I received a call from a friend in a panic. They asked me how to deal with a negative google review they’d missed. Their business had received a one-star negative google review, but it was worse than that. Someone posted the review two months ago, and they missed it. So, if this happens to you, what can you do?

First, take a deep breath. If you care about your organization, then a one-star review sits in the pit of your stomach and gnaws at you because you care. Here’s where you start.

How to Deal With a Negative Google Review You Missed  

  1. Apologize for taking so long to respond. Explain you didn’t have a system to check reviews. Tell them that because of this, you’re putting in a system to check daily. (And then put someone in charge of checking daily).
  2. Apologize. Do not be defensive or give excuses. Show empathy, put yourself in their shoes, and apologize for their experience.
  3. Acknowledge their frustration. For example, “I’d be frustrated if this happened to me.”
  4. Thank them. Let them know that the only way to be a better provider is to know when you’re not meeting client needs. Thank them for sharing.
  5. Invite them to communicate with you. Let them know you want their input because you want to make amends. Give them a name and contact information. When they call, offer to meet with them virtually or in person, so you can learn from them and improve your business.
  6. Be sure you follow up. Even if they don’t respond, give it a few days and follow up by thanking them again.

Correct the issue

Whatever the basis of the poor review, look at it as helpful information to improve your business. Gather your team, brainstorm procedures and policies to avoid the issue, implement your plan, train it, and follow through.

Have a system to respond to all reviews and stay on top of it 

My friend and their business had a system. However, the person who received the notifications left the company and the reviews were was never forwarded to another employee.

Seek positive reviews from happy customers 

When a customer or client compliments your business, ask for a review. Do not risk Google jail by offering any type of incentive other than your thanks. I also wouldn’t recommend indiscriminately asking every customer for a review.

Know how review sites work

Not all review sites are the same, so it’s important to know how they work, not only for you, but so you can help customers. Not every happy customer who would like to leave a positive review about your business knows how to. So, take the time to create a brief document you can share about how to leave a review.

Understand that there are fake reviews

I once had a competitor leave a defamatory review about a company I worked with. I contacted the site, and they took it down. Keep your eye out for fake reviews, and if you find one, let the site know.

See the good in a bad review

A poor review can lead to improvements, and it’s an opportunity for transparency. Consumers are more influenced by a business that fixes their mistakes than by one that makes none. Responding positively and publicly to a poor review builds trust in consumers.

Don’t hide poor reviews for your employees

If you want to improve your business, then your team needs to know where improvement lies. My friend’s business shared the poor review in their employee-only newsletter along with a note of how it was being resolved.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

So, does your business have a management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Lala Azizli on Unsplash