How To Handle and Remove Bad Reviews From the Internet?
The internet is a wonderful technological advancement – we all use it daily to stay connected to friends and family who may live in other cities, in other countries, and it lets us promote ourselves and our companies through social media and other online avenues. Websites offer free forums on which our customers can help spread the word about what we do, and whether they had a good experience when dealing with us. The internet is indeed a fine, global marketing bonanza.
And you’ve enjoyed making full use of it. It’s helped you raise your restaurant’s profile in the community, and it gives your customers the chance to rave about your menu and comment on the polite service staff. Then, one day, when you’re having a perfectly fine afternoon, your alert goes off on your phone. It’s set to let you know when a comment or review or article appears about you or your restaurant online. You click, you open, you read – and all of a sudden your perfectly fine afternoon is ruined.
Someone’s posted a bad review. A customer? You can’t imagine who would have a complaint with your establishment right now; things have been going well and all the feedback you’ve been getting has been positive. Then it comes to you: an employee you had to fire because he was always 20 minutes late for his shifts has posted something awful and untrue, posing as a “concerned customer.” It’s posted anonymously, but you just know in your heart it’s him. He claims you don’t let employees keep their tips, and that your restaurant is unsanitary. Has he broken the law by writing untrue claims? You don’t know. It’s a “heart dropping” moment – you know neither claim is true, but now it’s out there, on the internet. In the restaurant business customer feedback is everything. In fact, customer satisfaction is the life blood of just about all businesses. Bad reviews can turn any kind of company from a busy hive of activity into a virtual ghost town.
But what can you do? It’s “out there” now, online, and anyone who looks up your restaurant is going to see it. Once it’s on the internet, there’s nothing you can do, you’re almost sure of that. But that’s not true; you can remove bad reviews, whether they are filled with legitimate complaints or they are just a forum for a crank, they can be combated.
There are plenty of measures you can take to remove bad reviews from the internet
Let’s set aside, for the moment, our example of the unhappy former employee. Let’s use the example of a dissatisfied customer. Does the review have merit? The first step for you is figuring out whether there is any cause for the complaints in the bad review. It’s human nature to reject criticism, but in business, criticism can help you learn how to make your company better. Read the review carefully. Ask yourself: is any of this true? Is any part of this accurate?
Once you’ve made that distinction, there are options available to you. If any of them cross the line into libel or slander, consulting a lawyer may be your best bet. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
First, contact the site. Legitimate sites like Google and Facebook will usually act as promptly as they can to remove bad reviews. But remember: the law is tricky, and slander is often in the “eye of the beholder.” The bad review might stay, in which case you need to deal with it.
Go through it and isolate exactly what the complaints are. If a website won’t remove bad reviews, you have to combat it by demonstrating that either: a) it’s not true, or b) it’s not true any longer; you’ve corrected the shortcomings pointed out in the review. For example: a customer says whenever he’s in your restaurant, the coffee he is served isn’t hot, it’s just lukewarm. Be sure to correct that, then go online and invite the reviewer back to try a cup now. But don’t just correct the problem for that person; correct it for all your customers. Sooner or later, one will post a good review that challenges that former perception. And life goes on! Nothing reduces the impact of a bad review like the passing of time, and a ton of good reviews to counter it. So, even if you can’t remove a bad review, you can counter it – and that can be just as effective.
Another way to combat negative reviews is by creating new content for your site that will pop up as close to first as possible on search engines. Our restaurant owner posted “two for one dinners all month!” on his website and soon enough, his place was hopping once again.
Our restaurant owner with the disgruntled former employee was just one example of a business that can be quickly hurt by negative reviews online. There is virtually no type of company that can’t be hurt by bad reviews on platforms like Google, Facebook, Amazon and even eBay. If you interact with the public, your company is susceptible to becoming a target for online insults and bad reviews. If you still aren’t happy with the impression a bad review has created, or if you are unable to remove bad reviews yourself, contact us at Reputation America and let us help.
Let the information removal specialists at Reputation America help you get your business’s bad reviews off the internet. We work fast, and have been helping clients since 2010 – that’s almost a decade of removing bad, unwanted or incorrect content. In this day and age, reviews can either be a boon to businesses or do serious damage to your company, the one you’ve worked so hard to get up, get running, and make successful. You can’t afford to let bad reviews sit out there, online, doing their invisible damage — making people talk — making people wary of using your services.
Contact Reputation America for a discreet, confidential consultation now, and let us get started – we can remove bad reviews about your business today. No matter what kind of company or business you have, our information removal specialists will ensure those bad reviews are removed from the internet. Then you can get back to the company that you love, which is the reason you got into your line of work in the first place, right? You worry about the customers, and let us worry about the online content.
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