How to Respond to Negative Google Reviews?

by | May 15, 2024 | Blog

How to Respond to Negative Google Reviews?

Good afternoon. Welcome to another Grow Show Live here on a really nice Wednesday afternoon here in the Southeast on April 24th. Hope everybody’s having a great week so far.

 I wanted to do a quick topic today, quick tidbit about your digital marketing service that’s a really important factor in like your online persona, online reputation, and want to make sure we give everybody kind of the right way to respond to any kind of review platform that you have going on. So your Google reviews, your Facebook reviews, Yelp reviews, anything that people can review you on, Better Business Bureau, etc. And so this way you’re kind of responding professionally, which is very important factor in your online digital presence.

 It’s easy to just kind of overreact when you get a bad review. Trust me, I get it. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

 But if you can just calm down, relax, and then look at the review closely and just kind of make sense out of it. So we’re going to go through that here in just one second. Thanks for being on live today for another Grow Show.

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 It’s a great group. We talk about marketing, digital marketing, have frequently asked questions and a Grow Show live each week on Wednesday at 12 p.m. Eastern time. So again, hopefully everybody’s doing well.

 I put together a quick document for this very important topic of responding to your reviews professionally and adequately. So it kind of satisfies the public if they do see a bad review. So let’s go through that really quick.

 Want to make sure we’re kind of putting the right information out there when somebody does give us a bad review. So let me pull this up here. All right.

 Hopefully you can see this document. I’m going to confirm that really quick just to make sure. All right.

 Yes, you can actually see this document. I can see it now on the Facebook page. They’re streaming live.

 So you get a one star or you get a bad review. What next? What do you do? What do I do? I got a bad review. Oh my gosh.

 Is this a real review? Is this a phony review? Did somebody just go over there and do that? Did the competitor screw me over? What happened here? I just got a bad review. So let’s take a look at a couple different options that we see scenarios that come through pretty often. And this way you’ll kind of know how to respond to this.

 So the first common one we see is literally a mistaken identity, right? You get a review on your Google business profile or your Facebook page and it wasn’t even your tree company, right? That’s pretty frustrating. That is easily understood on being frustrated with that particular scenario because there’s nothing you could have done to prevent that. So maybe you have a business name that’s similar to a competitor.

 Maybe who knows, maybe your name is similar to the name of a different tree service business. Maybe your name is the owner is similar to another personal person’s name and owns another tree company. So if it’s a case of mistaken identity, don’t panic.

 Here’s how we can respond to that. So read the review and see if there’s a mistake there. Like not even your company did any work for them.

 If you think the person reviewed your profile in error, mention that in your response. So here’s one way to put it. And you can kind of reword this that fits, you know, best suits your personality, your business and all of that.

 But you could put, you know, Hey, Mary, or Hey, first name. We don’t have any record of completing a job at your property. Can you call our office to gather a few more details and make sure our number is dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot.

 We politely ask you to remove this negative reviews. We haven’t done business with you that we can find in our records. So at least that way you’re addressing the bad review because you think it’s a mistaken identity, right? They’re reviewing another tree company that gave them really crappy, crummy service.

 And you don’t want to have that review stick to your profile. So one way is just ask them to remove it if it was a case of mistaken identity. So, you know, Hey, we don’t have any record of completing the job at your property.

 Can you call our office to gather a few more details? You know, and here’s our number, right? You’re putting your number out there. Like you’re throwing it out there. Like, please give us a call.

 Let’s make this right. I don’t think that we did any work for you. But if we’re mistaken and we’re not sure we, you know, we have the wrong records, then please give us a call.

 Maybe the job was under a different name or something, but we don’t think we’ve done any work for you. So please give us a call. So that way, if somebody sees this one-star review or two-star review, whatever it is on your Google business profile, on your Facebook page, wherever it may be, at least they see that you responded to it.

 Professionally, you didn’t go bash the person. You didn’t act disgusted by it, which you may be, but you know, you didn’t act like it on the review response. And that way they see that you’re kind of trying to make it right if it was something in error.

