While you always do your best in pet retail, at your doggie daycare or pet sitting business to appease your customers, you can never make everyone happy. And in the age of the Internet, unhappy consumers do more than just stop doing business with you. These days, they’ll get on the Internet and tell everyone about how bad of an experience they had, possibly persuading other would-be consumers to do business with another company.
It begs the question: Can you delete a Google review? The answer, though there are a few notable exceptions, is “no.” In this post, we’ll take a look at why Google’s policy is so and what you can do if you believe that a review meets Google’s criteria for removal.
Google’s Review Policies
Like we said in the opening, if an angry consumer gave your pet retail, grooming or pet sitting business a poor review on Google, there’s unfortunately not much that you can do. However, it’s worth touching on Google’s policy for a moment. The main goal of Google when it comes to reviews is one of integrity. In other words, Google wants to make sure that it’s portraying a local business as honestly and as accurately as possible to enable consumers to make the best purchasing decisions. By not allowing businesses to remove reviews, Google is being completely transparent with consumers when it comes to giving them an unfiltered look at how their business is portrayed.
The Exceptions to Google’s Review
When can you delete a Google review about your pet business? Here’s a look at the exceptions:
- They’re fake: In order for Google review to portray a business accurately, transparently and honestly, it can’t have obviously fake reviews describing a business. Usually, fake reviews are fairly easy to detect, as many are obvious attempts by someone with ill will toward a company simply out to get them.
- They’re vulgar: Reviews that contain profane or sexually explicit language or describe illegal activity are grounds for removal.
- They’re not related to your pet business: Sometimes, consumers get confused when making a review and may unintentionally leave a review for one pet-related business when it’s obvious that they mean a different one.
- They’re promotional of your competition: Links, coupons for and overly promotional language for a competitor of one pet business is also grounds for removal when it’s left on the profile of a different business. Google does its best to present a real, unbiased review platform — and anything that reads like a commercial is not appropriate.
How to Manage Bad Reviews
So now that we know that you can only remove reviews that meet certain criteria and that negative reviews are inevitable for any business, let’s take a look at how you should be addressing any online negativity:
- Gather the details and Respond in a timely manner. Online consumers like seeing that any issues are being addressed, and being that you can reply publicly, it’s a great way to show that you care. Your business will also receive SEO benefits by responding to your online reviews, specifically any negative reviews you happen to receive.
- Resolve the issue with the consumer if you can. If you resolve it in a satisfactory manner, the unhappy consumer may even delete the review. Do not try and resolve the issue via your response. If a customer has a bad experience, your goal should be to take the conversation online by providing your phone and or email to reach out so you can make the customers experience a positive one.
- Try to earn more positive reviews by encouraging satisfied consumers to review your company.
NextPaw enables pet retailers and other pet businesses to easily acquire, respond and manage online reviews. NextPaw is an all-in-one digital software suite of tools that enable local pet businesses to acquire and retain more customers. Schedule a demo to learn more!