Let’s Talk Reviews! Can 4 Stars Actually Be Better Than 5?

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Jul 24, 2019

 Let’s Talk Reviews! Can 4 Stars Actually Be Better Than 5?

Before we start unpack­ing the title of this blog, let’s take a look at a Google Review hor­ror sto­ry. And it’s a true sto­ry, unfortunately.

Last year, one of my clients and friends, Bill of Nash Paint­ing in Ten­nessee, received a 1‑star rat­ing on Google. It was a lit­tle odd, pri­mar­i­ly since Nash tends to get 5‑star reviews and enjoys a stel­lar local reputation. 

Bill did a lit­tle dig­ging and quick­ly dis­cov­ered that the neg­a­tive rat­ing was NOT from a real client. 

And then anoth­er 1‑star rat­ing came in… Then anoth­er, and anoth­er, and another.

Since then, he has received over 70 1‑star reviews! It was dis­cov­ered ear­ly on that these false attacks were com­ing from an unscrupu­lous com­peti­tor who is angry that some of Bill’s team mem­bers were not born in the U.S., and resents them speak­ing any lan­guage oth­er than Eng­lish. He also is against sub­con­trac­tors, and has an axe to grind. 

How Do You Han­dle a Review Attack?

Despite being an extreme­ly stress­ful sce­nario, Bill has worked care­ful­ly to respond to every review, point­ing them out as fraud­u­lent in a pro­fes­sion­al man­ner, and ask­ing the review­er to please come forward.

Bill also flagged each review, and despite being cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly not the eas­i­est to work with, Google Cor­po­rate has removed over 25 of these poor rat­ings. Bill also is get­ting legal help, and mak­ing great strides in resolv­ing the prob­lem alto­geth­er. I admire his heart through all of this, and his abil­i­ty to con­tin­ue to focus on the integri­ty of his excel­lent com­pa­ny while still pro­tect­ing his team and reputation.

Did the Attack­er Actu­al­ly Help Nash Painting?

Let’s get back to the title of this article.

How can 4 stars be bet­ter than 5? Well, peo­ple today use the inter­net to research ser­vice pro­fes­sion­als, and reviews are a HUGE part of this. Savvy con­sumers are also high­ly sus­pi­cious, and see­ing only 5‑star rat­ings can actu­al­ly raise a red flag. After all, nobody expects per­fec­tion, mak­ing a 4‑star rat­ing more believ­able than 5

Right now Nash Paint­ing is down from 5 stars to an aver­age of about 4.4. That actu­al­ly could be a more attrac­tive num­ber, demon­strat­ing that this is a real paint­ing com­pa­ny with real clients who are very, very hap­py overall. 

What’s the Take­away for You and Your Company?

First, keep a close eye on your reviews! If you aren’t man­ag­ing your online rep­u­ta­tion, you could be miss­ing out on either a real prob­lem or a real oppor­tu­ni­ty for growth. 

Sec­ond, don’t sweat the occa­sion­al poor review. If it’s real, and the real ones are inevitable, just address it pro­fes­sion­al­ly and do your best to turn the sit­u­a­tion around. And don’t for­get to leave a pub­lic response for oth­ers to find! You want to show that you take your rep­u­ta­tion seri­ous­ly and will do what it takes to cor­rect any issues.

Third, don’t be afraid to flag a review if it seems sus­pi­cious! Some­times they’re left by angry past employ­ees, a com­peti­tor, or by mis­take (believe it or not, that can happen). 

Stay vig­i­lant, stay proac­tive, but don’t obsess over 5‑star rat­ings. 2019 has been a huge year for leads for Nash Paint­ing, prov­ing that some­times 4 real­ly can be bet­ter than 5

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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