Bad Reviews- Your Reputation Is Screwed! (Warning: Graphic Comments)
“I was rolling on the floor laughing when I read some of these. Don’t these businesses know there is internet yet?!”
What You’ll Learn From This Article;
- How Important Your Online Reputation Is
- How To Remove Bad Reviews (Video)
- How To Avoid Getting A Negative Review In The First Place
These are real reviews taken from different review sites on the web. I have taken the names out, to protect the “guilty”, and so I don’t have to respond to angry emails complaining that these companies or individuals were singled out.
Some of you reading this article will know who the reviews are for. Good for you. Here’s the message, plain and simple: If some slick willy salesperson calls you up on the phone and tries to sell you something- and you buy before doing your research- you get what you deserve, and you deserve what you get. This isn’t Kansas, Dorothy.
Some Bad Reviews From Around The Web
The following review is for a well- known Orthopedic Surgeon working at one of the top hospitals in NYC.
The patient woke up during the actual surgery and heard the doctor yelling at one of his assistants!
The nurse told the doctor the patient was awake, and they were given the knockout drop. Sweet dreams…
Orthopedic Surgeon NYC –
“He repaired both of my shoulders (removed bone spurs, cut away frayed labrum, reattached labrum to bone with anchors) 1-2 years apart. The first surgery was uneventful and he was cordial before surgery, then indifferent at follow up, but everything went well. Second one he was late/rushed for consult and made a really stupid remark right before I was taken in to surgery. I woke up at some point to hear him yelling at whoever was working on or just closing up my shoulder. The nurse told them I was awake and they gave me a sedative. He was a real jerk at post op, didn’t care about my pain at followup, nor what the physical therapist was saying, nor care what a post-op MRI report said. I suffered for a year until things finally got better.”
The following review is for a known divorce lawyer in NYC. You’ll find it very entertaining!
Divorce Lawyer NYC –
“These people are common criminals, dirt bags, fraudulent inducers to contract, liars, lazy, incompetent, and will betray and f*ck you over every chance that they get, if they can make more money off of you.”
“All the while _________ (redacted) the hyena-like coward running this “law firm,” hides behind all of them, rubbing his hands, scheming and planning on how to financially rape and plunder you while you are in your time of need, so that he can line his pockets with more of your hard-earned money and gold.”
The next review is for a well known law firm marketing agency that apparently manages to “dupe” lawyers into signing up, unaware they will not even own their own website.
Law Firm Marketing – California –
“We’ve heard from other businesses in our market that they were approached too by this company and were quoted upwards of $7,500 a month which doesn’t even seem to include ad spend. You won’t own your own website either. ‘Millions of engagement points’ they will say. I don’t even know what that means. I’d rather own my website, thanks.”
Come on people, wakey, wakey. Do your research and be conscious before you sign something you don’t understand or haven’t read!
What Should You Do If You Get A Negative Review?
If you own the business, most likely you can tell from the contents who wrote the review. There are several effective ways to deal with this, ranging from “eating crow” to a dignified response.
If you can, have one of your employees who didn’t have anything to do with the client, contact them directly. The reason you shouldn’t do it yourself is because you probably left a really bad taste in your customer’s mouth, which is why you got the negative review in the first place.
It might be better if one of your employees calls and breaks the ice. This may help diffuse the situation. At least let your employee introduce the idea to the client that you will be following up with a call later.
Keep in mind, you’re dealing with human nature, so this advice is partly subjective.
Playing Devil’s Advocate
Here’s what I’d like to hear from a company if I thought they screwed me:
“Hello Mr. Mann, how are you doing today? I’m calling from ‘business name’. I saw the review you left on Google /Yelp and apparently you had a bad experience with us. Can you tell me a little bit about it, so I can see if there is something we can do to make it up to you?”
Now, if you are disgruntled by something a business did, or you perceived they did, isn’t this a little bit disarming? Aren’t you on board to find out what they are willing to do to make it up to you? I know I would be.
Let’s say you own an auto body shop and someone complains the fender you worked on wasn’t painted right- the paint started peeling off a week later when they got the car washed (just an example). The customer left you a 1 Star Review and slammed the quality of your workmanship.
“There are some prospects who will only read the bad reviews, and then choose another company that doesn’t have any.”
You have no idea how many people are out there, thinking this way. No idea how many jobs walked right on by to the next business, instead of using yours, because that one horrible review stuck in their craw. Whatever a craw is!
Make it right!
Tell the customer to bring the car in so you can see what’s wrong. If the customer is correct in their assessment, just fix it. For FREE. With a smile.
And thank them for allowing you the opportunity to make it right!
So how much are you out, doing this? $200 in labor? So what! Now the person whose car was in an accident and they have $2,000 worth of damage, won’t pass you up because of a past mistake you made.
“You made the mistake- you take the hit. It’s called taking responsibility.”
And it pays, in the long run.
This may be the most important lesson in this whole article. You broke it- you fix it. Remember, it’s not the customer’s fault you screwed up – so don’t blame them. Thank them for pointing it out, so you won’t make the same mistake twice!
In most cases, if you take these steps, the customer will amend their negative review and give you a thumbs up.
