After more than five years of trading and over 60 5-star reviews, the day finally came: we officially received our first ever non 5-star review.
A blemish on an otherwise perfect track record stirred up a mixed bag of emotions. At the same time, we saw it as a valuable opportunity to learn, reflect and share our experience.
Here’s what we took away from our first non 5-star review.
1. You can’t have a 5-star rating forever
Here’s the truth: no business can maintain a five-star rating forever. As a company grows and takes on more clients, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up with at least a few unhappy customers along the way. Sometimes, the criticism will be warranted. In other cases, a negative review will feel grossly unfair.
Whether the criticism is justified, fabricated, or outside of your control is beside the point. Just know that, sooner or later, you will receive a non five-star review. It’s not a mark of failure – it’s a natural part of doing business. Use it as a learning opportunity, take the time to reflect on what went wrong and take steps to reduce the risk of it happening again in the future.
2. You’re not perfect
No business is perfect. Every conscientious business owner strives to deliver the best service possible, but the fact of the matter is that every company on the planet – from your Apples and Amazons to your local corner shop dairy – is flawed in its own unique way.
The key takeaway here? Strive for perfection but be realistic about your shortcomings. Know and celebrate your strengths, but also try to be mindful of areas of the business that could do with some work. Assume there are holes in your understanding of your company, and be proactive when issues arise from these blind spots.
3. You can’t control other people’s responses
Here at Harper Digital, we know we’re not perfect. We assumed that we’d get our first negative review after something went wrong on our end – a rare moment of miscommunication , perhaps, or an unforeseen change in the industry that triggered unpredictable results.
What we hadn’t anticipated was receiving a negative review for a customer having a change of heart midway through a project and abruptly ending our relationship. It didn’t matter that we’d stuck to our normal battle-tested processes and followed through on the job as promised. The client wanted out and there was nothing we could do or say to resolve the matter.
The lesson here is to be confident in your processes. While it is important to always listen to client feedback, don’t start doubting your methods after receiving a single bad review. Focus on delivering consistent customer service and make peace with the fact that you can’t control other people’s responses.
4. Be selective about who you choose to work with
In the early days of building a client base, it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking on anyone and everyone who shows interest in your services. But just because you can take on a client, doesn’t mean you should.
If you run a service-based business, be selective about who you bring on board. You can’t cater to every budget and your services won’t always be a good fit for the client, so don’t try to bend your processes to meet a prospect’s expectations. Sometimes, rejecting a customer is unequivocally the right thing to do, and filtering out unsuitable clients will help you work more efficiently and keep team morale high in the long run.
Book a free digital strategy session
Maintaining a positive online reputation is just one aspect of building a successful business. To find out how Harper Digital can help you achieve your other business growth goals, give us a call today on 0800 501 061 and book your complimentary strategy session.