Tips to turn negative reviews on Google to your advantage

Apr 28, 2020 · 6 min read
Tips to turn negative reviews on Google to your advantage

For any business owner listed in Google, negative reviews are dreadful. But the fact remains that it is almost impossible to satisfy every customer and a slip might happen in one arena or the other, generating a negative reaction. This sort of a review can definitely cast a dark shadow on the online growth prospects of any business and can drive away customers from interacting with the business. Once you get over the initial impact of a rough review, you can look into the next layer that involves learning the right lessons and take the necessary steps to change the scenario in your favour.

Navigating through the complex world of online marketing without getting hit by a few negative reviews is almost impossible. The first positive aspect of a negative review is that they add to a business’s total quantity of reviews, thereby helping it to rank better in Google. It is important that you respond to it in a positive manner which can help in turning the scenario in your favour.

A recent survey has indicated that the top-ranked listings on Google’s local search results have an average of 38 reviews.

So here are our tips to turn some of those negative reviews to your advantage.

Do not take them to heart

A negative review can be upsetting but it is not necessary to worry about them or take them personally. Google looks at both the quantity and quality of your reviews for the final rankings. So a negative review that has been responded to in a well-written manner can be counted among the positives. At the same time it is not at all proper to respond in anger or in a negative tone that will further erode your brand image. Even if you feel that the complaint is unfounded, it can be a result of some miscommunication. Take some time to think about the best response without getting emotional but being tactful as needed. Write a reply that sounds honest and has the right apologetic tone without appearing to be extremely defensive.

It has been estimated that around 89% of the consumers read a businesses’ responses to the reviews that it receives.

Use the negative reviews to provide the “real” look

Many customers in the online platform will find it hard to trust anything that appears too good to be true. So if your Google reviews are just full of five star marks, they may find it a bit hard to trust. In that sense, a few occasional negative reviews will add the factor of authenticity to your business. The bad reviews will also provide an idea to the customers about what can go wrong and how much that will matter to them. Something that may be poor from one customer’s perspective, may not be the same from another’s viewpoint. So before you start worrying about that negative review you just received, know that it is adding legitimacy to your business.

Show that you care about your customers

By handling the negative reviews in a positive manner you can demonstrate that your business cares about customer satisfaction. The first thing you can do is reply promptly without disregarding them or trying to change the topic. A fast and effective reply will help you to control the situation and not let the scenario spiral out of control. It is important to accept the responsibility for the situation and empathize with the customer as needed. A genuine regret from your end for not being able to deliver a great experience, along with an apology for any fault, can change the mind of the customer.

Always maintain a sincere tone while replying and try to reach out to the customer on a personal level instead of adopting a formal business-like tone. With the right level of authenticity, you can turn the negative review into one with a positive outcome. These reviews are the means to show that there are actual people with a caring attitude running the business.

Data indicates that for 63.6 % of consumers Google is the most popular review site for all businesses.

When multiple negative reviews indicate some flaw in any segment of the business, it is time to learn and make the necessary changes. At the end of the day, negative reviews are offering you feedback about some shortcomings that might be present in your service. Take the necessary steps, including training sessions, to ensure that your team can overcome any shortcomings. In the next step, you can advertise how you have solved an existing problem and turned a new leaf. The advertisement can be through social media, blog posts or videos so that the customers can be attracted to give your business another chance.

Create insightful tutorials

Many a negative review can arise from a simple misunderstanding of the rules and regulations of a business by the customer. These may be regarding a return policy, an exchange feature or a discount offer. You can use tutorials and explanations as a part of your content marketing strategy to make the issue clear and ensure that the customer does not make a mistake. The addition of a clearly written FAQ section will also help in clearing up misunderstandings and confusions. You can share them through the website or social media. In case of any negative review related to these issues, these contents will help you to clarify your stand effectively through a reply.

As per statistics, after having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to family members or friends.

Do not engage with trolls

In a few cases, some customers can be trolls who would not be satisfied even by the most professional reply from your end. In some cases a negative reviewer may not be an actual customer at all but unfortunately, Google will not know who your real customers are. Instead of engaging in a public spat, rein your emotions and take the issue off-line by providing your contact details. This is also a chance to let potential customers show that you are willing to handle a rough situation responsibly without any intention of avoiding it. If any particular review violates the policies laid down by Google, you can appeal for the removal of the same. At the same time, it is important to get to the bottom of an issue and not dismiss genuine reviewers as trolls.

So the next time you receive a poor review, take a deep breath and handle it in the right manner for the overall improvement of your business.


When you are responding to multiple reviews both positive and negative, you need to have the right timing. The Sociocs Inbox, which is completely FREE, is the right connecting tool that will help in making the process smoother and simpler.

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