find a way to get more positive reviews

    My company provides an application that automatically emails them every time someone posts a review for rapid response and these are the steps we encourage them to take.

    The same principle works with just about any review website.
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  • Profile picture of the author SpankinNewbie
    Originally Posted by Rande View Post

    Hiya Offliners,

    My immediate thoughts are that they should run some kind of promotion and ask for reviews on google places?
    Its a bad idea to "bribe" people to give reviews. They should come naturally. A company with bad reviews who suddenly gets great reviews will throw up a flag and a sudden increase in the number of reviews will also.

    You may get lucky and the owner doesn't have a clue what is online and hires you on the spot. If so you can utilize some of the great recommendations given here.

    Bottom line: The way to get rid of a bad review is with about 10 good ones.

    SpankinNewbie
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  • Profile picture of the author sharkey
    I agree with Russ that gauging the company's attitude/response to bad reviews is important.

    I know you're asking for feedback on if fixing it is even possible, but if you decide to set up a business around it then keep that in the back of your mind and incorporate how to deal with that in your business plan. I watch a lot of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares and half the time when the restaurant owner is confronted with a slew of bad reviews on Yelp/google places/citysearch/urban spoon, etc, instead of seeing it as an opportunity to change/get better, they think it's people out to get them and don't see it as important or don't understand that people actually read those, so educating them should be part of your strategy as well.

    (check you tube for the Kitchen Nightmares Burger Kitchen episode for a great owner in denial )

    Also, just as an aside, most restaurants with lots of bad reviews are usually on their way out and not being run well and may not have the money to hire you for your services - so that is also something else to consider.
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  • Profile picture of the author DP55
    I actually run a service/interface which gets the clients good reviews on Google Places, Trip Advisor and any other sites (all legitimate) without the need for bribery or faking reviews. It covers up bad reviews, improves rankings and my clients are happy.

    Best of all, depending on the client, I can get up to $1k/month from each client. Small clients get charged much less for obvious reasons.

    I half considered coaching a small number of people the creation of these systems but I'm on the fence...

    Many owners don't understand what these bad reviews do until you give them a free trial which brings in good reviews and they go :O
    Older business owners (the ones who think the internet is some kind of voodoo) are the hardest to persuade but they soon come to their senses. Places like hotels and restaurants always have people checking reviews. I don't stay or eat anywhere without checking reviews - a couple of bad reviews and they've lost my business.
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  • Profile picture of the author teemoney
    not sure about getting them removed...but you can always ask customers to leave good reviews

    Tee
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  • Profile picture of the author Jerry Williamson
    One of the businesses I own is a florist and a large percentage of my orders come from people saying that we have the best Google reviews in the city. I just wish I could figure out a way to solicit more reviews and make it easy for my customers to leave those reviews. Anyone have any ideas on that?
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    • Profile picture of the author jspmedia
      Originally Posted by TeamworxProductions View Post

      One of the businesses I own is a florist and a large percentage of my orders come from people saying that we have the best Google reviews in the city. I just wish I could figure out a way to solicit more reviews and make it easy for my customers to leave those reviews. Anyone have any ideas on that?
      put links to google places, yelp and other review sites on your web site..or make small tent cards with QR code to hand out to happy customers..make sure they are happy with you and they should willing to leave few good words for you..you might give them some discount next order or something as well...
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      • Profile picture of the author DP55
        Originally Posted by jspmedia View Post

        put links to google places, yelp and other review sites on your web site..or make small tent cards with QR code to hand out to happy customers..make sure they are happy with you and they should willing to leave few good words for you..you might give them some discount next order or something as well...
        You have to be really careful as there's laws against that. You can't offer discount or freebies in return for a good review. If you do, it has to state in the review that they were rewarded for the review.

        It's a tricky game - it requires a decent ORM system in place.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Jerry Williamson View Post

      One of the businesses I own is a florist and a large percentage of my orders come from people saying that we have the best Google reviews in the city. I just wish I could figure out a way to solicit more reviews and make it easy for my customers to leave those reviews. Anyone have any ideas on that?
      Have a tablet right by the cashier on your google places page. They could do it right there! Offer 10% off for doing it!
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      • Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        Have a tablet right by the cashier on your google places page. They could do it right there! Offer 10% off for doing it!
        Both having a review station (getting reviews from same IP) and offering any kind of incentive for reviews, violates the guidelines and can get you in trouble. At times in the past Google has blocked or deleted all reviews when they catch someone.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chettogi
        Warning !!! If Google or serps pick up that the reviews are all coming in from the same IP address, they could be picked up by the algos as SPAM and then not show up at all or even worst the listing taken down. OUCH!
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    • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
      Originally Posted by Jerry Williamson View Post

      One of the businesses I own is a florist and a large percentage of my orders come from people saying that we have the best Google reviews in the city. I just wish I could figure out a way to solicit more reviews and make it easy for my customers to leave those reviews. Anyone have any ideas on that?
      You and your staff should be talking to the customers after making the sale or after delivery and asking them how things went... If it was a positive experience, then ask them to leave a review online. Also, from flyers with the right full URL or QR code to post reviews to online links, you can set up a system to facilitate their reviews.

