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What to Do About Poor Online Reviews

What to Do About Poor Online Reviews


A Guide to Effective Reviews Management

In today’s digital age, online reviews play a critical role in shaping consumer perception and influencing purchasing decisions. A recent study by BrightLocal revealed that 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 79% trusting them as much as personal recommendations . Given these statistics, it’s evident that managing your business’s online reputation is crucial. However, not all reviews will be glowing, and knowing how to handle poor reviews effectively can make a significant difference in maintaining a positive brand image.

The Importance of Positive Reviews

Positive reviews are not just about maintaining a good image; they have tangible benefits for your business. According to a survey by Podium, businesses that respond to reviews see a 35% increase in revenue . Furthermore, a study by the smarties at Harvard Business School found that just a one-star increase in a restaurant’s Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue . These numbers highlight the direct correlation between positive reviews and business success. Positive reviews are absolutely essential to the success of your business. 

The Challenge of Negative Reviews

Negative reviews, unfortunately, are part of the online landscape. Sooner or later, seemingly every entrepreneur and small business will get a negative review. As a business owner myself, I can tell you emphatically that they can be incredibly disheartening, but it’s essential to approach them constructively. Negative feedback often provides valuable insights into areas where your business can improve. However, it’s crucial to address these reviews promptly and professionally to mitigate any potential damage without being confrontational. Don’t react to the negative review immediately when you are still emotional about them. Take a few hours or sleep on it for a night and then write your response as professionally as possible. 

Can I Get an Unfair Review Removed?

A lot of businesses want to appeal to the review platform and state their case about why the review is unfair or unsubstantiated. While the customer may be being unreasonable, you’ll rarely gain approval to get the review removed. There is, however, one exception. If the review is a personal attack on a person with information that is irrelevant to the transaction, you will often be able to get it removed. 

Managing Poor Reviews with a Proactive Approach

Our in-house product at Purplegator helps clients manage their online reviews effectively. Here’s how it works:

  1. Request Reviews Proactively: By sending emails and text messages to your opt-in audience, you can encourage your customers to leave reviews. This proactive approach helps build a substantial base of positive feedback.
  2. Address Poor Reviews Internally: Reviews with 1 to 3 stars are redirected from our platform to you. This gives you the opportunity to respond directly to the reviewer, understand their concerns, and attempt to resolve the issue privately. Handling negative reviews in this manner can often turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one.
  3. Filter Reviews: If the review is 4 or 5 stars, it is automatically directed to third-party review sites such as Google Business Profile, Facebook, or industry-specific review platforms. This ensures that your best reviews are highlighted where potential customers are most likely to see them.
  4. What Sites to Choose: Purplegator’s reviews management platform enables you to put three sites on the landing page for customer reviews. Customers can also choose from hundreds of other sites to place their reviews. Overwhelmingly, Google Business Profile is the site you want to concentrate on the most. A whopping 81% of consumers use it to evaluate local businesses. Facebook and Yelp are also very important. Depending on what type of business you have, sites such as Tripadvisor, Trustpilot, Healthgrades, Angi, or Apple Maps are ones you’ll also want to promote. 

The Power of Building Positive Reviews

While there’s usually nothing that can be done to remove a negative review from third-party sites, building a strong foundation of positive reviews can help drown out the impact of any negative ones. Here are a few strategies to encourage positive reviews:

  • Ask at the Right Time: Timing is crucial. Request a review when your customer is most satisfied with your service or product.
  • Make it Easy: Simplify the process for customers to leave a review. Provide direct links and clear instructions.
  • Incentivize Reviews: While maintaining compliance with review platform guidelines, offering a small incentive can encourage more customers to leave a review.


In the competitive world of local online business, managing reviews effectively is absolutely essential. Positive reviews not only enhance your reputation but can also improve your Google Prominence which in turn can assist you with your search engine optimization efforts. By proactively seeking feedback, addressing negative reviews constructively, and focusing on building a robust portfolio of positive reviews, your business can navigate the challenges of online reputation management successfully.

At Purplegator, our product is designed to help you streamline this process, ensuring that your best reviews are showcased while giving you the chance to resolve negative issues privately before they become a review liability. 

To get started with Purplegator’s online reviews management platform, contact us and speak with a marketing expert to improve your online reviews and elevate your sales. 

About the Author

Bob Bentz is president and CEO of Purplegator and the author of Relevance Raises Response. Under Bentz’s leadership, Purplegator has been named as a fastest growing company by the Inc. Northeast Regionals, Inc. 5000, Philly 100, and Financial Times – The Americas. Bob is an adjunct professor at West Virginia University where he teaches graduate students in the Integrated Marketing Communications and Digital Marketing Communications programs. 

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