Rarely do we make a buying decision without consulting the internet for reviews and information. From selecting a doctor, to home repairs, to a night out, or a vacation, we want to know the reviews on just about everything.  Choices seem endless and asking a friend is not always possible or reliable.  What  a collective group of people say about a service can make a huge impact on your buying decisions.

On the flip side, as a business owner a poor review can feel like the kiss of death.  Maybe the bad review came from a bad reviewer, a misunderstanding or was based on a former employee or issue that has been resolved.  Your options for removing a bad review are limited at best and only the reviewer has full control of taking down a review.
Learn how to mend, fix or cash-in on online reviews

There are a few companies that have decided to take the issue to court.  Not only is this an uphill and costly battle it only brings bad PR for your firm.  As for reaching out to Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor or others, your chance of getting a favorable resolution is minimal. Recently, I was successful in getting a Yelp review taken down for a client, but that was because that particular review was for a business that had been purchased by my client. The review was for the old company, and my client no longer works in that space.  Even though I was trying to get an old review taken down for a nonexistent business, still took weeks.

There is a way to fix your bad reviews

Before I tell you how to off-set your bad online reviews, I'm going to make the assumption that you have fixed whatever caused the bad review.  

Even the best marketing plans can't compete with poor operations and bad reviews

What you need to counter a few bad reviews is a volume of good reviews.  Not from friends and families, but from genuine customers who like your business and are willing to share their opinion with others.

There is a company here is Dallas, called SurveyLocal.com and they have a rather simple, but fantastic way to get reviews.  Basically you ask your customers to answer a two-question survey.  Question one: Did you like Your Service?  If the answer is yes an algorithm will direct the customer to the appropriate review site.

Question two: How was your experience? The answer to this question will appear as a review on the selected review site.  For most this is Google. So not only do you get a survey, but a review.  Customers are aware that their comments will be shared publically online. 

Survey Local finds about 30 - 35% of customers will engage in the survey and 10-15% will leave a public review. From reviews alone, Survey Local has seen companies revenue increase by 14% with no other changes made to their marketing efforts.  Just think how a total marketing plan could impact your business.

So what if the answer is “no?”  Well, the customer shares their negative experience and you, the business owner, receives an email. What a great opportunity to address the issue, fix it, apologize or just listen to your customer.

Most people that leave negative reviews, do so because they want to be heard and there was no one to hear nor solve the issue at hand.  A few others are just negative people and you can't make everyone happy.  Which leads to the need for volume.

Unless your mom is your only reviewer, rarely will you always get 5 star reviews.  However, a large volume of happy reviews will offset and few 3 and 4 stars and possibly the one or two star that existed from the past.

Cash-in on the positive reviews

Do you know what is better than an ad on Google?  A five star review, sitting above all your competitors.  High reviews and hits to your website are like a glorious snowball that continues to grow as your SEO improves and more see and like your business. Business volume and revenues go up and you are a happy business owner.

You can take this five star review and place it on your other marketing efforts saying, "Check out our five star review on Google."

Online reviews are just one piece of your marketing puzzle.  It's important that you put together all marketing elements that maximize your marketing dollar and compliment all other efforts. If you feel stuck on how to make your marketing effectively work for you business, please email us. Solving your marketing challenges is what we do.

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