Negative Review Management - The Ultimate Guide

Worry about the negative reviews? This article helps you with Negative Review Management and your business reputation and growth.

84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as friends and families.

More than half of consumers won’t use a business if it has less than 4-star ratings.

Negative reviews can hinder the growth of a business or organization. Consumers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. This means that reviews can determine if a consumer will make a purchase or not.

Negative reviews are bad for business. Negative reviews can run down the integrity of a business and give competitors upper hands over your business.

As a business owner, you need to monitor your reviews and ensure that negative reviews are properly managed.

Most people that leave negative reviews are people that are not happy with your services, hence look for a way to resolve their issues.

Competitors also pose as reviewers to leave negative reviews so as to discourage prospective customers from buying from you or transacting business with you.

Effectively manage negative reviews and prevent them from ruining your business reputation.

We are going to guide you through how you can effectively manage negative reviews and prevent them from ruining your business reputation and growth.

How to remove/delete all reviews from the Facebook page, Google, and Yelp

Facebook accounts for 19% of all reviews worldwide after Google.

68% of consumers will often go straight to a business social media page to read reviews.

Facebook is one of the largest review platforms in the world and a lot of people read reviews on Facebook before making a purchase decision.

Removing negative reviews or fake reviews from your Facebook page helps to enhance your business reputation.

Negative reviews are detrimental to the growth of a business and it is wise to take them off your business Facebook page.

Below are the steps to follow to remove/delete all reviews from the Facebook page:

Step 1:From your Facebook page, click on “Settings”

Step 2: From the Settings menu, click on “Edit Page”

Step 3: Navigate downwards to “Show Reviews” and turn off the button.

Step 4: Click “Save” to save the changes.

Note that you can only hide all the reviews from your Facebook page by turning off “Show Reviews”. When you turn it back ON, all the reviews reappear. You can’t delete reviews from users by yourself. You can only report a fake or inappropriate review on Facebook.

How to remove/delete all reviews from Google page

Google is the number 1 site for online reviews. It accounts for 57.5% of all reviews worldwide.

63.6% of consumers say that they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business.

23% agree that Google reviews are one of the most important factors for their search for a business.

To remove or delete reviews that were posted by someone on your Google review page is not so easy. There is no delete button to straightforward delete other people’s reviews.

However, there are some things you can do to get fake or negative reviews removed from your Google review page. It is not 100% certain that the reviews will be removed but it is worth trying.

  1. Report the review as spam or fake 

    When you report a review as spam or fake, Google will do its internal investigations to know if actually the review is spam or fake. If they find out that the review is spam or fake, it will be deleted from your review page.

  2. Flag the review 

    Flag a review is quite similar to report a review. When you flag a review, you are reporting the review to Google as inappropriate. It may take several days for Google to do their internal investigations before deciding if to delete the review or not.

  3. Ask the person who posted the review to remove it

    It is quite tricky asking a person who posted a negative review on your review page to remove it. However, you can do it by being very professional.

First, know why the person posted the review and find solutions to the problem. If the person is an unhappy customer, he/she will likely remove the review if you ask but if it is from a competitor or someone who dislikes you, the review will likely not be deleted.

How to remove/delete all reviews from Yelp page

Just as Google, you can’t delete reviews posted by other people on your Yelp review page by yourself. You can only work around it and hope that the reviews are removed.

  • Just as Google, you can get a negative review removed by reporting the review to Yelp. When you report the review, they will conduct an internal investigation and determine whether or not to remove the review. If the review is fake, spam or violates the Terms of Service of Yelp, it will most likely be deleted.
  • You can also ask the person who posted the review to remove it.

Why can’t we delete negative review from Facebook, Google, Yelp

Negative reviews could be sincere feedback from unhappy customers. Though competitors, bad wishers and spammers could post fake negative reviews, we should also recognize that there are unhappy customers and they use reviews to share their experiences and vent their anger.

Though negative reviews could have negative impacts on the reputation of business, negative reviews could also be a driving force to the success of a business.

Negative reviews are expected and are part of reviews. They shouldn’t be deleted unless they are fake or spams.

If you delete negative reviews from your business page, it means you are not sincere. You are violating the terms and conditions of review platforms.

Deleting negative reviews means that you can’t be trusted and the transparency of reviews is being abused. It means you are not telling the public the whole truth about your business.

For this reason, Google, Facebook, and Yelp in an effort to ensure the transparency and sincerity of reviews, made it impossible for business owners to delete reviews made by other people on their business page.

