By on

Online Reputation Management

Low ratings and negative reviews can drive customers away. So what’s a business owner to do? Here at ReviewTrackers, we often get asked these sorts of questions. How do you clean up your reputation online when you’re not even the one leaving marks and blemishes? How do you remove bad reviews? Is it even possible?

(Check out: “Are Online Critics and Negative Reviewers Secretly Loyal Fans in Disguise? You’ll Be Surprised”)

We recently came across an example of this dilemma on Mike Blumenthal’s blog. It’s about a funeral home with only one review on its Google+ page. The review happens to be really negative. (See screenshot below.) Which means it has the potential to completely break the business. In fact, Mike saw it fit to describe the devastating review as the “review from hell,” while also leaving an open question to readers about what to do when a crisis like this happens. Read on for our list of tips and suggestions.

Online Reputation Management Tips: What to Do After Getting a Really Bad Review

Don’t sue. If you read the end of Mike’s post, he wonders whether or not this is a case in which legal action might be recommended. Hmm: we’re not sure that’s a good idea, or at least don’t consider filing a lawsuit as your first option. The recent highly publicized case of a business owner suing a negative Yelp reviewer ended in a draw, and you also have to consider the possibility that legal action can financially and emotionally drain you.

Respond. An extremely negative and unfair review can hurt and drive people away. But there are ways to minimize the possibility of that happening. If you respond politely, professionally, and promptly, it’s likely that readers will see through the unhappy customer’s words and give you the benefit of the doubt.

Generate positive reviews. Don’t try so hard figuring out how to delete a bad Google review. Instead, come up with ways to create new positive ones. Here’s a list of ethical ways to do just that. (Promise us you won’t buy fake reviews, okay?) Also, did you know that you, as a business, can review other businesses on Google+ Local? You can. And if that’s the case, you can come up with creative ways to get other business owners to leave reviews on your page, too.

Reach out to your fans. If you feel like a critic is out to get you, then it’s time to engage your fans and encourage them to stand up for you. Nothing says “I run a great business” than a bunch of actual customers vouching for you. To save time, you can use ReviewTrackers’ review request tool to make the process of requesting customer feedback faster, simpler, and more streamlined than ever.

Migs Bassig

Migs is the Content Manager for ReviewTrackers. He's a creative writer who has helped numerous companies communicate more effectively online, and he loves sharing his local marketing knowledge to help brands and business succeed.