      To OP:

      The business has to be, or become, worthy of good reviews and then ask for reviews from actual customers... Also, some customers will post good reviews on their own.

      Then, those reviews push the bad reviews down the page. A lot of people do read only above the fold.

      I've managed my hotel for two years now and do get a lot of feedback from customers that they have read the online reviews and decided to try us because the reviews have been mostly very positive since I started managing. (Not much I can do with people who want
      the Ritz, or a brand new building, for our prices.)

      Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Why not create such an outstanding experience for the customer that they actually "think" to leave a review all on their own.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jagged
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      Why not create such an outstanding experience for the customer that they actually "think" to leave a review all on their own.
      There is your answer! To bad most business owners won't go that extra mile to make that happen.
      A restaurant or service business with bad reviews usually deserve to get them by putting out a par or sub-par product or service and charging above par prices for it.....people see right through it most times. I agree there are some reviews that are unwarranted....when thats the case the owner needs to get involved and answer those...and answer them honestly......trying to flood "solicited reviews" only puts a bandaid on the problem.

      ~Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author syncjam
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      Why not create such an outstanding experience for the customer that they actually "think" to leave a review all on their own.
      Because unfortunately, a lot of people will only leave a review because they are pissed with service!!


      AND, some (good) owners don't even realize there are random bad reviews and therefore don't resolve them.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        You are totally wrong. Many people leave reviews that are positive to help others make a decision about using a business. So to say that people only leave reviews because they are pissed is misleading.

        Many positive reviews are also giving suggestions for improvements the business can make to a product or service even though they had a positive experience.

        You're just making an preconceived assumption not based on any fact or statistical data.

        Originally Posted by syncjam View Post

        Because unfortunately, a lot of people will only leave a review because they are pissed with service!!


        AND, some (good) owners don't even realize there are random bad reviews and therefore don't resolve them.
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        • Profile picture of the author bad golfer
          Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

          You are totally wrong. Many people leave reviews that are positive to help others make a decision about using a business. So to say that people only leave reviews because they are pissed is misleading.

          Many positive reviews are also giving suggestions for improvements the business can make to a product or service even though they had a positive experience.

          You're just making an preconceived assumption not based on any fact or statistical data.
          Truth:

          "In fact, the majority of reviews on the site are positive. Three-quarters of all TripAdvisor reviews are rated “very good” or “excellent”, and the average rating on TripAdvisor is just over four out of a possible five.

          It’s also important to note that – according to this traveler survey – the number one reason travelers cite for writing a hotel review is to “share a good experience with other travelers”."

          More Evidence That Majority of Online Reviews are Positive : Small Business Search Marketing

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        • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
          Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

          You are totally wrong. Many people leave reviews that are positive to help others make a decision about using a business. So to say that people only leave reviews because they are pissed is misleading.

          Many positive reviews are also giving suggestions for improvements the business can make to a product or service even though they had a positive experience.

          You're just making an preconceived assumption not based on any fact or statistical data.
          Exactly right.

          In the case of the hotel I manage, we run about 90% positive reviews on TripAdvisor, hotels.com, google, expedia, yelp, and booking.com. Negatives occur when people would prefer a new hotel, not a 1964 built one, or a high end hotel experience at our price.
          I don't market us as anything other than what we are, and the service level/services
          we can offer. The people with these kind of complaints did not do their research, or don't have realistic expectations for a small hotel in a small town (we can't staff like a large hotel
          in a larger resort town or a big city.

          Other negatives occur when people are, I think, passive aggressive. They are afraid to "confront", even though I never bite. (Probably have had bad experiences in the past when "complaining".) They do not contact me or a staff member, leave, and then go post a negative review. Most times I could have solved their problem in about two minutes or less, offered a different room, or a no hassle discount.

          A big reason, and this applies to almost any business, that we have so many positive reviews is that we try to match with the ideal or target customer and provide the best experience we can for how we can staff:

          Realistic in our marketing, and on target with pricing in our area and for the season.

          We are family friendly, and have a bunch of policies to try to keep it that way. From pool hours, quiet time hours, to smoking policies(pot and tobacco now that pot is legal in Colorado).

          Partiers and people who want to gamble in the casino towns are discouraged.

          Also, I never go to low on price and that seems to weed out a disrespectful element.

          And, I don't do long term stays as those who do that here tend to live like it's their apartment, not a family friendly hotel.
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  • Profile picture of the author Code Weaver
    u cannot have them removed unless they decide the comment is abusive etc... but u can have ur customers leave good ones or better yet hire someone from sites like fiverr to leave positive one for you
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    customers leaving bad reviews want to be heard and validated. If you don't catch them early or give them an opportunity to vent, they'll do it online somewhere.

    Biz owners should really encourage feedback on the spot or make it really easy for customers to give anonymous feedback direct to the establishment rather than 3rd party sites.

    Biz owners should also be happy for negative feedback so they have an oppty to fix things. Most people don't say a word and just never come back, as well as tell 10 friends about their bad experience.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, applies here.

    Make it easy and anonymous for your customers to complain to YOU and not on 3rd party sites.
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