 So you leave your number. And hey, if you, when you respond to that review, the Google user who left you the review originally is going to get an email from Google saying, hey, so-and-so tree company responded to your review. And if they read it and they realize they’ve made a mistake, they’ll go remove it.

 Right? I mean, we’ve seen it happen a few times. I mean, it doesn’t happen all the time, but that way, at least you’re responding correctly to that review. So that’s the first scenario, mistaken identity.

 The second scenario is, it was actually a bad review from a bad experience. So for example, the customer had a bad experience with your crew, and let’s say they leave a nasty review on your Google business profile. So the best thing to do here is to offer to make it right and apologize, right? I mean, you got to make it right.

 If you’re a business owner and you are concerned with your online reputation and you want to make sure you convert people to find your Google business profile, find your website, find your brand, get referred to you. You want to convert those people, then you got to go make it right on these bad reviews. And if you get too many of these bad reviews, then that’s kind of a trend, right? And people will recognize that your company just is lackluster in the way that you do business.

 You don’t treat the customers right. You don’t complete the job a hundred percent, things like that. So the best thing to do here, if you do get a bad review because the customer or the business owner, whatever, had a bad experience with your crew or the job or whatever, just offer to make it right.

 So, Hey, Mary, or Hey, first name, we apologize for any inconvenience that our crew left for you or not completing the job as desired or a hundred percent in full. Please call our office at dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, and we will come up with a resolution to make you happy. We strive for a hundred percent customer satisfaction.

 And so you can leave it at that. And that way it’s in their court now to call your company, to make this right, whatever possibly went wrong with the job. At least now there’s an opportunity for them to give you a call.

 You can talk them through what happened and you can go make it right. You can give them a partial refund. You can offer to do something else down the road.

 Here’s a coupon for, you know, $500 off your next job, whatever the case may be, you know, that’ll go a long way, especially in your response to the bad review. Cause some people write up very detailed, long winded, two, three, four sentence, three, two, three, four paragraph, bad review. And that long review indicates that they were pretty upset with the work.

 So you want to make sure you resolve that and go in and just respond to it as professionally as you can, keeping your cool and just letting them know, give your office a call. You know, we’re very unhappy that this happened and we’re going to make this right no matter what. And a lot of times when you do that, they’ll either remove the review or they’ll go back and edit their review and they’ll up the star rating from one star to four star, at least, or something like that to where you don’t get the one star bad review.

 And so, you know, you can also, if you feel like you’ve got enough information from your crew, your crew lead, your general manager, salesperson, whatever that was on site, and you know that you really were not in error, then explain your side of the story respectfully and cordially, you know, on the response to the bad review. And, you know, at that point, you can still offer to resolve the situation or talk the customer through it or try to see what we can do to resolve it. But if your side of the story is, is that you did everything that they asked you to do, or there’s just a miscommunication, then maybe, you know, you want to make sure you put those details in the review as well.

 And you’re not going to get a lot of bad reviews. So it’s very important. I mean, if you’re doing the right thing out there, I guess I should back up just a hair there.

 If you’re doing the right thing, you’re not going to get a lot of bad reviews. But it’s very important to take the time out of your day to go explain yourself on a bad review because the public sees those bad reviews. And it’s an opportunity for you to really showcase like how you do business, because if you did something wrong and you’re a tree service company who’s concerned about your online reputation, then you’re going to go out of your way to go fix that situation so that bad news doesn’t spread like a virus around your local area.

 Right. You want to make sure you go make it right. And then that’ll go a long way too, because what happens is a lot of times if you go make something right that was an error, that person will then be your evangelist moving forward.

 Well, you know what? They made a mistake, but they owned up to it. The owner came out. He offered to do this and that.

 And we couldn’t be more happy now with this tree service company. That happens all the time. So if you go out of your way to go fix any negative situation, that’ll go a long way in the longevity of getting more referrals and more repeat business from clients because they see that you’re going to take care of it no matter what.

 If something does happen, hey, we’re all human. Errors do happen. Crew members do get the wrong information or do the wrong thing or trim the wrong trees or whatever the case may be.

