How to deal with 1-star reviews ☢️🚨 on Google Business
Building The Apple Yard
This is one in a series of our personal experiences of launching a small business, cataloguing our successes and failures. We find it helpful to self-reflect and hopefully you might learn a thing or two!
No matter how much you surround yourself with friends and supporters - nurturing crucial relationships with clients - before long you'll get that gut-wrenching moment.
A one-star review.
You can see ours here - it's no secret and you can't hide it from anyone; that's why it hurts.
So, what are the tactics for dealing with a one-star review?
Here's our workflow:
2. If known, contact the reviewer to find a solution
3. Generate reviews from previous clients's projects not yet reviewed
4. Edit your owner's response as necessary
5. Evaluate where you can improve and implement solutions in your processes
6. Don't take it to heart; move on quickly
1. Respond directly and positively as soon as possible
- Reviews and feedback are on full display these days, and the public knows it
- Review platforms (like Google, Trustpilot, Facebook) are ways to get the attention of business owners, or attack them, so be attentive
- Context is key, so you need to get across your message as quickly as possible to provide balance to the issue
- Offer an olive branch and demonstrate your willingness to make things right
- If you know the reviewer personally, take the issue offline, ideally through a phone call; even better, in person
- Whatever you do, be polite and professional, as your character and company are in the firing line
- There is nothing you can do about anonymous reviews or trolls; see above and don't get into a flame war
2. Generate positive reviews from previous clients quickly
- Try to dilute and mitigate the negative affect of your one star review with positive ones
- Make a list of previous clients for whom you have completed projects recently
- If there are some who have not yet reviewed your work, get in contact, ideally by phone
Tactics for generating quality reviews from previous clients:
- In your call, say that you are following up some jobs; ask whether your client would like to leave you some feedback
- Follow up by e-mail with a pre-made template that has a very clear link to your review area; we use Google Business for all our reviews
- We use a direct link that opens up a browser window with the review form all ready to go, specifically relating to The Apple Yard
- Here's what it looks like 👇
3. Take the opportunity to evaluate and improve
- The natural thing to do is to take criticism personally, but the trick with business is to ask every time:
What can I do better? Was there some thing I did, said or one of my processes that caused this?
- Despite our best efforts, we always miss things, and until you roadtest products or service with living, breathing people, you simply can't predict outcomes
- Therefore, criticism is the perfect opportunity to fix things and improve
- Also, be magnanimous and own your mistakes
- Even better, tell your clients how they are helping you improve; it builds trust, credibility and mileage
- Whatever you identify, weave it back into your work; preferably quickly
- Also, if things change and you are using Google Business, you can always edit your owner comment and republish it
4. Don't take it to heart
- A good friend of mine said to me that you need to be cultivate a robust mental attitude; be mentally robust
- There is another saying: shut up and move on
- The point is that you can't afford to stop and feel sorry for yourself, as life marches on
- Also, you probably can't do much about the issue once it's done and you've done your firefighting
If you've had a bad review, perhaps justified or not, leave a comment below and let us know how you dealt with it. What are some of your tactics?