A common enquiry we receive at TRUSTist is the request to delete a bad review. Now, this review could either be a genuine experience a customer has had or just simply fake. The obvious problem with this is that potential or current customers won’t be able to tell which is real and could easily believe a false review, regardless of how exaggerated it might sound.
We understand that to have a bad review isn’t desirable and therefore, it’s only natural for a business owner to want that post removed. Although we help you to manage your reviews, we can’t just take a single one down because it’s negative. Technically, if the review is false, we can remove them from TRUSTist but if the review was initially posted onto Google or another external platform then it would just keep automatically coming back because it’s live on Google.
What if the Review is Real?
If the review is real, we can’t remove the review but do recommend responding, which is a really good way to display your customer service to other potential customers.
When replying to a review, it’s important to imagine your customers/potential customers are seeing the response as an audience. Other consumers will be able to see the response you give and if the response is unprofessional towards the customer it may paint a negative image of your company and could potentially reinforce what the bad review is saying, especially if it’s about the customer service they received.
Show your understanding towards their situation, and either ask them for more information on the matter, providing them with an email address so they can contact you privately, or explain to them how you will improve the service after this event. This way, your ‘audience’ will have more faith in your business and service.
For more information on handling negative reviews, here’s a link to another one of our blog posts: https://www.trustist.com/blog/knowledge-base/negative-business-reviews/
What if the Review is Fake?
If a fake review is left on TRUSTist and can be proven to be ingenuine, we can remove it. However, if the review is left on Google or another third-party source, we can’t remove it because we’re not able to impact what they choose to remove/display. If we were to remove a third-party review from TRUSTist, again, it would keep automatically coming back.
We can resolve the situation by excluding the entire review source – this is done by unlinking the review source within your TRUSTist account. For example, if you got one false Google review and asked us to remove it we couldn’t do that but we would be able to exclude your Google reviews entirely to prevent it from coming back. It’s a solution, but not something we necessarily advise as it would mean that you would be losing out on including any other positive reviews from that review source within your aggregation.
In summary, receiving a bad review – fake or genuine, is not the worst thing that could happen. Actually, a study carried out by Search Engine Land found that businesses with a star rating between 3.5 and 4.5 received a higher revenue. Bad reviews are also helpful for conversion rate optimisation or, CRO (the enabling of businesses to convert more visitors into customers). According to Search Engine Journal, customers spend five times as long on a site if they interact with bad reviews and trust those reviews more – converting 85% more often.
Now obviously this doesn’t mean that a terrible star rating is good for business but a diversity in ratings tend to be more trusted as opposed to 100% five-star reviews.
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