I was like 6 months in practice when I got a negative review.
Since I was new in practice, it hit me hard and made me quite upset.
When I started, I made some fliers advertising a cheap first visit, and a “membership” plan for regular adjustments which advertised fees “as low as $59 a month.”
During lunch I’d walk around the neighborhood and put my fliers on peoples’ doorsteps. It’s a pretty labor intensive way to get people in my office, however it did yield some new clients.
My flier was terrible. It had a high threshold offer, no benefit driven targeted copy, was all about ME and my practice rather than my audience, and only spoke to the “most aware” prospects.
If you are starting out, it’s not the WORST thing to do in your spare time, however there are much, much better ways to send fliers out.
Anyway, the review came from someone who got my flier and called about prices. He simply called to confirm my monthly fee.
The flier clearly stated “as low as $59,” and the $59 price was for students. I charged $69 a month for seniors and $99 a month for regular working adults.
I told the guy my fees, he thanked me and hung up.
Then a few days later, I just happened to check my yelp and was shocked to see my overall rating drop from 5/5 to a 3/5. I only had a few reviews at the time so that one negative review really influenced my rating.
The guy accused me of all sorts of nasty stuff, false advertising, being untrustworthy, really bad review.
I was furious. The review wasn’t true either, I wasn’t engaging in false advertising, and I certainly am not untrustworthy.
I wrote a letter to Yelp to remove it because it was defamatory and libelous. They didn’t.
I was pissed for a while. I spoke to my friend about it, another successful business guy, you know what he said?
“Toughen Up. People are always going to have something to say. The more successful you get the more some people won’t like you.”
He’s right. Learning how to deal with these types of minor pains is essential if you want to be successful.
Who cares what one person thinks? The guy was an idiot anyway. If someone reads his review and doesn’t come to my business, I probably don’t want that person anyway.
In fact, some negative reviews can actually help you.
Remember that in marketing, you want a clearly defined audience. You also want to repel the people you don’t want. You can’t be for everybody.
If your negative reviews act to repel people you don’t want, that’s a bonus.
Further, negative reviews show that your reviews aren’t fake. Lots of businesses solicit reviews from only friends and happy customers. Having a few negative reviews in there makes it appear even solicited reviews are legitimate.
So remember, be tough, learning to deal with minor (and major) pains is part of what it takes to be successful. Negative reviews might feel like a punch in the gut, but they often can work FOR you rather than against you.