In clear terms, Google, Facebook, and Yelp know that if they made it possible for business owners to delete reviews made by other people on their business page, a lot of them will delete the negative reviews and leave only the positive reviews.

For this reason, they made it impossible for business owners to delete reviews made by other people on their business page.

How to respond to negative reviews

Negative reviews can affect the reputation of a business. Ignoring negative reviews is a very wrong thing to do. The best thing to do when you receive a negative review is to quickly respond to the review and provide a solution to the problem.

Not responding to negative reviews means that you don’t care about your customers and reputation.

You should recognize that when you respond to a negative review, you are not only speaking to the reviewer, you are also speaking to everyone who reads the response.

Responding to negative reviews is your opportunity to make things right. It is your opportunity to turn an angry reviewer into a happy customer.

How you respond to negative reviews matters a lot. Consumers will evaluate you by your response. They will like to know if you have good customer service in place and by the response from negative reviews they can deduce that.

The below steps are how to respond to negative reviews: 

  1. Apologize and sympathize with the reviewer 

A reviewer with a negative review is most likely an unhappy customer. He or she may have paid money for a product or service which was substandard or not properly done.

No matter the bad things the reviewer might have said, never get angry or take it personally. Remember, customers are always right and as a professional, it is your duty to turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer.

Acknowledge the customer’s issue and apologize for whatever it is. Make the customer feel that you care about his/her situation.

For example, “We are sorry for your recent unsatisfactory experience”.

  1. Add a little marketing to guide your business reputation

Most people easily make a decision based on what they read which may not be true. Maybe the unhappy customer is just one person out of a hundred other happy customers.

Your business could be judged wrongly if you don’t say something positive about it.

Use the opportunity to market your business and guide your reputation.

For example, “We maintain a high standard of excellence and we are known for quality services. We would like to make things right”.

  1. Keep your response short and clear

When responding to a negative review, do not start writing long notes. Make your response short and clear.

When you say too many things, you may end up saying things you shouldn’t have said. Say only the most important things and provide a solution if possible.

  1. Move the conversation offline

Move the conversation offline by asking the customer for his/her email address or phone number to contact him/her. If you already have the email address or phone number of the customer, inform him/her that you will be reaching out shortly.

For example, “We will be reaching out to you soon. You can expect a [call/email] from us to determine how we can provide a suitable solution to this”. 

How to email Customer to remove a negative review 

Emailing a customer to remove a negative review requires a high level of professionalism. You should be able to calm the customer and impress him/her with your words.

Do not show anger or try to be defensive, instead, apologize to the customer and proffer a solution. Be able to talk the customer into removing the negative review.

Here is an example of an email you can send to a customer to remove a negative review.

Dear [Customer name], 

My name is [insert your name], I’m the manager/customer service representative/owner] here at [insert company name]. 

We saw your feedback on our review page and we are sincerely sorry for your dissatisfaction with our (insert product/service). 

We pride ourselves on exceptional quality standards and customer service, and we would like to take the opportunity to rectify the situation. 

Our customers’ total satisfaction is our priority and this is why we have reached out to you to make sure you are happy again. I would be glad to help and ensure that you have the best experience with our [product/service], so please reply to this email. 

However, customer feedback has a direct effect on how our business grows and improves, and for this reason, I hope you wouldn’t mind removing your feedback from our page, just until I rectify the problem for you. I’d really appreciate it.

Thanks for your understanding.

Kind regards
[Your full name]

Email template to reach out to unhappy customers

Hello [Customer Name],

My name is [Name] and I am the [manager/owner] here at [Company].

I apologize for our unsatisfactory services. I would be glad to personally assist you and make things right.

I have reached out today to discuss your issue and provide a suitable solution. You can contact me directly at [phone/email] if it’s more convenient.

I will be expecting your call.

Yours sincerely,
[Your full name]

SMS text template to request and remove a negative review 

Hello [Customer Name],

My name is [Your Name], I’m the [insert position], with [company]. I wanted to get in touch regarding your review on our page.

We’re extremely sorry to learn about your experience, and we will do all that we can to make things right. If it’s not too much trouble get in touch with me so we can talk about this further and find a solution.

 I don’t mean to bother you, however, we pay keen attention to our reviews. Hence, we would appreciate it if you can remove your review from our page while we resolve your issue.

We stay focused on doing anything we can to fix the issues you encountered, so please get in touch with me as quickly as possible so we can talk about this further.

Here is my contact number [insert phone number]. Hope to hear from you soon.