How do you handle and even think of bad reviews for your business? If you run an online business or brick-and-mortar business, online reviews have become more and more valuable and more important as time goes on. So much of us do our searching online now and granted much work that we do, like we talk about here comes from word-of-mouth, final validation often will come from reviews that we see on websites from hotels, from businesses, from restaurants. But how do you handle the ones that aren’t great?
We all know that there are bad customers. We all know that there were times that we just don’t fit between the business and the customer and I truly believe that a lot can be learned even from the bad reviews. Now we heard the old adage, the customers are always right and I don’t believe that. I think sometimes the customer is not the right customer and it’s our job as our businesses grow and mature to be able to find the right ones and repel the wrong ones because if you want to build something great that’s unique, it’s not good to be for everybody. I think so many people try so hard to please everybody that they turn off the people that really want what they do.
So, we had a great call last week in our community and one of our master minders is Christine Hughey. She runs an incredible business called A Little Local Flavor and it is known as national best food tour. So, they do food tour in the Nashville area and the reviews are off the chart and the business is growing like mad. She did a call for us on how to get great reviews for your business and how to build a great business around reviews. It is such an interesting and important topic and we got to dive in on to the subject and really learn the ins and outs on how this works, how to do it better, how to use it to increase your business and profitability. Christine brought so much information and knowledge and experience to the call that it was such a great help. But what’s also fun about the call was when the topic got on bad reviews, how you handle it and how it affects different businesses in different ways because there are certain venues where a bad review is really harmful and can potentially harm your business and knock down the power of what you’re building. In other ways, it’s just an ego hit.
I’ll give you my example first. I wrote a book called Freelance to Freedom about a year and a half ago and I was fortunate to get so many great reviews. It was five-star after five-star but Seth Godin said often that you haven’t made it until you have a one-star review. So, a few weeks ago my friend David Rhodes message me and said I have a one-star review on your book on Amazon. I said no, I didn’t know that. I haven’t checked the stats of the review in a while. He went on to read the review in to the effect of “I do know how this book can help me. It’s just a bunch of stories. It doesn’t help me at all.” I think David thought I might be upset by it and I was like “Yes! I finally got that one-star view. It means that I’ve made it.” So, it didn’t bother me at all. I know it’s not for everybody and I’m honestly surprised it didn’t happen sooner because my book is not for this guy or this girl. He’s obviously looking for maybe a quicker fix, a step-by-step and that’s not my book is about. I never promise that, that’s not what I set out to write. My book of stories about the struggles we went through, what we learn from it and what you can do phase by phase to take yourself from being stuck to being free, building a business and create the life you want. So, somebody can read that book and leave that review. It’s obviously not for them, at least not now.
So, Christine was laughing when I get that reaction because I think she was surprised that I got a one-star review and I was happy about it. The conversation eventually went to what you do about the people that are obviously kind of quote unquote out there. We all deal with those. My boss when I worked at Dairy Barn years ago had a nickname for him and he would call them Pita. There was one woman that came in and she was never happy about anything. She always found something to complain about. It didn’t matter how hard you tried or what you did you go out of your way, she always complained about something. So, we would see her car pulling and we will be like, here comes Pita. I don’t curse in this podcast but Pita is Pain In The…. you fill in the A.
We all know that if we let this stuff get to us, we can get 100 reviews in a book and one bad one and we think about the one bad one and we neglect the 99 that left great reviews which is such a terrible disservice to do your clients. Because what you’re doing is you’re focusing on the one that wasn’t right for, as opposed to the 99 that went out of their way to do something nice and to appreciate what you did. And absolutely, we should learn from those one. We should see what the valid points they have because often there is a valid point in their complaint but we do often is we obsess over it. I brought the point that I think hopefully hit home because the response was bunch of laughter but it is how we learn to deal with Pita clients. Because trust me, we’ve had our share.
And years and years ago, I heard the stat that 2% of the population is insane. There’s 2% that are never going to get it. There’s 2% that will always complain. There’s 2%, that no matter how hard you try, it will never be good enough. So, we enacted the 2% rule when it comes to this and it’s completely eased all issues, at least in my mind when it comes to this situation. If 2% of the populations are insane then it goes to show that probably 2% of our clients might be insane. So, if you can understand that ,it might put to ease some of the stress that comes with it and it gives you parameters to go by when thinking about this kind of stuff. So instead of obsessing about those one or two bad reviews that you get out of 100 or 200, just understand that that comes with this territory.
Now as the caveat to that, if you are getting more than that, if you’re getting more than 2% bad reviews, if you’re getting complaints that are beyond just the abnormal that aren’t just an anomaly, that’s the time to look at what you’re doing. That’s the time to look at the service that you’re providing and to really start wondering what you could be doing better, how you can improve and how you can change things to serve your clients better. I think when you understand and accept that there’s always going to be the handful out there that are just going to complain and that it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just gets so much easier to deal with and it allows you to say to yourself to focus on the ones that get it and double down on those people and make sure that they are over satisfied and keep wanting to come back for more.
And speaking of going above and beyond for their customers, if you are traveling to Nashville, one of my favorite cities, go to alittlelocalflavor.com and book a food tour from Christine and make sure you get the famous hot chicken and go experience what so many people are raving about. I can’t wait to take our group down to Nashville to do a one-day mastermind there, maybe even retreat so we could all go on the food tour together. So, check that out. Don’t let the Pitas of the world get you down and I will talk to you tomorrow.