It’s inevitable that you’ll get a bad review from a client eventually. Not everyone likes that same things, and some clients get their hopes up so high that the only possibility is to be disappointed in the end. It’s almost like they expect that your great photography skills will give you the ability to turn their physical flaws into perfection.
So eventually you’ll come across this person who hates what you’ve done, and unfortunately, they’re always the ones who love to leave reviews!
In my experience, whenever I’ve had a bad review, if it’s on a place like YouTube or Facebook where the person has an account of their own, I’ll click in and have a look at their past interactions, and it always involves a lot of negativity and anger. They’re just angry people, without a place to vent their anger, so they choose to do it online, often at the expense of others…
So Here’s What To Do…
If you’ve already got a following of people who love your work, such as on your Facebook page, or an email list, you can simply explain that this person didn’t like the result of their shoot and you’ve done everything you could to make it right, yet they’re still trying to hurt your business by leaving bad reviews… then send the link to the review site and ask if they could leave a good review to show your prospects that you really are great, and that the hurtful things they said aren’t true.
If you’ve got a large enough following, the good reviews will bury the bad one, and even if they don’t, anyone who sees it will be able to tell that the one poor review was obviously a person who gives everything in life a bad review.
What if you don’t have a large following?
You can simply reply to their review with your own response, and remember that you’re talking to future prospects and not directly to the bad reviewer. NEVER turn it into a debate or argument because even if you win, you’ll still lose. Have you ever heard that saying “never argue with an idiot because they’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience”… it’s exactly the same thing here…
Just explain that you’ve done everything you could to make things right and say you’re sorry you didn’t meet their expectations. Then include a link to your testimonials page on your site and say that you’ve worked with hundreds of others and never had a similar problem.
If you do this, any future prospects who see the bad review will see that it’s just one bad among many good, and that you do everything you can to take care of all your clients.
Reaching a Resolution
If the problem is eventually solved and the client becomes happy, you should ask them to either revise or remove the negative comment. Explain that it can hurt your business, and the reason you have no negative reviews online is because you work so hard with every client to make sure they’re happy. Tell them it’ll only take a minute and that since the problem has been resolved it would help users to get a better understanding of what actually happened in the end.
Getting a bad review online can give you that sinking feeling in your stomach when it happens because you think that everyone will see it and you’ll never work again! BUT it’s not as bad as it seems! Follow the guidelines I explained above and you’ll be fine. Sometimes a bad review can actually be beneficial to your business because it makes you seem more real, and allows you to show what you’re willing to do to keep your clients happy.
Leave a comment below with questions, or any stories you’ve got of bad clients!P.S. I've consulted privately with 281 photographers over the last 24 months so I can give you the strategies that are working right now to grow your business to its potential, meaning you can earn an executives income doing work that you love without it eating away your entire life!
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