 Run over the yard. Who knows what happened? But if they have a bad experience with the crew, offer to make it right. Leaving your phone number.

 We strive for 100% customer satisfaction. Word this any way you want to that fits your personality, your voice, but something along those lines. Just make sure you’re going to offer to make it right.

 The third scenario we see happen sometimes and this one isn’t that common, but it does pop up here and there. This tree company, I’ve seen it before where the person leaves a bad review and they didn’t even do business with the tree company. They just tried to call the tree company several times and nobody ever answered the phone.

 So they get a bad review that says, hey, don’t call XYZ tree service company. We needed an emergency situation or we tried to call them five times and nobody ever ended up answering the phone or nobody even ended up calling us back. So that’s kind of a bad vibe if you don’t answer the phone or you don’t call folks back either.

 Like you’re advertising that you’re in business and you’re doing tree services. So the least you could do is either call people back if you don’t answer the phone or just better yet, answer the phone live. But if someone leaves a bad review because your company doesn’t answer the phone, just respond with a compelling reason that you failed to answer the phone.

 You could say something like, Mary, we apologize for not answering the phone. Our office staff has been limited lately with our phone person being absent and we’re in between personnel trying to fill that position. And our schedule has been booked solid over these last few weeks.

 If you still need service, I’m happy to reach out to you personally. Something like that, where you’re offering to give that person a call or letting them know that the line’s open. If you want to call back now, we’re back in the saddle.

 We got somebody in the office helping with everything. And that way, you don’t have to worry about somebody leaving a bad review because of the phone. And then a lot of times they’ll remove that off of your Google business profile as well.

 If you call them back and say, look, we apologize for the delay. We’ve been swamped. We’ve been booked out for a month, two months at a time, and we just don’t have the office personnel.

 We’re in between people. So that’s a good way to kind of answer that one or respond to that negative review. So you’ve got three separate review scenarios that come in and we see it all the time.

 Mistaken identity, that’s number one. So don’t panic on that one. Just respond with, you’re not sure if you’ve even done business with this person.

 We don’t have any record of it. Please call our office. The second one is an actual bad review, bad experience with the crew, bad experience with the tree service work and the workmanship or whatever.

 That one, you got to kind of go in and put in your personal touch on those, but take the time to do that because the public does read those and you want to make sure that you’re responding professionally. Or if you don’t answer the phone, that’s the third one we see sometimes too, people leaving reviews because people don’t answer the phone. So I would say, you know, make it your goal to be able to answer the phone, you know, a hundred percent of the time, 90% of the time, whatever the case may be, or you have a message that people can leave and then you make sure you call people back as well.

 So those are kind of some scenarios on getting bad reviews. Don’t panic. Just make sure you respond to these things professionally, respectfully, and put your side of the story on it and offer to make it right.

 And I promise people won’t look at your profile as a bad profile. If you get one bad review out of 30 or 40 reviews, right? Like if you get a hundred reviews, five star every now and then one’s going to slip through as a bad one. You just got to make it your job to fix that bad review.

 If you want a perfect five star rating, reach out to that person, offer to make it right. Those types of things go a long way. So I just wanted to put that together for you on how to respond to negative reviews, the proper way.

 Hopefully you guys got some value out of that. If you have any questions, pop them in the comment box. I’ll happily answer any comments that you have live right now.

 If you do have any questions or anything like that, happy to jump on and answer those just while I’m live on the call. And we do this Grow Show live once per week. We try to successfully do it every Wednesday.

 Sometimes things pop up and we can’t do it every Wednesday, but most Wednesdays at 12 p.m. Eastern time, we’re going to do a Grow Show live. So tune in on the Tree Service Marketing Facebook group. You can also see it live streamed on YouTube.

 You can also see it live on the Tree Service Digital Facebook business page. So hopefully you guys got some value out of that. I don’t see any questions today, live questions.

 Let me stop the share. I don’t see any live questions here. Thanks for being on live today.

 I see a few people on catching this video. Thanks so much. Have a great rest of your week and a great Wednesday.

 And if you have any questions, by all means, reach out to That will happily help you there. Have a great day. Bye-bye.

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