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Customer experience

Why your Google online reviews are 3 stars and below (and how to fix it) 

The importance of online reviews grows every quarter, and online review statistics are among the key factors customers pay attention to before choosing a brand. 

While we all read reviews online, many businesses still don’t pay enough attention to their average rating and forget that soliciting reviews online, whether through Google or another online review platform, can greatly impact their bottom line. 

In this article, you’ll learn: 

  • Why are Google online reviews important? 
  • What is a good Google online review? Are positive online reviews reliable? 
  • Why online reviews aren’t always an accurate reflection of your service levels 
  • How online reviews can be damaging to your brand 
  • And more 

Why are Google online reviews important? 

Google online reviews play a crucial role in the success of a business in today’s digital landscape. Good reviews can significantly influence prospective customers, with consumers increasingly relying on customer feedback before purchasing.  

Research shows that most consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. By featuring reviews on your Google business profile, you can build consumer trust, convince customers to choose your products and services and boost your business’s revenue. 

What is a good Google online review? 

A rating of 4 stars and above is generally considered good for Google reviews. This rating indicates a high level of satisfaction from customers and reflects a positive experience with the business. It signifies that most customers were pleased with the company’s products and services or customer service.  

Positive reviews with a rating of 4 stars and above can significantly contribute to building trust and credibility for the business. They demonstrate that the company consistently meets or exceeds consumer expectations, which can attract new customers and solidify the loyalty of existing ones.  

Are positive online reviews reliable? 

While positive reviews can provide valuable insights and influence consumer decisions, it’s essential to recognize that they may not always be reliable. One of the main reasons is that positive reviews can be bought. Some businesses purchase their reviews to inflate their online reputation artificially.  

These fake reviews can mislead potential customers and create a false business perception. Consumers need to be cautious and look for other factors, such as overall star rating, the presence of both positive and negative reviews, and the credibility of the reviewer, to get a more accurate assessment of a business’s reputation.  

Why online reviews aren’t always an accurate reflection of your service levels 

While valuable online reviews may not always reflect a business’s service levels, several factors contribute to this discrepancy. Bad reviews tend to be more commonly posted than positive ones, skewing the overall perception of a business.  

It’s important for businesses to take a holistic approach, considering other factors such as direct feedback, customer surveys, and internal service evaluations, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their service levels and make informed improvements.  

What are 5 common causes of negative online reviews? 

Reading online reviews has become an integral part of our decision-making process, whether we’re looking for a new restaurant to try or considering purchasing a product online. While positive reviews can sway us in the right direction, negative reviews can have the opposite effect, causing us to reconsider our choices.  

Here are 5 common causes of negative online reviews: 

    1. Inaccurate or misleading information
      Negative online reviews often stem from customers feeling misled or receiving inaccurate information about a product or service. This can occur when businesses fail to provide clear and accurate descriptions, omit important details, or misrepresent their offerings.  Such instances can lead to disappointment and frustration, prompting customers to leave negative reviews and warn others about their negative experiences.
    2. Poor customer service
      Excellent customer service is the cornerstone of any successful business, yet inadequate support can quickly result in negative online reviews. Customers expect prompt responses to inquiries, friendly and helpful interactions, and effective issue resolution.  When businesses fail to meet these expectations, customers are more likely to share their dissatisfaction through negative reviews.
    3. Product or service quality issues
      One of the most common causes of negative reviews is poor product or service quality. If a product does not meet the promised specifications or a service fails to deliver satisfactory results, customers will likely express their disappointment.  Inconsistencies, defects, or subpar performance can all contribute to negative feedback that can damage a business’s reputation.
    4. Difficulty in leaving reviews
      Customers often encounter frustration when attempting to leave their own reviews, particularly on third-party review sites. Rating filters and complex review submission processes can deter customers from sharing their feedback, resulting in a skewed representation of experiences.  However, when they do find a way to leave a review, they will often point out how overly complicated the process was, adding to the negativity.
    5. Lack of response to negative reviews
      Ignoring negative reviews is a missed opportunity for businesses to rectify customer grievances and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction. When businesses fail to respond or address negative feedback, it can perpetuate the negative impression and potentially discourage potential customers from engaging with the brand.  By actively engaging with negative reviews and offering solutions or explanations, businesses can mitigate the impact of negative feedback.

How online reviews can be damaging to your brand 

Negative online reviews have the potential to cause significant damage to a brand. In today’s digital age, consumers heavily rely on online customer reviews to make informed purchasing decisions. A single negative review can deter potential customers, leading to a loss of revenue and tarnishing the brand’s reputation.  

It’s crucial for businesses to actively monitor and manage their online customer reviews, respond to negative feedback promptly and professionally, and implement a comprehensive online review strategy that highlights good customer reviews to mitigate the potential damage and protect their brand’s image. 

