Fake Negative Reviews on Google have become a nightmare for small businesses and business owners as it affects their growth and acceptability in the market.
Violation of Google Guidelines on Posting Review
Fake review on Google is an easy job because anyone can create a new account and write a review no matter whether he was a customer or employee of it.
Most often, violations of guidelines are seldom caught and the posts removed. That is forcing businesses to keep advertising agencies and SEO teams on the prowl to do the hard job of monitoring reviews and taking action to scarp offensive reviews with baseless claims.
Reporting the Matter to Google
Recently, a company had the embarrassment of facing three negative reviews, all posted consecutively in a gap of 5 minutes each.
But businesses know their customers well and are also selective about people they pick up to work. Therefore when a business vouches that someone is not their client there must be some basis.
Another problem is that a person need not be a customer to post a review. Only “customer experience,” is required. That is a misnomer and may range from making an effort to call a business, getting a voicemail or dropping by the office.
Managing the Trouble
When an odd person tried to fiddle with an enterprise’s fame it can be upsetting. But the saner advice is that fake reviews must be addressed with equanimity.
Some business owners have shown the wisdom of sharing such embarrassments in social media such as Twitter and Facebook. One business owner highlighted the plight of fake reviews and was greeted with a phenomenal response of solidarity from social media.
For most businesses, Facebook is more effective than Twitter in sharing such issues.
The positive reviews, that came voluntarily was a natural response from the people who felt bad at besmirching a well-run business.
The Trick of 100 percent Refund
There is a business owner who counters negative reviews by offering 100 percent refund. He says when a review is fake and anonymous, 100 percent of zero will be zero and he has nothing to lose.
Even if a business finds it hard to remove a negative review, responding gently will be grateful. Obviously, nobody can solve the non-existent problem of a fake person.
Google has certain norms even for responding to reviews. One important point is not to sound defensive. Being brief and best in words will be the way to go.
“Hi X (reviewer’s name)
We do take these matters very seriously. However, we have no record or recollection of any customer experience fitting this account, nor can we verify anything about your identity from your name in our records. If you were a client, we would like to investigate this issue further. You can contact *person’s name* immediately at * a company email address* so that we can resolve this issue immediately.
From a best practices angle, if a business owner is really upset at a review and is not in a mood to reply calmly, better not respond, just ignore it.