When assessing risk, underwriters look at more than just a business’ application. To get a complete and comprehensive picture of a business, underwriters sift through all available data, from loss history to google reviews. When a property has negative google reviews — for instance, a reviewer complains about a hotel’s cleanliness — or fails to respond to or resolve negative reviews, it can be more difficult to underwrite. For this reason, it is important that you encourage your prospective insureds to do their digital due diligence.
While the most effective way to offset a negative Google review is by receiving more positive reviews, there are other steps that can be taken to manage, or even to remove, negative reviews on a property:
Responding to a Negative Google Review
Once you receive a negative review, do your research on the reviewer. Check your records to verify that the author was a customer, and investigate their previous interactions with the business. Once you have a better sense of the situation at hand, reach out to the customer and attempt to find a resolution.
When replying to an unsatisfied client, start by apologizing for their dissatisfaction and be sure to address their specific complaint. Maintain a kind and courteous tone, and offer to fix the situation. Provide the client with the relevant contact information to take the conversation offline.
Every review should receive a response — even those that are suspected to be fake. Reply to suspected fake reviews just as you would to any other customer complaint, but be sure to note that you have not been able to find the author within your records of previous clients.
Replying to negative reviews serves not only to pacify unsatisfied clients but also to show those reading our reviews that you are dedicated to customer service. Further, by responding to negative reviews, you just may persuade an unhappy customer to edit or remove their Google review.
Flagging a Google Review
If there is a negative review on your account that you believe may be fake, you can flag the review for removal within Google. Reviews containing inappropriate content or promoting competitors may also be flagged for removal. To flag a review on Google, follow these steps:
- Log into your Google My Business account
- Select the location of your property (if applicable)
- Select “Reviews” under the menu
- Locate the review you are wanting to flag
- Click on the three-dot menu and select “Flag as inappropriate”
Once a review is flagged, you may have to wait several days for your request for removal to be processed. It is important to note that not all reviews that are flagged will be removed. Only those reviews that are determined to be in violation of Google policy will be taken off the site.
Reporting a Google Review
If you are unable to get a negative Google review removed via flagging, it may be helpful to contact Google Small Businesses Support. You can contact Google Small Businesses Support by following these steps:
- Visit support.google.com/business on your web browser
- Scroll down to the box labeled “Need more help?” and select “Contact us”
- When prompted, type an example of what you need help with, such as “manage customer reviews”
- Select a method of contact (phone, email, or chat) for help within the next 24 hours
Before contacting the support team, it is important that you are able to clearly explain why you believe the review in question should be removed (fake, in violation of Google’s policies, etc.), and that you have documentation of the review readily available.
Businesses with negative Google reviews can be difficult to underwrite, so managing reviews is a critical part of ensuring a smooth underwriting process Thankfully, by replying to, flagging, or reporting negative Google reviews, there are several steps that property owners and managers can take to mitigate the effects of a bad review.