Online reviews have completely changed the way people shop for goods and services. Purchases once blindly made after looking at a few photos and reading a product description are now heavily researched. And Google reviews are a big part of how buyers get the information that influences their decisions.
If you’re wondering whether or not your customers are reading reviews, they are. 9 out of 10 customers consult online reviews before buying. What’s even more impressive is that these users believe what they read. 75% of people say they trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.
Google is, of course, the most used review aggregator site with about 63% of people preferring the search giant for purchasing advice. And the data shows that most users won’t patronize a business with less than four stars on its Google My Business page!
So what happens if you get a bad Google review? The best action you can take is to publicly respond and try to diffuse the situation. Your hope is that the reviewer tones down their original post or removes the post from your Google My Business page. But that doesn’t always happen.
Whether you’re dealing with an unreasonable person, a completely fake review or an isolated incident, sometimes you just need to know how to delete a Google review.
But can businesses delete Google reviews? Yes... but only in certain circumstances. There are three methods for removing a Google review.
Method #1: Respond to the review
As much as you’re wishing for a big red “DELETE” button on your Google My Business dashboard, there isn’t one. If you’ve received a problematic review, the best place to start is the source. With review issues, your source is the person who wrote the review. And the best way to engage that person is to respond publicly.
Communicating with an upset reviewer isn’t easy and usually takes a bit of humility to do well. Still, with the proper guidance, your response can inspire your critic to improve or delete the Google review completely.
No matter the scenario, keep your responses calm and polite. Avoid getting personal or going on the defensive. The more professional and kind your answer, the more likely they’ll remove the Google review.
This is our step-by-step guide for addressing bad reviews and encouraging reviewers to change or delete a Google review.
- Apologize: Tell the customer you’re sorry for what happened and that they were negatively affected, even if you disagree with their version of events.
- Empathize: Let them know you understand their frustration and would feel the same way.
- Solve: Offer solutions to their problems or concerns. Include your contact information to encourage them to take the conversation off Google and onto phone, email, or another one-on-one communication form.
- Follow-through: Do what you promise promptly.
- Make amends: Once you’ve resolved their problem(s), ask if they will reconsider or remove their Google review in exchange for you fixing the problem.
Having a conversation will reverse a bad Google review most of the time. But sometimes, mediation simply doesn’t work. In those cases, you need to know how to contact Google reviews to have the post removed.
Method #2: Flag the review
If communicating with the reviewer doesn’t help, and you believe the situation meets Google’s criteria for prohibited and restricted content, the next step is to flag the review. Flagging a review indicates to Google that the comment constitutes libel, overtly promotes another business or is spam.
Learning how to remove a Google review by flagging the content is easy.
- Log in to Google, and open your Google My Business dashboard.
- If you have more than one location, select the one with the negative review.
- Go to the menu and click “Reviews.”
- Find the poor review, and click the three dots on the right.
- Click “Flag as inappropriate.”
If the review violates Google policy, this is an effective way to delete the Google review. Google will also consider if others have found the content inappropriate. So encourage your family, friends and loyal customers to flag the review as well. The more flags on a post, the more likely they’ll remove the Google review.
Method #3: Contact Google
Getting in touch with Google is your final option to delete a Google review. But you need to know how to contact Google Reviews directly to have a chance at persuading them to remove the Google review.
Here’s how to contact Google about reviews:
- Visit support.google.com/business/gethelp
- Type “customer reviews” in the text box and click the “Next step” button
- Click “Remove reviews” followed by the “Next step” button
- Select how you’d like help (chat, email or phone)
Expect to hear from Google within 24 hours. When they reach out, be ready with a thorough explanation, evidence of your efforts to resolve the problem and screenshots to support your case. The more information you provide to verify your claim, the more likely you’ll persuade them to delete the Google review.
The answer to the question, “can you remove google reviews?” is yes, if you’re in the right. Still, figuring out how to delete My Google reviews can be a challenge—especially if the content doesn’t overtly violate Google’s policies about inappropriate content.
Do your best to prevent negative Google reviews in the first place. But if you are faced with a negative review, take corrective action immediately and as amicably as possible.