Have you noticed that your business is receiving negative reviews from customers? It’s possible that you have spotted plenty of negative reviews on common resources such as Google or even social media like Facebook recommendations. Upon closer inspection, however, you might discover that these aren’t negative customer reviews at all.
Instead, they could be coming from a competing business, keen to take down your company and bring your brand to its knees. This is a clever and underhanded way to hurt a competitor and unfortunately, it’s becoming more common.
Business owners know that reviews are trusted by potential customers online. A couple of well placed poor reviews online might be all it takes to make sure that customers favor their business over yours.
As such, you need to be aware of how to handle this situation and ideally how to get those fake negative reviews removed as quickly as possible.
Engage And Gain Loyalty
The first step is a preventative measure that you can put in place as soon as your business begins to sell on the market. You just need to make sure that you are encouraging customers of your company to leave reviews. This will build up a team of loyal followers who will recognize and defend you from negative reviews that may be suspicious and even false. With positive reviewers defending you and contradicting an out of place negative review, they become far less believable.
Make Yourself Unique
A lot of the time you will find that businesses are leaving you negative reviews because they feel like you are too similar to them and they don’t like this. As such, what you need to do here is make sure your business has something unique that nobody else has to make yourself completely separate. By doing this, nobody can say that your company is copying anyone else’s and they are less likely to leave you a negative review to take you down.
You will find that this is harder to do when you are an established company on the market and it is a new business who is doing this to you. In this case, making yourself unique can be quite a challenge as your customers expect certain things from you having been your customers for years. In this situation, you should try talking to the new business on the market, and discuss the different markets that you are each targeting. By doing this, they will no longer feel threatened by you, and will stop leaving your negative business reviews.
You should always aim to stay calm and respond to negative reviews in a friendly and professional manner. Simply say thank you for leaving the review, but that your records do not indicate that they ever used your service, but if they would like to provide you with more details, your business would be more than happy to rectify the situation. This way, you have not risen to the negative review by the other business, and people online will see that you handle complaints professionally and without lashing out at customers.
The good thing about doing this is that even if you are wrong and the review has been left by a customer experiencing issues with your service, you are going to be able to make things right with them. Once you have done this, they are likely to review their comment and change it to a positive one.
Challenge The Review
Of course, your main course of action is always going to be to attempt to get the negative comments removed. To do this, you need to look at the individual procedures of the resource where the review has been posted.
An example of this would be Google. With Google reviews, it’s a matter of first recognizing that a review is in fact fake. Once you have done this, you can then move through a number of steps to get it removed. First, make sure that you do take a screenshot. By doing this, you can ensure that the reviewer in question does not change their post to make it look less severe or extreme. Provide as much information as possible about the review and it will be taken down quickly.
One of the key details is often showing evidence that the negative review is from a competitor. You should check reviews of other businesses similar to yours. Chances are that the same reviewer is posting negative reviews for multiple businesses and leaving one out. If they are, then the business left alone is likely the source of the attack. Showing this will make it far more likely that all the negative reviews are removed.
That’s why it’s important to make sure that you are joining forces with other businesses online. Remember, you are likely not going to be the only one that has been targeted by these negative reviews from a competitor. They will have deemed others a threat as well and taken action against these business owners. Contact the businesses and address the issue head-on. You’ll find it’s far easier to handle if you do have strength in numbers.
Leave The Company Alone
It is certainly going to be tempting to retaliate against a business who is pushing negative reviews towards your company. You might feel the urge to get even but this is always going to be a mistake. Posting negative reviews could get yours removed while theirs remain and continue to hurt your brand. If you are going to complain to get negative reviews removed, then your hands must remain completely clean.
Similarly, you don’t want to make the issue public. Do not try and push your customers into taking action. As we have said they will do this without any push from you regardless. By taking it into the public spotlight, you could be left in a situation where you seem like the brand in the wrong.
We hope this helps you tackle competitors leaving bad reviews and gets your business reputation back on track.