In today’s digital landscape, online reviews hold significant sway over a business’s reputation, and negative Google reviews can be particularly impactful. While it’s important to acknowledge that you cannot remove a valid negative review, there are proactive steps businesses can take to minimize their occurrence. The best way to remove a negative online review is to avoid it in the first place. By implementing a two-way real-time feedback platform, you can establish a direct line of communication with customers, enabling them to share their concerns and provide valuable insights. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of genuine customer feedback, the limitations of removing negative reviews, and the benefits of fostering open communication channels with customers.
The Power of Genuine Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is a valuable resource for businesses seeking to improve their products, services, and overall customer experience. Embracing feedback as a means of growth and enhancement demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction and shows that your business values its patrons’ opinions. But collecting feedback is just the start. You need to respond to customers letting them know that the feedback was received, is appreciated and respond with what you will do to correct their complaint.
Acknowledge the Limitations of Removing Negative Reviews
It’s important to recognize that Google reviews as well as other platforms cannot be removed at will, especially if they are valid expressions of a customer’s experience. Google’s review policies aim to maintain the authenticity and integrity of the review platform. Removing legitimate negative reviews can lead to a loss of trust among customers and undermine your business’s credibility.
The Two-Way Feedback Platform Approach
Rather than focusing on removing negative reviews, a more effective strategy is to establish a two-way feedback platform that encourages open and transparent communication between your business and customers. This platform should enable customers to provide real-time feedback, allowing you to address concerns promptly and improve your offerings. Furthermore, employees are also a great source of feedback since they are in your business more than anyone. All feedback channels should give users the opportunity to submit the feedback anonymously.
Implementing a Two-Way Feedback Platform
To implement an effective feedback platform, consider the following steps
- Do not implement your own system. Use a company that has a well thought out solution such as Real Time Feedback.
- Surveys USED to be great but there is survey fatigue where most customers hate filling them out unless there is an incentive to fill them out. Furthermore, they usually rush through them with non-accurate information just to get the “prize”. Lastly, customers never expect a response. One-way communication is not acceptable.
- Respond, respond, respond. Most customers don’t expect businesses to respond to their feedback. Surprise them. Platforms like Real Time Feedback allow you to respond to your feedbacks where customers get the response via text message. The faster the better. The longer a customer has to wait for a resolution, the less likely they will be to be a repeat customer AND the higher the chance that they will turn to online public review sites to air their issues.
- Empower Employees: Ensure that your employees are trained to handle customer feedback professionally and empathetically. This will create an environment where customers feel comfortable expressing their concerns. Platforms like Real Time Feedback have pre-canned responses that you can load specific language for manager to use. Furthermore, conversational AI platforms like Chat GPT are being integrated to suggest responses to different issues. That helps managers think less, type less and respond faster.
- Actively Seek Feedback: Don’t wait for customers to initiate the feedback process. Proactively give them quick and easy access to share their experiences with your management. This proactive approach demonstrates your genuine interest in their satisfaction. Platforms like Real Time Feedback have integration with several platforms that allow you to send text messages and emails inviting customers to leave quick feedback. Furthermore, Real Time Feedback will generate QR codes to put around your business that will allow customers to let you know about issues. QR codes can even be smart and alert management where in the business the feedback is coming from.
- Contain bad experiences and share positive experiences. Send happy customers to review you on public review platforms such as Google, Yelp, Facebook and others.
Responding and Taking Action
When feedback is received, whether positive or negative, it’s crucial to respond promptly and constructively. Express appreciation for the feedback, acknowledge any shortcomings, and provide a clear plan of action for addressing the concern. This proactive response not only shows your commitment to customer satisfaction but also helps to minimize the likelihood of negative reviews. Platforms like Real Time Feedback have functionality that shows businesses an aggregate of all their online reviews so they can respond and react to both positive and negative reviews. Spend your time wisely. Set automated responses to 4 and 5 star online reviews that will thank customers for leaving positive reviews. Spend your time and energy responding to unhappy customers and resolving their concerns.
Regularly analyze the feedback received and identify recurring themes or areas for improvement. Use this information to drive positive changes within your business, whether it’s refining processes, enhancing product offerings, or improving customer service.
While it’s not possible to remove valid negative Google reviews, businesses can proactively manage their online reputation by embracing a two-way feedback platform. By establishing open lines of communication with customers, you create an environment where issues can be addressed promptly and effectively. Emphasize the importance of customer feedback, empower your employees to handle concerns professionally, and leverage feedback to drive continuous improvement. By focusing on proactive engagement and genuine customer satisfaction, you can minimize the occurrence of negative reviews and foster a positive reputation for your business.
Real Time Feedback was founded by Adam Alfia and Kfir Alfia in 2016. Their combined experience of highly prolific entrepreneurship spans three decades. At the age of 20, Adam opened his first business, an upscale auto repair facility, and managed to grow the operation to a well-known DFW brand across five locations. In 2004, Adam and Kfir launched Maestro Personal Assistants, the premier provider of personal assistance/concierge services for companies such as Infiniti, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Audi, AARP, and several other national brands.
Adam is a co-founder of the franchised restaurant chain Shell Shack, which now has 8 restaurants in Texas and is currently expanding nationally. With a firmly-entrenched background in high-end hospitality and entertainment, Adam eventually co-founded several bar and night club concepts including Avenu Lounge, Theory Night Club, Playground, and Cutie Pies pizza concept in Uptown Dallas. He is also an investor in the successful concepts Landmark, TXR, and The Yard in Fort Worth, TX.