Reviews – Should I Turn Them Off? #BadReview

Reviews are everywhere these days. But what happens when your house cleaning company gets some bad reviews? Do you turn the reviews off so no one can vote good or bad? Do the bad reviews hurt your business more than the good endorsements help?

Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at the art of social commenting and how it affects the evaluation perfect strangers have of your business.

What strategies can you use to boost the praise and acclaim others give you?

Learn business tips to help you gather recommendations and five-star ratings rather than hiding from bad reviews.

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Listen: Reviews – Should I Turn Them Off? I Got a Bad One

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Watch: Reviews – Should I Turn Them Off? I Got a Bad One


Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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 Question: Should I Turn Them Off My Reviews? I Got a Bad One

Today’s question comes from a house cleaner, who has citations. business citation, company ratings and reviews

Now, citations are business listings where you are on Yelp.com or on Google.com or Bing.com or any of the other five or six hundred sites that are out there like Nextdoor.com and Facebook.com

Where you list your business so that people can give you ratings and reviews.

Also so that people can find you and they can hire you.
So it’s called a business citation.

So, there was a girl the other day that wanted to know how do turn off all the reviews on my business citations?
She said “I’m getting a lot of bad reviews. So I want to be able to turn those reviews off so that customers don’t see them.”
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Answer: Turning Off Your Reviews Is The Business Kiss of Death

Okay, so the answer to that question is this.
You don’t.
If you’re getting bad reviews, that is actually like your body sending your head a signal saying “man, I got this really terrific headache.”

And instead of just popping some pills to make a headache disappear, it would be very helpful if you said. “Hmmm. I wonder why I have a headache.
I wonder if it was triggered by something I ate.
Could it possibly be triggered by the fact that I’m dehydrated?
Could it be triggered by the fact that I didn’t sleep but two hours last night?”

And so when your body sends you a signal, it’s not just “hurry and give me a pill and make it go away.” Like turning off the reviews and making the reviews go away.

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Bad Reviews Are Free Troubleshooting

masking the problem is not the answer - bad reviews, Angela Brown Oberer
But it’s actually a signal to you. And if you are willing to pay attention to what that signal says, you can get to the root of the problem.
If you are getting reviews that are negative, I mean, that’s unfortunate. But that’s a lot of information.
Right?
People usually don’t make a bad review without saying why.
If you look at those reviews, and they are negative reviews, I mean, that’s really unfortunate. That can hurt your business, but it can also really help you.
Because if, you are on Yahoo.com and someone leaves you a bad review, you have the opportunity to correct that publicly.
Okay? It’s called reputation management.
And what it is this. They say “Oh, you were sloppy with the bathroom.”
You can respond and say “Hey, good news. I apologize I was sloppy with the bathroom. But the good news is I offer a 100% satisfaction, money back guarantee.
I would love to come back in the next 24 hours and re-clean that bathroom for you to your level of expectation. And you leave that review right there on Yahoo.com

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Your Customers Are Watching To See How You Respond To Your Reviews

And then other people seeing it will say “Oh, look, she got a bad review, but she was very quick to respond. She responded immediately. Quickest way to solve bad reviews are through them, Angela Brown Oberer
She does offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.” Which takes the fear out of them hiring you. “And she went and corrected the situation.”

Now, when you go back to the customer’s house, you can say “Hey, I am really excited that you left me this review. I’m no so thrilled the fact that it was a negative review.
Would you mind being so kind to go back in and just say; Hey, she came back and cleaned it, and now it looks amazing? So that way, the people that read that thread will know that I followed up with you and that I did come back and make the situation right.”

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How Realistic are Five-Star Reviews?

By keeping your reviews turned on, It makes you look authentic.
If you have all five-star reviews, you’re either freaking awesome, or your friends were paid to write reviews.
That’s kind of what that looks like.

Every once in a while, you need a four-star review, or a three-star review or a one-star review that says “I’m human.”Business Citation showing rating and reviews

If you have ever gone on a trip, and you’ve looked at Trip Advisor, they specialize in ratings and reviews. And you can look at a review that has one star. People are interested to see the one star. They want to know if the one-star rating is valid and if they should choose to stay somewhere else.

We were talking about a Trip Advisor review the other day where a reviewer made a reservation at a particular bed and breakfast. Before he arrived he got a note from the B&B owner that said something to the effect that a pipe broke. And the owner of the B&B relocated the would-be guests to another property.  

The owner took the initiative to find them another place to stay so they wouldn’t be stranded on their vacation and paid the difference in money to send them to another place and transferred these people. Their review, however, didn’t highlight how far above and beyond the B&B owner had gone to re accommodate his guests.

What it said is how inconvenienced they were that they had to go to a different place and that while they were at the other location there was somebody yelling outside their window.
And they left the B&B owner a 1-star rating along with this review.

