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Andrew Redfern

How to defend your business from negative reviews on Google Places

Imagine you are a car hire company, a plumbing company or are even a partner in a law firm. You run a great business that your customers love and you pride yourself on providing a great service for all your clients. If any of your clients come to you and are unhappy with the service you do your best to resolve the problem and 99% of the time the customer walks away happy.

However there is a problem that your usual customer service skills are unable to resolve, and this scenario is one of the most frustrating for any business owner. Someone has placed a dreadful review of your business on your Google Places listing which is available for everyone to view.

More and more people are using search engines to research all kinds of services before deciding on who to use and a business that has poor reviews online will inevitably lose a significant proportion of potential new customers.

However there are ways that a business owner can mitigate the impact poor reviews have upon them.

First of all does the listing contravene one of Google's posting policies? These policies are to guard against potentially fake or damaging reviews which are deliberately designed to damage a business but do not have any foundation.

Amongst the policies that could lead to a review removal is one that relates to Off Topic reviews, as Google explains "Reviews should describe your personal, first-hand experience with a specific place. Don't post reviews based on someone else's experience, or that are not about the specific place you are reviewing. Reviews are not a forum for personal rants or crusades."

Google will also remove reviews that demonstrate a Conflict of interest, this is to guard against both businesses posting fake positive reviews or if a competitor posts negative reviews, Google wants reviews to be to be unbiased and honest.

Google also does not allow its features to be used for Harassment or Bullying, if someone is using Google Places to harass you they will look at removing the content and even banning the user.

These are only a few of the guidelines that reviews could fall of and lead to eventual review removal, you can flag as inappropriate any review of your business and Google will check if the review contravenes it's guidelines.

With genuine poor reviews, if you cannot get the review removed, you can then use the owner response facility to engage with the reviewer and to see if you can resolve the issue, browsers will think positively of business owners who actively engage with their customers if there is an issue and you could eventually turn the customer around and they may feel like removing the review themselves.

Also don't forget to encourage your happy customers to place positive reviews, when people have a good experience with a business are usually receptive to the idea of placing a positive review. Don't however offer any inducements to do so, Google's policy violations go both ways and they will frown upon manipulation of the review system in this way.

If you go through these steps then you should be able to resolve many issues relating to poor reviews on Google Places. If you feel you would like some help with this process or you require a wider ranging Reputation Management solution for your business then contact http://www.hitsearchlimited.com/ to discuss your requirements.

If you have a business in the financial sector and would like to up your marketing game or receive some expert information about digital marketing for financial services, then get in touch with a member of our team!

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