And what if they don’t? Well, you still did the right thing, and if you’re an autobody shop, you took a picture of the car before and after you fixed it.
If they didn’t take down the review after you, the business owner, followed up with a phone call, then what?
Responding To A Negative Review Properly Can Make You The Hero!
Let’s stick with the same scenario for now, knowing it can be applied to most other businesses.
Say you called the customer in, re-did the paint job on the fender, in a “beyond excellent” way, and they still don’t remove the negative review after you’ve asked them to. Ok, so be it. Now what?
“You answer the review in a way that makes you look good.”
For example: “Mr. So and So, we want to thank you for bringing this to our attention. At Bob’s Body Shop (made up name!) we take pride in our work, which is why we asked you to come back in so we could re-do your fender, free of charge.
In fact, I personally oversaw the work on your car to make sure it was up to our standards. We were glad we had a chance to make it right for you, and we thank you for your continued patronage.”
Add picture of the fender your shop repainted, bright and shiny. Done.
If I saw this kind of response to a review, I don’t think the review would stop me from going to the shop to have my car worked on. I’m more interested in what the shop will do for me, and now I have a sense of security that they just won’t claim “No one by that name has had work done at our shop. We don’t have any record of it.”
People won’t fall for that nonsense. I’ve seen 3 or more bad reviews for the same business answered this way by the owner. Newsflash- No one’s buying it!
Before people ever meet you, especially now with Covid going around, they will meet your reviews online.
Let’s say you are the Orthopedic Surgeon mentioned above. The patient was actually satisfied with the results of the surgery, after she healed. She just didn’t appreciate the “doctor’s bedside manner”.
“You’ve probably had a surgeon speak down to you before. They think they’re gods.”
Ok, so, what’s a doc to do? Get on the phone, and in your best mild mannered reporter / Clark Kent tone of voice, apologize. Did he really say that? Yes, he did!!
Apologize. Because you were wrong. And because it’s the right thing to do. A patient comes to you for healing, and sometimes that includes spiritual also.
Oh, and get a new anesthesiologist, one that doesn’t let the patient wake up in the middle of the procedure!! Geez, can you imagine?
You Can Also Refute A Negative Review If It Violates Policy
What the heck does that mean? Hold your horses- I’m getting there! Some platforms like Google My Business And Yelp have policies in place that allow business owners to refute reviews.
For the most part, these can be broken up into several overall categories; a competitor slammed you (fake review), or the review is considered a personal “rant”; either not relevant to your business, or made by someone who did not patronize your business at all.
A rant can contain profanities or political views unrelated to your services. In other words, it was written by someone who’s two cards short of a full deck, if you know what I mean!
Here’s how you refute a bad Yelp Review
To dispute a Yelp Review, start off by signing into your business account. From the left-hand column, scroll down and click on reviews.
Now pick out the review you want to remove. In the upper right hand corner you will see 3 dots. Click on them. You will see 2 options appear; Share review or Report review. Click on Report.
Now a box will appear with the question, “Why do you want to report this review?” Select the option that best applies to you from the search bar below this question.
Another box will open giving you a chance to write in your description of why Yelp should remove your review. Write a brief description, then submit.
If you point out how the review doesn’t follow the Yelp guidelines, they might remove the negative review.
Here’s how you refute a bad Google Review
Google’s Guidelines to refute reviews if it violates its policy
Warning!! Disputing Reviews On These Platforms Rarely Works.
That being said, you have a better chance of removing a Yelp review than a Google one. It’s almost always Google’s position that, without a videotaped confession, they can’t tell or not if it was your competitor slamming your business or you just wanting to remove a bad review.
Unfortunately, so many people gamed the system, that the system pushed back.
Google use to be more lenient when it came to removing disputed reviews. I know this firsthand from having several 1 Star Google Reviews removed from a client’s business page, but now they just don’t want to hear it.
You’re welcome to try of course, but I’d recommend going to the customer first. They can remove their review, and it’s probably easier than asking Yelp or Google.
Avoiding Negative Reviews In The First Place Is Always The Best Policy
Duh, right? You’d think everyone would know this. Here’s the memo- They don’t!!
If you want to avoid a negative review, it’s simple. Head it off at the pass! Aye, there’s the rub..
Establish A Rapport With The Client Before You Do The Job
Establishing a positive rapport with your customer before you even start the job is the best way to avert a review catastrophe! If you’re on good terms with the client from the get-go, which you probably are since they went ahead and hired you, make sure you keep it up- every step of the way and beyond. A client that likes you and feels respected is much less likely to slam you without coming to you first and letting you know there’s a problem.
Reassure your client the minute the job is done, that if they have any concerns at all to come to you first, you’ll fix it. You make sure there’s an open line of communication between you and the client at all times.
If you have a sense that something about the job is bothering the customer, just come out and ask if there’s something else you can do for them. This way, 9 times out of 10, the client will come to you first, before slamming you on the web. By then it’s already late in the game. It’s like asking the judge (the client) for an appeal after they’ve rendered a decision. It won’t happen!
You lawyers out there know what I’m talking about. An appeal is always a crap shoot. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Best to win the case with your client initially, by delivering more quality than they bargained for.