Word of mouth marketing has evolved to include online reviews where people use a product or a service and are then able to voice their opinions publicly. This can be an effective approach for business referrals, but there are some flaws.
According to many business studies, positive online comments about a business can increase its sales by up to 18%. Customers spend up to 30% more at businesses that have positive reviews on the internet. Additionally, having negative reviews can cause deterrence and further loss for a business.
Every business, even if it is a well-organized company, can face bad days, which might generate dissatisfaction in customers and result in negative reviews. Most brands try to address such feedback by replying to the customer and trying to offer a solution. Unfortunately, not all negative reviews are posted by genuine customers, corporate wars have gone digital, and competitors can attempt to post fake reviews to sway the market in their favor. Another challenge is that some reviews might even be posted by customers to unjustly harm the business.
If your business is facing such negative reviews from spammers and competitors, you should not sit back and take the blow. It is necessary to take appropriate action to save your brand from suffering financial losses. Here are the steps you can take to safeguard your brand reputation.
Don't Respond Emotionally
It is normal to feel angry in such a situation where someone is trying to besmirch your hard-earned reputation. An emotional response can have negative repercussions that can cause further harm to your business. That doesn't mean you should wait to take action. The longer a negative review stays on the internet, the more people end up viewing it, and the more harm it causes. More than 86% of the population read reviews, which means that if you delay taking action, a large part of your target market might read it and form an unfavorable opinion about your business. The most ideal outcome would be to have the content removed, but if you are unable to remove the negative content, responding to the review in a positive manner can improve how the review is perceived by potential customers.
Responding appropriately to reviews is crucial, as it allows you to speak your part and defend your brand's image. It is also one of the best ways in which to identify fake reviews for potential customers. If you have received many negative reviews all at once, replying to each one might seem tedious, that is why it is necessary to weigh your options. You may want to consider drafting a standard and polite response without any form of accusation. Instead, ask how you can make things right.
Getting the Review Removed
The most ideal scenario would be to have the review removed before any potential customer reads it, but the possibility of that may be slim if you manage your online presence yourself. Moreover, it is a lengthy and difficult process to get reviews taken down from major sites like Facebook, Google, or Yelp. There is no guarantee that fake negative reviews posted by competitors will always be taken down by the websites. Unless the reviewer has flaunted any site policies, it is possible that the post will be considered genuine and will not be removed. All you can do is request the website to assess the fake reviews.
A post will be removed from Facebook only if it violates the community standards, which are a set of guidelines for every Facebook user, and not just for business reviews. Facebook's community standards are very general, and very few reviews meet the threshold for removal based on these standards.
Yelp is a bit more business-oriented and includes a few specific guidelines to sift out fake Yelp reviews, such as:
The review has created a conflict of interest with Yelp
The review did not focus on the customer's individual experience with your brand.
The review contained abusive language or any private information.
Fake Google reviews will get removed if the reviewer assumes a false identity or has a conflict of interest with the company.
Getting fake reviews removed can be a tedious and lengthy process that can cost you both time and loss of business. That is why it is beneficial for the brand to seek the help of professionals like Guaranteed Removals. They can help you to weed out negative and derogatory reviews that might tarnish your brand's reputation. With their services, businesses can remove defamatory and malicious content that is harmful to the brand's image, including fake reviews, posts, and photographs. Guaranteed Removals can take down the links from various sources such as blogs, hate sites, Google, Yelp, and more. The cost of their services depends on how many posts or reviews they need to delete and how difficult it is to remove them.
If you feel that their services are expensive, you can compare their prices with the amount of business you will end up losing from such fake reviews and posts. The best part about their prices is that you only pay for content that is successfully removed. Additionally, payment is only made upon successful removal.
In case they cannot take down a link from the internet, their team can also try to de-index the link. De-indexing a link stops it from appearing in various search engines, such as Google and a few others. People will only be able to view the contents of the post if they manage to find it from the website where it was originally posted. No one has enough time to search for a post if they don't know where exactly it is. The content does not vanish from the internet, and the link is still active, but Guaranteed Removals make it near impossible to find it.
Guaranteed Removals were named one of Canada's top growing companies by The Globe and Mail, which is one of the country's leading newspapers. They have successfully removed and/or de-indexed more than 25,000 posts of various types for over a thousand clients from all over the world.
Don't forget that getting rid of negative posts and reviews is just one aspect of online brand monitoring. One of the most crucial factors for the success of a business is the accumulation of real positive reviews from satisfied customers because when your business has numerous positive reviews, a few negative reviews will get lost in the crowd and not affect your customers.