Are bad online reviews removable?
E-commerce business is the current trend, especially after the pandemic hit. Majority of the online businesses platforms which includes retail services, online marketplaces, online goods and services provided the option of reviewing a certain product or service, mainly containing the afterthought of purchasing online.
Hence, online reviews can be powerful influencing the online business owners, especially those in the tourism and service industries. Consumer’s opinion can cause an incredible impact on the other customers. It is essential to know how the reviews and the corresponding platforms work to maintain the positive public reputation.
Are bad reviews removable?
The short answer to this is a no. There are no current methods that are able to remove negative reviews from the online platforms such as Google, Yelp or Tripadvisor. However, that does not mean there’s nothing the business owners can do about it!
What about those “reputation management” companies who claimed to remove bad reviews as a service?
In simpler words, those companies are a scam. Those top review sites which includes Google, TripAdvisor, Yelp and many more hinge their credibility on delivering honest, unedited reviews. Some of the platforms would even blacklist the users that try to exploit the review system by writing fake reviews or paying someone to boost the reviews unfairly.
Although bad reviews can’t be removed, but it can be managed
Sometimes, it is hard to please everyone especially when you’re managing a hectic business. There is no perfection in all the businesses and bad reviews help owners to realise the mistakes and correct them. Once you receive a bad review for the business, you should at least reply to a consumer’s complaint to avoid giving the impression that the business simply doesn’t care about consumer’s feelings or feedback.
Be responsive instead of reactive
It is crucial for a business owner to respond and monitor online reviews, no matter the good or bad ones. This is to build a better connection with the customer by giving context to their comments.
Although it is undeniably that business owners may come across certain full blown assaults to the business’s integrity or reputation, one can always control their response when things got out of control.
Instead of reacting defensively, try to apply the “customers are always right” mentality and offer an honest apology since most of the bad reviews often result from customers that wish to be heard. Another good way to respond is to present options for customers in order to mend fences and show care.
For example, these options would be refunding money, offering coupons for future visits or promise to fix the related issues and more. This is to show that you are a responsible business owner that is willing to own up the mistakes and go the extra mile to avoid them in the future.
Questions are allowed
There are some reviewers that might report false information about your business and most review platforms do provide the option to flag the review as inappropriate, but it will take some time for the platform to react.
The best course of action if you encounter such comments is to ask questions back. For instance, “who was the waitress?”, “which room did you stay in?”, “when was your appointment” and many more.
By doing that, it proves that you paid attention to the accusations and would like more information to remedy the unpleasant situation. This should, of course, proceed with an empathetic comment such as “we’re sorry for what happened?”, “we’re really sorry you feel that way” to avoid sounding too abrasive.
Take multiple approaches
Beside the aforementioned response, another best approach to bad reviews is to bury the bad ones with the better ones. Try to put up a plan that suggests customers to leave online reviews after every interaction or transaction. This helps to increase the number of customers to participate in the reviewing process and hence, resulting in gaining more positive reviews.
In a nutshell, there is no guarantee that bad reviews would not impact the business sales but one can always change the reader’s mindset by acknowledging, thanking, empathy and responding to reviews, especially the bad ones.