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.