As a business, regardless of whether you are online or brick-and-mortar, earning an excellent reputation on Google is a great way to drive sales and revenue. When your Google Business reviews are positive, people will be much more likely to visit your store or website. On the other hand, having negative reviews is one of the quickest ways to scare traffic away.
While you are working hard every day to grow and improve your business, there are unfortunately people (or maybe even competitor companies) who are out to tear your business down. One of the most common ways of doing so is by leaving fake reviews on your Google My Business profile. These fake reviews are, of course, negative reviews.
Deciding what to do with these fake reviews can be a daunting task. Do you respond? Do you contact Google to have them removed, hopefully? It all depends. Each specific Google review should be handled case-by-case, but there are a few general procedures to follow. Let's take a look at how to handle fake reviews on Google.
#1: Relax Yes, this is step one. If you try to act shortly after receiving the review, you might be writing out of anger. Before doing anything, take a deep breath and relax. #2: Analyze First, you need to see if this review is fake or not. In some cases, it will be apparent through the content of the Google review. If it isn't, check through your company data to see if an actual client left the Google review or not. If a real client indeed left it, gather as much information as you can about the interaction. What did they buy? Which of your employees engaged with him/her? Learning more about the customer will help you respond accordingly. If a real client didn't leave it, then you know it's fake (obviously). #3: Respond Regardless of whether the review is real or not, it's now time to respond. If an actual customer left the Google review, then your response will be working toward hopefully retaining a customer. If the Google review is fake, your answer will serve as proof that your company takes negative feedback seriously, cares about the customer, and will do everything possible to make things better.
If it is indeed a fake review, it's now time to flag the Google review for possible removal. At the top of the review listing, you'll see a flag icon on the top right. Click on this icon, and you'll be directed to a new page confirming your request. Select the type of violation you believe the review is, and then submit for review.
The time it takes for Google's team to respond varies. However, they only respond if they have information to share or need more information from you.