So it happened: A disgruntled customer has left you the dreaded-negative review on Facebook, blasting your business and lowering your overall rating. As frustrating as this is, it’s important for business owners to keep calm and stay professional.
Can I just delete the negative review? Unfortunately no, you can’t. In an effort to maintain accurate business reputations, Facebook does not allow page managers to remove any review from their page. Imagine you are a customer and had a bad experience at a restaurant, so you decided to let your voice be heard and leave a review of your experience. You would be pretty frustrated if you found out that the restaurant had the ability to remove your negative review. Plus, then you wouldn’t trust Facebook reviews as much because if your negative review had gotten deleted, how many others have been removed as well?
Facebook will occasionally step in and remove negative reviews on behalf of the business, but only if the review does not adhere with its community standards. These violations include:
Facebook will not give you an option to leave a comment or explain why that review should be removed. You will only be able to select from a finite list of options. Once the review is submitted, it is up to Facebook to decide if it should be removed or not.
To report a review to Facebook for review:
Note: Because violating Facebook’s community standards can only be done through words, you cannot report a review that is just a star-rating.
More likely than not, you will receive negative reviews that do not violate Facebook’s community standards and therefore cannot be removed. What do you do? Below are a few suggestions we recommend for business owners looking to maintain high-quality reputation management.
Be the bigger person. Do not take the negative review personally and attack the customer who left it. Instead, craft a well-written response that addresses the customer’s concerns and seeks a resolution. Encourage the customer to get in touch with you or your employees privately so you can work out their issues. Many businesses turn to reputation management services that respond to reviews on their behalf to avoid issues with responses.
Reach out to the customer offline and discuss the review in a calm and professional manner. Listen to what he or she has to say and offer a resolution. If you don’t have contact info, Facebook allows business owners to privately message customers who leave a review. It may be worthwhile to reach out and see if you can discuss their concerns further. You may even be able to talk to the customer into giving your business another try and removing their negative review.
Businesses want to have new reviews coming in all of the time for a few reasons. One is that new reviews help build SEO. Another is that new reviews bury old reviews, both positive and negative. If you’re actively encouraging customers to leave feedback for your business online, then any negative reviews you receive will be quickly buried by new reviews.
If Facebook reviews seem to be more of a hassle as opposed to helping your business grow, you can remove the option altogether. Providing reviews definitely helps new customers build trust with your brand (84% of consumers trust online reviews as much recommendations from friends). If you don’t have the time or budget to devote to strong reputation management, then you can remove the option for Facebook reviews by following these steps: