Does One Bad Review Really Matter?
At RepCheckup, we often get the question: Does one bad review really matter?
In the world of online reputation management, this is a straightforward question that actually requires a bit of consideration. If you want the short version, the answer is: yes, every bad review matters.
The truth is that getting one bad online review isn’t always a dire situation – if you have a reputation management strategy in place. Without a plan that actively routes clients and patients to your review platforms, with websites typically being targeting one or two at a time, businesses who have fewer reviews may be more affected by even a single negative review.
Think about it this way, the fewer reviews that exist on a specific platform, the more a single negative review is able to drop your rating. For example, a business with one five star review stands to lose a lot of ground if the second review that comes in is, say, just one star.
In these cases, we tend to get calls from business owners or medical professionals who are desperately looking to get these reviews removed from their profiles so that their rating can bounce back up. Unfortunately, getting a review removed is a difficult process that isn’t often fruitful even for businesses who know that the review is fake.
Is it impossible to have a bad review removed?
In cases where a business owner finds a negative review has been left on their profile, it’s important for them to do a little bit of research and reflection before jumping into the long process of attempting to have the review removed.
If the negative review was left by a real customer or patient, their feedback will have to be taken as a learning experience and potential training opportunity to avoid the bad situation in the future. We recommend responding publicly and diplomatically to show future researchers that you are committed to providing an excellent experience to everyone and are actively involved in “righting” the situation.
In some cases, a bad review has clearly been left by someone who isn’t a client or patient. When this happens, you will have to have clear evidence that this person hasn’t been a customer, which is a difficult task for most business owners. Because review websites have such huge user bases, these websites require a lot of evidence for them to consider removing the review.
Why is it so hard to have an online review removed?
Review websites are meant to be a safe place for users to leave their opinions. If a review website would allow businesses to simply remove or decline to show a review just because it’s negative, the honesty aspect of that review website is diminished.
To maintain the sanctity of what users are reporting through their reviews, these websites tend to side with reviewers rather than businesses, which can be frustrating for a business who knows they provide quality service in reality.
What you can do about online reviews?
The best course of action? Have a online reputation management strategy that is being executed on to route all your clients towards review websites. By simply asking for a review in person, and using a tool to send a digital follow-up message, businesses and medical professionals are often able to expand the amount of their reviews to offset the occasional negative (or fake) review.
When you have such a strategy in place, the percentage of damage your rating will take when a one star rating drops into the mix is minimal. At RepCheckup, we call this “padding,” which allows your real reviews, that reflect the positive reality of your business, to solidify your reputation and rating.
So, the truth is that one bad review does really matter but it doesn’t necessarily have to if you’ve implemented a great reputation management strategy.