How getting ahead of negative online reviews by using real-time feedback solutions can improve star ratings 

Improving star ratings and proactively managing online reviews are crucial for a business’s reputation. Here are 5 elements to consider when using real-time feedback solutions to get ahead of negative online reviews: 

  1. Collect feedback promptly
    Implement a system that allows you to gather customer reviews in real-time, such as in-moment customer feedback kiosks and post-purchase digital surveys. This enables you to address concerns immediately before they become negative online reviews.
  1. Respond to feedback swiftly
    Actively monitor and respond to customer feedback promptly and professionally. Addressing issues in real-time shows your commitment to customer satisfaction and can prevent bad reviews from being posted.
  1. Highlight positive reviews
    Use real-time feedback solutions to identify and highlight positive customer experiences on your website, product pages, or social media. Featuring positive company reviews helps to boost your star ratings and attract more customers.
  1. Implement changes to your business based on feedback
    Use your feedback to improve your product pages, services, or customer experience. Demonstrating that you value customer input and take action can lead to more positive reviews and higher star ratings.
  1. Leverage feedback for marketing efforts
    Incorporate positive customer reviews into your marketing materials, such as testimonials or case studies. Sharing the experiences of satisfied customers can enhance your reputation and influence the decision-making process of potential customers. 

How to fix negative reviews by tackling feedback before customers go online 

Bad reviews can significantly impact a business’s reputation, but addressing feedback before customers go online can help mitigate the effects. Here are 5 elements to fix unfavorable reviews proactively: 

  1. Implement internal feedback channels
    Provide direct avenues for customers to voice their concerns or provide feedback, such as in-moment customer feedback kiosks or dedicated customer service channels.
  1. Respond promptly and professionally
    Actively monitor and respond to customer feedback received through internal channels. Address issues promptly and professionally to resolve problems before they escalate.
  1. Offer solutions and apologies
    When addressing negative feedback, provide genuine apologies and offer appropriate solutions to rectify the customer’s concerns. Show that you value their feedback and are committed to resolving any issues.
  1. Make internal improvements
    Use customer feedback to identify areas for improvement within your business. Implement necessary changes to enhance products and services or customer experience based on the constructive feedback received.
  1. Follow up with customers
    After addressing their concerns, follow up with customers to ensure their satisfaction. Taking the extra step to check on their experience demonstrates your commitment to customer service and may encourage them to share positive reviews. 

How to address negative reviews in real-time 

Addressing negative business reviews in real time is crucial for mitigating the impact and maintaining a positive online reputation. Here are 5 elements to consider when handling poor reviews promptly: 

  1. Actively monitor online review sites
    While Google Reviews is the biggest online review site, regularly check other popular online review platforms like Facebook Reviews, Yelp Reviews, and industry-specific third party sites to stay informed about negative feedback.
  1. Respond with empathy and solutions
    Acknowledge the customer’s concerns and respond promptly with a genuine apology. To address their issue, offer a solution or resolution and demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.
  1. Take the conversation offline
    If possible, provide contact information or invite the customer to contact your customer service team directly. By resolving the matter privately, you can address their concerns more effectively and prevent further negative publicity.
  1. Encourage positive feedback
    When addressing unfavorable reviews, highlight positive reviews shared by other customers. Encourage satisfied customers to write reviews, helping to balance out the negative feedback and showcasing your business’s strengths.
  1. Implement a feedback loop
    Use negative reviews to identify areas for improvement within your business. Act on constructive feedback and make necessary changes to prevent similar issues from arising. By continuously striving to enhance the customer experience, you can prevent unfavorable reviews and build a stronger customer base. 


Online reviews have become a powerful tool in shaping a business’s reputation and influencing consumer decisions. While a good review can bolster trust and attract more customers, negative reviews can have a detrimental impact.  

By understanding the importance of online store reviews and implementing effective strategies, businesses can address negative feedback and improve their star ratings. 

Frequently asked questions 

How can businesses encourage more customer reviews? 

Businesses can encourage more reviews by actively soliciting feedback, providing a seamless review process, and offering incentives or rewards for leaving reviews. 

How can businesses leverage online reviews to improve their search engine optimization (SEO)? 

By generating a steady stream of positive online reviews, businesses can improve their search results rankings. Search engines often prioritize businesses with a high quantity and quality of reviews. 

Can responding to negative reviews benefit a business? 

Responding to negative reviews demonstrates a commitment to customer satisfaction and can help salvage relationships with dissatisfied customers. It also shows potential customers that the business is proactive in addressing issues. 

Is it possible to remove or delete negative online reviews? 

In most cases, businesses cannot directly remove or delete negative online reviews. However, they can respond professionally and resolve the issues, which may encourage the reviewer to update or remove their negative review. 

Should businesses only focus on great reviews and ignore negative ones? 

No, businesses should not ignore negative business reviews. Negative reviews provide valuable feedback and insights into areas that need improvement. Addressing negative feedback promptly and constructively can lead to positive changes and better customer satisfaction. 

Can businesses use online reviews as a competitive advantage? 

Businesses can leverage positive online reviews as a competitive advantage by highlighting them in marketing materials, on their website, and social media channels. Positive reviews can differentiate a business and attract customers who value positive experiences shared by others. 



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