Tips To Deal With Fake GMB Reviews
14 Best Tips To Deal With Fake GMB Reviews - Do's And Don'ts
So, you have fake reviews on your GMB profile. That's very unfortunate. Learn how to handle them with a list of do's and don't in the best possible way.
Fake reviews are always frustrating as they attack the well built reputation of the business over a period of time. They send wrong message to all the customers whether existing or potential. Even a casual visitor to the profile will have a very bad impression if [s/he] finds one. It's very important to handle them with utmost care and professionalism as the reputation of the business is at risk.
By following the points listed here, you can minimize and even turn back the damage caused by them.
1) Ensure it's not from your customer. To start with, ensure that the review is not made by your customer by cross checking your customer and sales database. If the review is from a customer and is about a negative feedback, then it's not a fake review. I will shortly publish tips on dealing with negative GMB reviews too. So, keep an eye on my blog.
2) Ensure it violates Google's content policy. Regarding fake reviews, Google's content policy states that "Contributions must be based on real experiences and information. Deliberately fake content, copied or stolen photos, off-topic reviews, defamatory language, personal attacks, and unnecessary or incorrect content are all in violation of our policy. If you see this behavior, please report it.". So, make sure the review violates Google's policy before reporting to them.
3) Respond quickly. It's very important to respond to fake reviews as soon as possible. People may search anytime for your business (though may not be for a purchase or service, but just for information) and an immediate response to the review will let them know about your response and may change their perspective on the fake review.
4) Response tone. Before reporting to Google, respond to the review in a very professional and polite manner. It's important to be polite and not lose your cool as there could be a case of mistaken identity - a reviewer intended to write for some other business (you both could have a similar name), but mistakenly had written on yours. Being polite reflects on your business stature.
5) Inquire details. In the response, inquire about date, time, location, product or service details. If your business always issues a receipt, ask them for a transaction number. This will strengthen your case in the eyes of existing and potential customers and may help Google to action against it.
6) Warn with legal action. As fake reviews intend to damage the credibility of the business and cause loss to same, warn them with legal action in a very professional manner if they do not remove fake review. If the users profile is identifiable they mostly will take down the review. Even otherwise, a note could discourage others from doing so.
7) Flag reviewer's profile. It's very important to flag the reviewer's profile. Do not ignore to take this action, particularly, as this will add to flags made by other businesses and users. Therefore, your flagging will strengthen case against such fake reviewers. Make your vote count.
8) Ask others also to flag. Inform your GMB account team - Owners, Managers and Site Mangers too to flag fake reviewers profile. Post screen shots of fake reviews and their profiles on your business related platforms like Facebook page, Twitter account, Blogs, etc... and call out your followers for help. The more times it gets flagged, the easeir Google will be convinced to remove same.
9) Escalate to Google support and on Twitter. After doing all above, wait for a week to give a chance to let fake reviewers to withdraw their reviews. If that doesn't happen, approach GMB support with details. Be patient, wait for another week and if nothing comes from support team, tweet all aforementioned details tagging GMB handle.
10) Improve positive reviews. Meanwhile, try to bury negative reviews with overwhelming positive ones. Ask your customers to leave reviews. Follow-up with them. At the same time don't bother them with reminders at every hour. But, make sure to get reviews done. Even a strong and engaging GMB profile has an impact on customer engagement. Check 30 Best GMB Ranking Tips In Short And Simple Words blog to maintain a healthy and impressive GMB profile.
1) Ignore reviews. Do not ignore fake reviews. Even if there is a single fake review still take an action and try to resolve as soon as possible. Letting fake reviews stay around without any action will have a very negative impression on existing as well as potential customers. Its a matter of your business's reputation, brand value and over a period of time would impact sales and revenue too.
2) Threaten reviewer. While responding to the fake reviewers, do not threaten them with life or any kind of physical action. In some countries, this may go against you in legal matters. Stay cool and calm. As mentioned earlier, you may warn them with legal action though. Also, as your response would be read by others, so hold on to your dignity.
3) Abuse reviewer. Yes, fake reviews hurt the hard earned value of the business, very badly, and it's not easy to handle them especially if they are in large numbers. This is the time to keep the tone stick to a professional and polite level. Do not get personal. Refrain from using abusive words. Remember, you are representing your business, so be careful.
4) Ignore to follow-up with GMB support. Last, but the most important. Do not fail to follow-up with GMB. The GMB team is very, very, busy. If they fail to respond even in a week's time, keep patience, give time and persist to follow-up. Don't unleash your disappointment in support forum and on Twitter. Stay calm and persist. Remember, Google is more keen to keep it's platforms clean than us. We just need to help Google with pointers and support.
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