You finally made a Facebook page for your service business and you’re starting to build your online reputation when out of nowhere, you’re hit with a bad review.

While it certainly hurts, don’t let it ruin your page. There are a few different ways you can handle negative Facebook reviews to keep your page positive and demonstrate your 5-star customer service skills. Let us walk you through your options in this guide.

How to delete a review on Facebook

Your gut instinct after receiving a negative review may be to delete it. After all, you’re worried about how it may affect page visitors and whether or not potential clients book work with you.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to simply delete a Facebook page review. Instead, you will either need to:

  • Report fake or spam reviews
  • Turn off your Facebook reviews
  • Respond to negative reviews

READ MORE: Can I sue over a bad review?

How to determine if a Facebook review is legitimate or fake

Before you decide which route to take, you should determine whether the review is legitimate or not. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the review specific to my company?
  • Do I recognize the client’s name or is it in my CRM?
  • Does the Facebook user’s profile look legitimate? (do they have a real profile picture, is their name an actual name, do they have more than one or two friends)
  • Do any of my employees remember working with this person or were they involved in the incident that the complaint is referring to?
  • Does the review make sense in relation to my services?
  • Is the review obviously spam?

Here’s an example of a spam review on a Facebook business page. Although it’s acting as a recommendation, the content has nothing to do with the business or service the Facebook page is for.

It’s a good idea to have reviews like this removed even if they boost your star rating because they don’t offer any value to potential customers.

Spam Facebook review example

If the review is fake, you will need to report it. But, if it seems legitimate, your next step is to determine whether it goes against Facebook’s Community Standards.

For example, Facebook does not allow reviews that:

  • Incite violence
  • Instigate bullying or harassment
  • Encourage suicide or self-injury
  • Include nudity
  • Use hate speech

Reviews that don’t follow Facebook’s Community Standards can also be reported, whether they’re from legitimate customers or not.

It’s also important to note that Facebook currently allows for both star ratings with content, and star ratings with no content. This means that you may have a low star rating and no actual reviews to report.

Facebook business page star rating

When this happens, you can either leave your Facebook page as-is or hide your reviews.

How to report fake Facebook reviews

If a review is fake, spam, or goes against Facebook’s Community Standards, your best bet is to report it by following these steps:

1. Log in to your Facebook business page
2. Go to your Reviews tab and find the review you want to report
3. Click on the three dots in the top left corner of the review
4. Choose Report Post from the menu
5. Follow the prompts to report the review

Example of where to find Facebook reviews menu

Once reported, Facebook’s team will review your report and determine whether to delete the content from your page. Keep in mind it can take anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks to have a review removed.

How to turn off Facebook reviews

If a bad Facebook review is legitimate, or if Facebook doesn’t remove it after you file a report, your next option is to turn off reviews on your Facebook business page.

However, Facebook won’t allow you to hide a single review. So, if you decide to turn off your reviews, both positive and negative comments and star ratings will be hidden from your page completely.

Once you turn your reviews back on, they will all be visible again.

To turn off your reviews on Facebook, follow these steps:

1. Log in to your Facebook business page
2. Go to your page’s Settings menu, located in the top right corner
3. Click Edit Page
4. Find the Reviews heading and select the Settings button
5. Go to the section that says Show Reviews, and move the slider from ON to OFF

To turn them back on, follow the same instructions, but move the slider to ON.

Screenshot of Facebook business page settings menu

READ MORE: Looking for how to delete a negative Google review?

How to respond to negative Facebook reviews and resolve the situation

Reputation management isn’t just about deleting or hiding negative feedback. It’s also about responding directly to customer feedback. Responding to a negative review gives you a chance to clear up the issue and show your customer you care about their satisfaction.

It could just take a polite and honest response to change a bad review from a customer into a positive one.

Other times, potential clients will look at how you handle bad online reviews as a way to gauge your customer service skills and professionalism. It also shows them how you might treat them, if they decide to book with you.

If you can’t report a review, and you don’t want to hide your page’s reviews entirely, consider responding to a customer’s review. It might seem confrontational to respond (and uncomfortable) but remember it’s just a part of offering good customer service.

Here are some example review response templates you can use to get started.

1. How to respond to an authentic negative review

Hi [customer name], we’re so sorry to hear that you weren’t satisfied with the service you received. We take customer feedback very seriously and would like to do what we can to resolve this issue. Please give us a call at [phone number] or email us at [email address] to discuss this in more detail.

Once the issue has been resolved, you can ask the customer to edit or update their review. But keep in mind, you should only do so if you’re confident the customer is happy with the end result.

READ MORE: How to get repeat customers for your service business

2. How to respond to a fake review

Hi [customer name]. Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately, we have no record of your name in our client database. If you meant to leave this review, please reach out to our customer team at [phone number] or [email address] to discuss your experience in more detail. We would love to help you resolve this issue! If you left this review in error, would you consider removing it? We’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

Get more positive Facebook page reviews

Social media platforms can be great for your business. They’re a place where you can communicate with customers and build a solid online reputation. Don’t let a couple of negative reviews get you down.

Instead, work on getting more positive reviews to balance things out on your Facebook page. You can try:

  • Sending out satisfaction surveys after completed jobs
  • Asking happy clients for positive reviews
  • Staying on top of dissatisfied clients through follow-ups and satisfaction surveys
  • Responding to negative reviews early and resolving the issues
  • Being polite, professional, and composed during all client interactions
  • Making good customer service part of your business

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This post was originally published in November 2019. It was last updated on October 18, 2021.