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How To Deal With Fake Negative Reviews on Google?

In this era of virtual communication, reviews can clearly make or break the deal for any business, be it a huge name in the market, or a small local business barely scraping by. Everybody look for a second opinion and turn to online reviews for direction or a determinant for their choices. While a positive review on Google can take your business to places, a fake negative review can be detrimental to you. A single fake negative review, even if its credibility is questionable, can cause a huge impact on the existing as well as potential customers, hoping to make a decision.
 
The Challenge
  • It is not too hard for one to create a fake review, as anyone who has access to a computer and internet can create a new account and leave a positive or negative review for any business. — regardless of whether you’ve ever tried to hire them. 
  • Even though Google has a multitude of policies for leaving reviews, they are not too strong or smart enough towards addressing any violations of the policies, letting the sly commenters can put out misleading comments and get away easily. 
  • Especially hard to tackle are the low ratings without any review, as Google refuses to identify them violations as there are no texts on them. 
  • The challenge with Google is that it can't differentiate between a customer or a random opinion. Since it is extremely difficult to prove someone’s identity, contending that a particular person is not a customer just because that person gave your business a low rating might not make sense to Google. 
  • Another struggle is that Google does not require a person to be a customer to qualify to leave a review. They just need to have ‘customer experience’, a loose term which can cover anything between not getting the desired response when trying to call to not getting a callback. 
 
The Solution
  • Even though the most natural response which might occur to you might be to ignore the negative comments or retaliate or get defensive. However, it is best if you just calm down relax, and take your next move cautiously. 
  • Remember, your potential customers will not only see the negative comments but will observe how you respond to it. Do not reply in a standardized manner, but rather personalize each reply addressing the specific grievance in question. Focus on problem-solving rather than getting defensive.
  • Share the negative comments in your other social media, addressing the issue about how some people might be actively working to defame your brand. Putting your cards in the table will not only allow you to be vulnerable but will also bring forth your happy customers to your defensive. It will get them talking and will, in fact, do more good than harm, much to the bemusement of the fake reviewers.
  • Assign a team each month to monitoring reviews for your clients and their competitors. Chances are then they have the same cluster of reviewers posting positive reviews for your clients, while they pull down the competitors. If you pay close enough attention, you might be able to make a good case for why the reviews are against the guidelines and have them removed or reported. 
  • Another clever way to deal with fake reviewers is to offer the “customers” a 100% refund. Since they are fake reviewers and have made no purchase from your brand, it is very unlikely that anyone will claim the offer. Meanwhile, your loyal customers, as well as the prospects can see that you are willing to address the negative feedback and come back with a solution. 
 
Google reviews automatically demand credibility and people tend to take the reviews rather seriously. This is the reason, this the route most rival brands to take to defame a particular brand. However, it is important for a business to protect the integrity of your brand furiously, while not disrespecting anybody’s personal opinion. In this world of digital revolution, other people’s opinions, be it in case of Google reviews, feedbacks or testimonials, mean everything and needs to depict a company in a fairly positive light for it earns the trust of the mass.
 

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