First, never reply right away. Sometimes a bad review can feel like a direct attack and put us in a negative mind-set, which is never a good place to make decisions from. I have only had two bad reviews and they both kind of rocked my world when I first read them. One of them was completely legitimate and their complaints were 100% valid. We offered them the world with sincere apologies, a free catered event, money back, etc. etc. etc. They took down the review and took us up on about half of what we offered them, as they were very happy to just have us truly listen and try our best to make amends. We were able to turn a negative situation into a positive one, which is best for all involved.
The other one came as a complete surprise to us, with their complaints ranging from the color of my chef coat (emerald green, for my company Emerald City Cakes and Chocolates) to the style of pots the etouffee and gumbo were served in (traditional stainless steel and black ceramic) and the bar not being in the correct place (they decided to move it last minute and didn't tell us). Upon first reading it, we were upset to say the least. We took a day to process it, speak with our staff that were there and gather their opinions, and then composed a detailed, yet polite response to their review, addressing each complaint point-by-point. There isn't anything that we could do to get them to feel differently or change their mind about what happened, but we can control how the public sees that review and our response to it. By responding not in defense or in anger, but in a calculated and thoughtful manner, we can alter or at least direct the perception of anyone who reads that review. Again, turning a negative situation into a positive one, albeit in a completely different way.
I believe to keep Top Pro ranking you need a review average of 4.8 or greater. Therefore, in my eyes any review less than 5 star is a bad review. I try to work with my customers through the entire process to make sure I earn 5 star or nothing. I have received a 1 star and as another person said you can't make everyone happy. But I ignore it. I look at reviews this way, if I can only find perfect reviews of a company I call BULL$HIT. They paid for the fake reviews. If I find revews that are 1,2,3 star well I'll probably keep looking. I look for the company that has 90% 4 & 5 star reviews with a sprinkling of 1,2, and 3 stars. Why? Those are probably real reviews. And reading the bad ones I get a feel for customer error or company error.
Well, first, Thumbtack to their credit confirms reviews are made by people who actually used your service. (See, I can occassionally say nice things about Thumbtack) so fake reviews aren't the issue.
I've only gotten two bad reviews (one one star, one two star). The two star review, I contacted the client and corrected her concerns, but Thumbtack won't let customers modify reviews after they've given them. the One Star, the customer had an unrealistic view of what the service could do for him. (Sorry, guy the best written resume in the world won't qualify you for a job you have no experience at.) This nitwit did cost me Top Pro status for the first half of 2018...
My best recommendation... When you get a bad review, reach out to some of your former customers you know were happy and ask them for a review, so that's the first thing the prospective client sees.
I think that is a good idea.
There are just some people out there who do not understand everything about what we do, whatever it is that you do. In house cleaning, some people think we are like "maids" or even servants. LOL! Before I clean a house for the first time I go over some basics, such as what is included and what is not. Expecting me to clean their 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 1600SF home thoroughly in only 4 hours - and then tack on extras such as bed making, taking trash out, etc. - is not realistic.
@JoeB131, I think you may need to revise your statement, "Thumbtack to their credit confirms reviews are made by people who actually used your service. (See, I can occassionally say nice things about Thumbtack) so fake reviews aren't the issue."
The person that left me the one-star review received my information directly from Thumbtack. It was not a quote I sent. The person marked me hired and then left me a 1-star review. It actually cost me Top Pro status for the first half of 2018. I have been in business for myself for just under a year.
I do not have a problem with a legitimate 1-star review. If I didn't meet my client's expectations, then I can accept that. Fake reviews I cannot and will not accept, ever.