If you’ve been in business long enough, you’ll know this fact:
You could have 100 happy clients and 1 bad one, but that bad one is the one who will go and spread bad reviews all over the internet about you while the good ones don’t do anything.
It is what it is. We can either complain about how it is or accept it, be responsible about it and handle it. I choose to be responsible about it and handle it. If you do too, read on.
Handling your reviews on the internet is actually the subject of Public Relations – which is how you are viewed, how others think of you. The internet has changed the ease at which this can happen. Companies & websites like the BBB, Yelp and Google Reviews have really led this. Unfortunately, and probably non-intentionally, these sites have been heavily used to spread around bad reviews. This is now turning into lawsuit material where certain companies are suing people for writing bad reviews. This is probably justifiable for some businesses as one bad review can hurt a good businesses who is actually working hard to grow and survive. And as the most experienced of us know – some people just can’t be made to be happy. But frankly, some businesses who do not take care of their clients as they should get the bad reviews thy probably should. This article is for those of you who do care about your client but still get that “one guy”.
Ok, so how do we handle it?
1. Most of these website now have recourse to handle bad reviews. That should be the 1st thing you do. Go for the recourse. Get them removed if possible. Red flag them if needed. Or you could actually ask the person to remove it…if they are willing. But let’s assume not.
2. The most important thing is to build up your positive reviews. You have to take control over your online reviews. This is a part of your company’s public relations job now. Get your clients to go to Yelp, Google Reviews, Merchant Circle, Angie’s List,etc. and write their positive review about you. Ask them for their help. Most people want to help and will do so when asked, but you have to ask. If you do not ask them they will not do it generally. You must take responsibility for your Public Relationship and control this. It will not happen on its own. I’ve sent emails to my clients asking them to do it, I’ve called them, however you do it, you must ask. Spend the time on this, it is worth it in the revenue you won’t lose!
Then, when you have 30 positive reviews from great clients and 1 bad review from that “one guy who was impossible to make happy no matter what you did”, everyone will read your reviews and think, “That’s one of those guys who just isn’t happy about anything.” People aren’t stupid. They know those people exist too.
Important: Absolutely DO NOT get into an “internet war” with the person writing bad reviews by writing bad reviews about them. You will lose that game. If you ever do need to sue them you will lose the case due to the fact that you spread around bad things about them too and it will be thrown out. There are already cases in court where this has happened.
Take the high road, the professional road. Your time is better spent on getting positive reviews, getting more good business.
Dan York, Founder