Receiving positive reviews from your dental patients is crucial in growing your business. Feedback that praises your team members and services can be just the push needed for a prospective patient to book an appointment with you. But what if someone shares a poor experience on Google reviews? Knowing how to delete a google review that unfairly accuses your dental office of inadequate care or is spam from competitors is crucial.
But, going about isn't as simple as you might think. This article explains how Google Reviews work, what it takes to delete them, and what happens if you can't get them removed.
To better understand how to delete a Google Review, it's important to understand the basics of how they work. You likely already know what it is, but keep in mind that other feedback platforms out there look similar but aren't actually part of Google.
The interface used to manage any testimonials your dental practice receives is directly integrated with the search engine and its related business tools and applications. This system allows you to respond to online reviews you receive from patients, which requires careful consideration of tone, language, and HIPAA rules. It's also important to note that those who choose to leave your practice feedback after a visit can also edit their comments later.
Finally, you can't simply click a button and delete a review you receive.
Could you imagine a world where every company only had perfect customer experiences and no negative feedback? No, we can't either. The reality is that a truly reputable dental company will have both positive and negative reviews visible on their Google My Business page.
Keep in mind, complaints that aren't legitimate shouldn't be permitted to remain, and there is a process to delete a Google review that violates the community standards.
To delete Google reviews, you only have two ways to go about it: have the author remove it or flag it as inappropriate. To complete the flagging process, you will need to fill out a brief automated form that will include your email address and the violation type associated with the negative reviews you want to be removed.
Google's review system does use spam checkers when someone initially submits feedback. This is also an automated process that analyzes the content of the review for anything inappropriate, untrue, or irrelevant. It's proved to be a reliable system for detecting problematic comments pretty quickly, but it's still possible for some to slip through. This is why they provide this additional layer of quality assurance.
Naturally, reporting a review you don't like or feel is inappropriate doesn't guarantee its removal. So, it's important to know when you should or shouldn't report a bad review.
Google offers in-depth explanations of their community guidelines for acceptable review content, and below are the most common situations when you should report problematic feedback:
You may have someone spam your profile with negative reviews that have nothing to do with your business whatsoever. If these services or goods are illegal in your area, Google prohibits them from posting feedback that will have hyperlinks to other websites or emails that sell these products.
This prohibition also includes images, like infographics, advertising these items.
Google thrives because it strives to provide the most accurate services possible. Misrepresentation of businesses hurts user experiences, so anyone who leaves a review must be the account's owner writing it. Likewise, feedback left by individuals using fake accounts or using someone else's Google account to do so should be flagged.
Another issue is a spammy and/or fake google review. It could be a positive or negative review for a product or service that has nothing to do with your dental company. If you are receiving feedback from customers or individuals regarding experiences unrelated to your practice, don't hesitate to remove Google reviews of this type.
Google content guidelines for reviews expressly prohibit offensive content it deems to be profane, obscene, or explicit. The platform will also take down feedback with comments that could be seen as threatening or derogatory.
Anytime you receive a comment or review that would fall under these restrictions, protect your dental brand's image and report the posts.
Another important thing to remember is Google wants honest reviews that aren't manipulated to favor the company receiving them. This means that those who work for a company, own it, or have any other interest in its success shouldn't leave feedback.
Likewise, remove Google Reviews of employees who leave poor feedback about operating conditions or your services.
One of the disadvantages of having a Google Review deleted is there isn't any guarantee it will get taken down. If your request is agreed to, you still have no idea how long it will take the search giant to get around to doing so either. During this time, you could potentially lose customers who can still see it.
It's also important to remember that a review being negative on its own isn't enough. Just because a patient uses negative language isn't enough either. Unless they specifically violated the community guidelines for content that Google has in place, it will remain. The reason is that the platform focuses on customer experiences, so if someone didn't appreciate your hygienist's bedside manner during a routine cleaning, the search giant wants other potential patients to know about it.
So, what can you do?
The majority of the time, responding to a poor review can lead to it getting deleted. However, the reality is that customers want acknowledgment, and sometimes, all it takes is a heartfelt apology, and they will take it down or update it to mention you did something about their issue. The latter is especially beneficial because it shows your market audience you care about providing the best possible service.
An interesting point to remember about Google Reviews is how long they remain relevant on your rating. Google will continue to factor feedback that is years old into your rating, which means that an upset patient from five years ago can still be hurting your reputation. However, most prospects looking for dental care mostly rely on recent testimonials when deciding on a new dentist.
You could potentially have the Google review deleted if your business has changed so much that you may be able to consider taking down their feedback. However, many dental companies will offer a special service deal to get them to return and then update their comments to reflect their new experience.
Similar to following up, by doing what it takes to resolve whatever led to a negative review reasonably, you can probably convince the patient to delete it or update it. Being accountable for the issues your dental practice has in areas of customer service, patient care, and other related problems is crucial to the long-term success of your business, regardless of a Google review being left or not.
Also, letting a reviewer know that you addressed the problem they reported and that going forward, it won't happen again can repair your relationship with them. Even if they don't remove their comments, you can update your own response outlining the steps you took so that the public will know that you took their complaint seriously.
The Internet can feel like the Wild West sometimes. Individuals will go out of their way to be malicious and leave fake reviews to hurt businesses. Often, this is due to an employee being disgruntled or a competitor is trying to sabotage your success.
Regardless of its source, take time to authenticate any review you receive that seems illegitimate. Maybe the feedback you received was only a 1-star rating and no details given from a customer you don't recognize. Do a quick review of the account that left the Google Review on your profile and see if there are any other posts they've made on other businesses. You can also check out Google Maps to see if they are referring to a different dental office.
If you don't see a profile picture associated with them, try responding to their comments and see if they respond. If they don't, flag it as inappropriate.
For many dental companies, waiting on a response from Google regarding a flagged review isn't worth the wait. Instead, being proactive and staying on top of your brand's reputation is the most effective way to increase your positive review count and deal with the negatives that pop up now and then.
Adit recognizes that your dental office's online reputation is crucial to the success of your marketing strategy and sustainability. So our company created a review process called Pozative that helps you generate a Google review faster on websites that matter. From Google to Yelp and Facebook, we make it easy for your patients to leave their opinion of their service experience.
This program also easily integrates with your current practice management software, allowing you to manage all the places you receive reviews in one convenient location. For more tips on managing customer feedback, read our ultimate guide for
Angela is a former English teacher turned marketing content specialist. Over the past 10 years, she’s developed marketing strategies to forge enduring bonds between B2B, B2C and SaaS companies and their clients through holistic education, effective communication, and captivating storytelling that moves audiences to act.
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