In marketing and the total internet footprint, you usually run across reviews in search along with your website, social media and business industry listings when checking out your own business or that of a competitor or industry expert.
I often get asked a lot if I handle reviews, trying to get them removed or what to do with bad or illegitimate reviews.
Fake reviews – it happens
It is easy to say that there are crappy people out there that will try to tarnish your brand by putting up false or fake reviews. I have been lucky enough for this not to happen to me, but it has happened to clients of mine. One guy even has a stalker who constantly is seeking out ways to try to ruin his business.
- You could contact the review hosting website to advise that it is fake and request it be taken down, but there are no guarantees.
- You could also respond to it, which isn’t a bad thing either and I usually suggest this to almost all of my clients. This way, onlookers can judge for themselves, likely agree that it is fake review, an old employee or hater or see that you did your due diligence to resolve the issue versus just ignoring it, if it remains on the review site.
- BURY IT – the best way to deal with this, continue reading for more on this.
Bad reviews – you can’t please everyone
There are tons of different types of people in the world and you have to know that your product or service either won’t work for everyone, there will be operator error or that you just can’t please everyone. Stop trying.
Stop trying to please everyone, it won’t happen, but bury bad reviews with good ones. #reviewsClick to tweet
So again, you can’t please everyone and at some point in time during your business or where you work, there will be a bad review against you or your business. Sometimes it may be personal, not for you, but for them. Some people are insistent on getting things their way, right, wrong or indifferent and well, it just doesn’t always work that way. Sure, I’m for ‘the customer is right’ but there are times when… well, they aren’t. I am all for doing everything you can to make the client/customer happy, but even then, you can’t… walk away, it’s okay.
Think of the last time you looked at reviews at a hotel, restaurant or any product. There might have been a ton of great reviews, a mix of good and bad reviews and a ton of bad ones. Likely, the tons of bad ones are due to a poor business or lack of responsibility. Consider also how you thought about those reviews. Maybe a hotel had some bad customer service reviews. If they only had negative reviews, you’d likely take your business elsewhere. If they had good and bad reviews you might consider the dates of the reviews and maybe they went through management or staff issues. Consider if they had a ton of good reviews and a few negative ones – you might think, someone just wasn’t going to be happy or an ex-employee. Well, that’s what I think!
So, the point is… it is best to have more good reviews than bad and respond to the bad ones as soon as you see them trying to make it right or ask for clarification if they weren’t a customer, but be careful on this one. (Be sure you aren’t accusing a real customer who’s pissed as a fake one. Lol)
Keep in mind that the multitude of poor reviews might be poor marketing sense in that they didn’t think to work to bury their poor reviews, but I’m here to help with that.
How to Bury Them
Hopefully you have an email list or customer list that you can market to. I’d highly suggest reaching out to your current clients and ask them how you did and see if they would honor you with a review of their business. Keep in mind:
- What’s in it for them. Folks like to get something for doing something so consider a drawing of all those who completed a review each month/week, or give away something per review. It depends on what you can afford and your numbers.
- Make it easy. I’m all about keeping it easy for folks. Send them TO the places you need reviews. If you have poor reviews on Google, Yelp or the like, give them the link to your business listing there so they can leave their review there and not on another site you’ll have to manage.
- Consider your house. Consider housing reviews ON your website. You might not have negative reviews on your site (duh right) so you might want to solicit to the review sites first, then work on some reviews on your website. Plus, it’s an extra page on your site (that’s content) and likely they will mention a few keywords as they boast about your services or products. Score!
- Link to review sites. While you are working on adding more testimonials on your site, feel free to link to the other review sites there. Like, hey, feel free to check out our reviews on Google+, Yelp and Angie’s List and link directly to the place where they can find and add to them.
So, reach out to past and current clients and ask for reviews. You likely won’t get them unless you do ask, so why not. What is the worst they could do or say, no? Then, you are right where you are already. Give them incentive and make it easy for them to do it. Be appreciative!
Bury negative reviews with good ones – solicit customers & by all means, make it easy & incentivize! #reviewsClick to tweet
Hopefully this has helped with your concerns on reviews, negative reviews and what to do. If you need any help with burying yours via your email marketing, or setting it all up, contact me as I am happy to help.