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Bad Reviews Can’t Touch Excellent Customer Service

And he came right back in and he said “Oh my goodness. I’m so sorry to hear this. I wish you would have called me personally, I’d have come out there with my baseball bat and I’d have caused a ruckus myself, to try to make sure that it was quiet for you.”
It’s a joke, but what he was saying was this is the stupidest thing ever.
Because once he relocated his guests at his expense and trouble, he can’t control someone outside their window in a different location.”

So you look at that one-star rating and you’re like “Wow, that customer is an idiot.” 

And you don’t blame the owner. So it’s not that ratings and reviews are all bad, even the bad ones.

Okay, but what happens is the ratings and reviews will propel you into the next dimension of your business.

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Advertising Costs More When Your Marketing Doesn’t Include Reviews

Right now, we have bunches of people in our cleaning network that are spending, and I’m not kidding, hundreds and thousands of dollars every month in advertising.
Because they are not willing to have ratings and reviews.

When people find you and they read the ratings, they’re like “Oh my gosh, this person did a really great job. 46 times, they did a really great job. How come I haven’t hired them already?” And then you find another house cleaner that has one rating and review. Who do you choose?
It’s called social proof.

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People Spend Money After They See Social Proof

The social proof is where we are now in advertising. Everybody is doing ratings & reviews
For example,  you can spend a lot of money and run an ad inside a magazine that may not get any response because there is no social proof. There are no ratings and reviews that go along with the magazine.
You just see the ad and it says “I’m really great.”

Okay, but I can go online and I can check out “are you really great?”
And if I get online, and I do match up your name with whatever name is on the internet and there are a bunch of five-star ratings and reviews, and maybe a couple of four stars, and a one star or whatever. What that tells me is that you’re a valid business.

You’ve been around the block a few times.
There are customers that love you and you have some fans.
You have some people that are willing to go out on a limb and to leave you some kind of a rating and review.

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We Even Ask For Ratings and Reviews On This Very Show

If you are listening to this as a podcast, please leave me a rating and review on iTunes or Stitcher or Soundcloud or GooglePlay or wherever you’re listening to it.
If you’re watching this on YouTube, give us a thumbs up and subscribe.
The reason we do that is not just like “Oh hey, give us like points. So that little pieces of dopamine hit our brain and we feel good about ourselves for a minute.”

The reason is for the other people that drop by.
The other people that drop by wonder: “Oh hey, I’m thinking about a podcast that I would like to listen to. Should I listen to this one that has three reviews, or should I listen to this one that has fifty? Oh wait, I think that if I’m going to split my time, and I only have time to listen to one podcast, I’d rather listen to the one with fifty reviews.”

It’s this thing that happens in our mind. We want what everyone else has voted on.
The rating and review is a vote.
It’s your vote.

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Your Opinion Counts. Use It

Rating and review is a vote of confidence man hits vote buttonAnd so sometimes we feel unempowered as customers.
We feel like “I just got a really bad house cleaner and I don’t know what to do about it.”
I’ll tell you what to do about it. Go online and leave them a rating and review.
So that other people can decide whether or not they would like to hire that house cleaner.

It doesn’t cost you anything to leave a positive review because your house cleaner was amazing and did a really great job for you. It’s like you paying it forward.

But that house cleaner is going to find out about it.
And when that house cleaner sees your rating and review, do you know how they feel about you now?
You just went up in their mind a little bit.

They feel like “Oh wow, this person really appreciates me. I’m going to go out of my way to do a little bit better job for this customer. Because they left me a rating and review. And they appreciate the work that I’ve done.” As opposed to the other people that didn’t appreciate them and leave you a rating and review.

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It’s Weird How Psychology Words With Comments and Reviews

But it’s all in the social proof
So if your question is “should I turn off all of my business citation reviews?”
The answer is no.

Please do not do that. It will be the death of your business. In an era where large companies like Amazon and eBay and Trip Advisor and Yahoo, and Bing, and Yelp and all these other sites, base their success and their referral system on ratings and reviews.

Anytime you buy anything – leave a rating and review. If you read a book on Amazon, leave them a rating and review. If you buy something from eBay – leave a rating and review about the product, the shipping, the merchant who sold you the goods. 

When you go to a restaurant, leave them a rating and review.
We can do it now from our cell phones. You just click on the link,  type in the five stars, and write a sentence or two about your experience. That’s it.
It’s not time-consuming.
But get in the habit of leaving the ratings and reviews, because it does, it goes a long way. And it helps promote that business.
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Alright, that’s my tip for today. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.

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During the shows we recommend services, sites, and products to help you improve your cleaning and grow your cleaning business. We have partnerships with these companies to provide you with discounts, and savings. By clicking on and buying from the links in the show notes, we may receive a commission which helps pay for the production costs of the show.

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About @SavvyCleaner // Angela Brown

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru // Founder of SAVVY CLEANER // Author of the book: How to Start Your Own House Cleaning Company