How To Get Rid Of Bad Reviews

The attached picture shows a bad review from one of my clients that we turned into a 5 stars review.

He asked me how to get rid of it, here is what we did.

I told him, before we do anything, we need to understand what is going on here.

A 1 star review is nothing but a sudden loss in trust. The customer trusted your company but was disappointed which led to less trust. So our goal is to re-create that trust in a very short amount of time – Our customers’ attention window is steadily getting smaller till it closes. That means your customer says: “I don’t care anymore”. If you then try to convince him to delete the bad review, it’s likely that this will hurt your business’ reputation way more.

So before we reply to bad reviews, we should call them or visit them in person. We can ask them for coffee etc. The most important thing is that the person who caused that problem has to solve it! If that‘s not possible, someone with high authority should do the job. (Never the other way around!) I followed this strategy successfully a few years ago when I worked for a luxury hotel where bad reviews have really hurt us. We were able to claim the first booking[dot]com ranking as reviews are way more important there than in the local search.

This is what we need to do:

Happiness and a friendly mood is crucial before calling or meeting someone who dropped a bad review. We have to create a personal room for you and your customer and make it as comfortable for him as possible.

Steps to remove bad reviews:

  1. Pay attention to the person, ask what went wrong and listen carefully. Be genuinely interested in their problems – make them feel understood 100% and shut up till it’s your turn.
  2. Tell them it wasn‘t the best day, apologize and try to make them feel that you actually care about them and that the mistake that happened was an exception. They must believe you!
  3. When you think the conversation turned your customers’ mood in a „I would use your service again although it was not the best experience“ ask them to remove the review. Ask yourself how you feel in the conversation – this will give you an impact if it is already the right moment to ask.

Obviously, you cannot change people’s mind 100%, but this strategy is surely the one with a very high success rate and I tested it myself over a couple of years.

It´is 99% a communication problem if someone gives your business a bad review. It´s not about the service or product. You just didn’t satisfy expectations that you communicated before. Promising(communicating) an amazing service and delivering bad results is a typical outcome of poor communication. If you would have tried to communicate possible problems in a specific situation earlier, it would have decreased the chance tremendously to get a bad review.

Of course, there are a lot more psychological techniques that one could implement but this should be a good start.


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