Can You Remove Bad Reviews on Facebook?
September 18, 2018
A customer has a bad experience with a company. She writes a scathing review on the company’s Facebook page and moves on.
That company—maybe it’s your company—now has to figure out what to do.
A lot of companies may wonder if they can remove, or take down, negative Facebook reviews.
While the quick answer is “no,” there are certainly ways companies like yours can navigate negative reviews on Facebook.
Determine if the review doesn’t follow Facebook’s community standards. With more than 2 billion monthly active users, the platform naturally established guidelines for its users. If a review is believed to not adhere to these standards, you are able to report the review to Facebook, and representatives will review the content and make a decision. In a perfect world, all suspicious, “fake” or otherwise unhelpful reviews would be removed by Facebook. This is not the case. Facebook isn’t exactly lauded for its swift response in this area. And if you got a one-star review with no commentary, it’s probably going to stay there. It’s not ideal—or right—but it’s reality (don’t kill the messenger!).
Respond to the review. If you’ve determined that the review doesn’t go against Facebook’s standards, it’s time to respond. It might not be easy to do; you may want to shout (or write) accusations or excuses, but that’s just not the way to go in this situation. It will only escalate things if you do. Thank the user for the feedback (good or bad, she took time out of her day to provide feedback), acknowledge her concerns and assure her that the feedback is valuable and is being looked into. You aren’t required to make any promises (and you shouldn’t, unless you’re 100 percent certain you can back it up) or provide any kind of make-good for their poor experience. Take the conversation offline if possible so that you can communicate any next steps or findings out of the public eye. Sometimes, when a company has effectively responded to a customer’s review, the customer will feel so satisfied with the response that she’ll end up taking the negative review down. It’s up to the user, though. There’s a way to kindly ask if she would be willing to remove the negative review once you have followed up with her feedback, but it needs to be done with respect and gratitude.
Get more reviews from your customers. The best way to squash any negative review is to get a hundred terrific reviews. When consumers see that the bulk of the reviews left on your page are positive, with only a couple of scattered negative reviews, they can see that most customers have a positive experience with your company. Reach out to your customers and ask them for their review. And no, you can’t pay them or incentivize them for leaving positive reviews. That’s a serious no-no.
Remove the ability for users to leave reviews of any kind. This really is the last resort, in our book. If you’re just skittish about reviews in general and uncomfortable with customers leaving feedback in a public setting, you can make changes to your page settings so that users can’t leave reviews.
This isn’t something we recommend.
Because it’s important to get feedback—even the negative kind. Feedback helps you keep doing what you’re doing well and make changes in those areas that could use some improvement. If you don’t know what your customers feel about your company, it’s tough to build brand awareness and loyalty. Plus, if you turn off the switch on Facebook, they’re just going to go somewhere else to vent their frustrations. Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor and other digital/social platforms all allow (and encourage) reviews, so customers will go wherever they’re welcome.While navigating Facebook reviews might feel scary, a little murky and certainly confusing, know that you’re not alone. The shift in consumer behavior over the last few years have made it more available and acceptable for customers to share their experiences with their friends and peers. That can feel unsettling and uncomfortable for many businesses, of course.
If you’re not sure how to handle a review on Facebook (or any channel, for that matter), we’ve got you covered.