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Can Businesses Remove Negative Reviews on Google?

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If you’re an HVAC business owner trying to boost your online reputation, you might be wishing for a way to erase negative reviews from unhappy customers. 

Can businesses remove negative reviews on Google? Learn more about the best review practices from the experts at ServiceHawk, a firm specializing in digital marketing for HVAC companies

You may not be able to remove bad reviews, but you can address any negative reviews that customers leave and leverage them to show why you’re a trusted, honest HVAC company.

How Negative Google Reviews Impact Your Business and What To Do About Them

Before we dive into the question, “Can businesses remove negative reviews?” you need to understand the importance of online reviews. 

Many business owners struggle to gain customers without realizing that the problem isn’t their service — it’s the reviews that show up in a Google search. If the first thing a prospective customer finds about your company is a flood of one-star reviews, they’re not likely to book your services. 

While you always want your Google Business Profile to be full of glowing reviews from happy customers, it’s not uncommon for an unsatisfied customer to share their thoughts online. Google’s rules for removing reviews have some caveats, but ultimately there are several ways you can address a negative review. 

Why Reviews Matter: Customers Make Decisions Based on Reviews

When a potential customer needs HVAC service, they might Google “HVAC company near me” and look for the top-rated companies — so reviews for your business matter. Research shows that nine out of ten people check out online reviews before purchasing a product or service. 

Scouring through customer reviews isn’t a waste of time for prospective customers. In fact, 75% of those who read customer reviews let the words of online reviews influence their buying decision just as much as recommendations from their friends or family. Your online reputation is critical for getting customers to take a chance on your company, so you need to make sure it’s favorable. 

If you type your company name into Google and see plenty of positive reviews, there’s a good chance that you’ll gain steady business from those who need your HVAC services. 

How To Delete Negative Google Reviews

Can businesses remove negative reviews? Yes, but it’s more complex than you might think.

The Federal Trade Commission sets various guidelines for online advertisers. These rules intend to protect consumers while also letting advertisers maintain credibility. In relation to online reviews, businesses can only delete reviews that are fake or defamatory. 

If someone leaves a false or defamatory review for your business, you can report the review to Google. You’ll need to flag the review in your Google Business Profile by clicking the three dots next to it and then clicking “Report Review.” Google will ask you for evidence that your review is fake or inappropriate, after which it will enter a 14-day review period for Google to make a decision. 

In the event that Google doesn’t take down the review, you can appeal your claim and provide more evidence in your favor. Per Google’s review policy guidelines, the following issues are grounds for removal:

  • Spam or fake content
  • Restricted, illegal, or terrorist content
  • Content that doesn’t pertain to your business
  • Offensive or sexual content
  • Bullying or hateful comments
  • Impersonation
  • Conflict of interest, such as self-promotion from a competitor

What Customers Value

Your company could provide the best HVAC repairs within the region, but if your customer service is lacking, that’s more likely to reflect in online reviews. Above everything else, customers want to feel valued and receive the highest level of service possible. Some of the most common business characteristics that customers highlight in their reviews include:

  • Employee friendliness
  • Cost of service
  • Punctuality
  • Communication
  • Effectiveness of service

To encourage positive reviews, make sure your entire team commits to satisfying customers on these fronts. When you take strides to provide the best service possible, your customers will show their appreciation with kind online reviews. 

Addressing Negative Reviews

If you have negative reviews that don’t violate any of Google’s policies, it will be much harder to remove them. However, there are some ways that you can deal with them without hurting your business. 

Unsatisfied customers want to feel seen and heard, so while you may want to ignore any poor reviews, it’s always best to respond to them. Your first want to determine the validity of the review in case it’s still possible for Google to remove it. If the message is extremely vague, look at the reviewer’s profile to see if they leave similar reviews for other companies, which you can then flag as spam content. 

Detailed reviews are almost always genuine, however, and garner an official company response. Write in a polite, understanding voice that directly addresses any problems the customer points out to show them you’re willing to hear feedback. Provide a phone number or email address so the customer can continue the conversation offline and hopefully resolve any issue. 

Keep in mind that prospective customers can see not only the negative review but also your response. Remain positive instead of getting defensive, and be sure to respond quickly so others can see you’re willing to go the extra mile to resolve problems. In the meantime, continue focusing on getting positive reviews in the mix so your business doesn’t suffer. 

Partner With Digital Marketing Professionals To Boost Your HVAC Business

Can businesses remove negative reviews on Google? In rare cases, yes, but often the best solution is to respond to negative reviews authentically. 

Do you want to get more customer reviews that highlight your business’s strengths? Our digital marketing experts at ServiceHawk can help your HVAC business grow using effective online strategies. With our expertise, you won’t have to wonder if businesses can remove negative reviews or research the best ways to get online reviews. We take care of your online marketing needs so you can focus on your customers. To get started with a free strategy session, fill out our online request form or call (888) 967-1377.

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