The biggest online reputation mistake that I see small and local businesses make is that they let negative reviews cripple them and scare them from moving forward. Whether they are afraid to ask their customers for reviews because they might get an occasional “1 star” or “2 star” review, or they already have one or two bad reviews, the fear of getting more bad reviews holds them back from being the best-rated business online in their local market.
Most owners don’t spend enough time trying to improve their reputation. The best way to improve your online reputation is to get MORE 5 star reviews. Having 0 reviews and ignoring your reputation, or having a few bad reviews that you hope you can ignore and they’ll magically disappear will not improve your reputation or get you more customers.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t hide from your online reputation.
One “1 star” review alone is ugly, but one “1 star” review among hundreds of “5-star” reviews is real and authentic. What most small businesses fail to realize is that negative reviews can actually help their business. According to Econsultancy, 68% of consumers are more trusting of reviews that are a mixture of positive and negative, than those that are all positive.
If we go with the “glass half full” approach, bad reviews that are real actually provide a great learning opportunity for you and your employees. You get the chance to hear about how your customers feel and that data can be priceless when it comes to improving your business.
Nobody feels good about someone saying negative things about them, their business, their family, or anything that they care about. It’s nearly impossible not to take it personal but, for the sake of your business and your sanity, you have to try to not take bad review personal.
If you’re a local business owner with a great business that has many happy customers, especially repeat customers, then that one bad review probably says more about the person leaving the review than it does about your business.
Focusing on negative reviews is a disservice to the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands(!) of customers that love and appreciate you and your business.
If you have bad reviews, what you need to do next is figure out how to get your happy customers talking about you more online.
My call to action for any business concerned about their online reputation is to step up and take an active role in your online reputation. Find a way to get more 5 star feedback from your customers. If you have a few bad reviews that you’ve been wasting time on trying to hide from your online reputation, then you need to let them go. Forget about them and move forward.
If you do have bad reviews that you haven’t addressed or haven’t tried to clean up then contact us to get your hands on our guide to help you respond and handle negative reviews. Sometimes you can actually turn bad reviewers into loyal, lifelong customers, but you can’t sell the unsellable. Know when to quit and move on. Contact us to get that guide.
If you have any questions about your reputation or negative reviews, join us in the comments section below.