Author: Josh Torres
Who cares about reviews?
Consumers care, that’s who. We all know that. Nowadays almost everything whether it is a location, goods, services, ESPECIALLY services, have some sort of reviews online. Therefore, let’s think of these questions:
Do I need reviews online?
Where should I store them?
How do I ask clients for a review?
What if I get a less than stellar or even worse, a BAD review?
Do I need reviews online?
This one may sound like a simple yes.
However, I’ve actually spoken with some professional DJs who still do not believe in the power of online reviews.
Some of the reasons behind not collecting reviews that I’ve heard are: my bookings come from “word of mouth”, or perhaps, I am subcontracted by other DJ companies, or “I just don’t have the time”, or “I wouldn’t know where to start or how to do it”.
While it is true that you may have great street cred and your reputation supersede you, word of mouth will help you little if by any reason you end up having to move far away.
Maybe that one family member who lives across the states needs your constant help so you have to move, or your significant other gets a job transfer etc, the point is that you never know what life brings ahead. Online reviews will be there for you regardless of where you live.
This is also true if you get your bookings by being subcontracted.
On the other hand, if you’re with team #aintnobodygottimeforthat or #wheretostart, then “stay tuned” and I will try to guide you a bit.
Storing reviews online took me a while to get right. It is a working progress even for me. However, no one helped me or told me how to start and where to go, so I hope this helps you out. First, remember the adage “don’t store all your eggs in one basket”?
If that one basket falls, well then there goes your reviews.. er, eggs, well in this case the eggs are the reviews, so yeah you don’t want to just have a one place where you store reviews. A few years ago I started a Facebook business page and they used to have a reviews section. I sent all my clients there. One day Facebook decided to do away with ‘reviews’.
My more than 20 five star reviews were gone, just like that. This had an impact on my bookings, I felt it right away. New clients didn’t see me as a serious professional. I had to once again lower my prices to get those clients who are less concerned about quality and just want a “dj”. I then made accounts at weddingwire and TheKnot and Google places.
I was able to reach a hand full of past clients who were nice enough to re-write reviews for me. A couple of years later Google also changed the “google places” to “google my business” and again I lost the reviews I had on Google, but this time the effect wasn’t as devastating because I had the other places where my reviews were. There are other places online such as Thumbtack and Gigmasters.
Make the time, take just one day of the week, like a Monday, pick one of the aforementioned websites, look through the competition, if you’re not much of a wedding DJ then probably weddingwire and theKnot might not be your thing. Make a profile, even if it is simple, most of those places offer a free limited account, some will contact you to try and sell you advertising options. I suggest listening to the pitch and then deciding if it is good for you.
Once you have your free account get the link to send clients to leave you reviews. After you take these steps, you’ll then save that link and just send it to your clients, not much else you have to do. It is time well invested.
Finally, storing reviews on your own website is good for content, but let’s be honest, Do you really believe when a product tells you people are raving about it? Right, the first thing you do is find reviews somewhere else. You get my point.
Well look at you, you got yourself a great looking profile at one of those sites and got your link, now what?
Getting your clients to review you will be somewhat difficult, not because you didn’t do a great job, which
I’m sure you did, but because it is almost human nature to forget to thank a good service. Why there is even a bible account in Luke chapter 17 verse 12 to 17 where the Lord Jesus cured 10 men who had leprosy but only ONE turned back to give “glory”.
So, don’t be too sad if you have similar results. What I’ve noticed that may help the probabilities of getting a client to review you is to talk about the review system right when they book you. Bring it up in conversation as you explain your business.
Tell them that thanks to reviews you stay in business and that you’ll do everything in your profession to make sure they have a wonderful experience because “anything less than a FIVE star review would hurt me”. Be specific about that.
Of course, you’ll have to act the part, don’t expect 5 stars if you’re delivering mediocre services. Explain the review process on the final meeting before the event. Be tactful and not obnoxious about it. At the end of the gig is when you have to look back and think, did I do a great job?
If you believe you’ve done everything you could and more, and the clients are happy (actually happy with you, not just “visited the open bar one time too many” happy), thank the client once more for having chosen you for their big day and let them speak, really listen to what they say and notice their reaction.
If it is positive and they say they’ll recommend you and even give you a tip, after you thank them again mention that the best way for you to stay in business is for them to review you, ask them if you should send the link the next day or whenever they get back from the honeymoon. Write their answer down somewhere so you don’t forget.
Oh no! You can’t believe it. You got a bad review. You don’t understand why, you did everything right, the client seemed happy, what happened? Anger, anxiety, sadness, all kinds of emotions are running you down.
What to do first? TAKE A WALK, talk to a friend, do whatever you can to get rid of those emotions. Once you’ve done that and you’re calm down, read the review again. Are there any clues of what the client may have thought? Could it be that they clicked the wrong thing and it registered 1 star when in fact they meant to put 5? Could it be that someone on your team unbeknownst to you did or said something to them or their guests with which they got offended? Could they have attributed some bad experience to you when in fact it was another vendor at fault? Gather all the facts. Try to contact the client in the most pacific and happy way possible. Begin by thanking them again for having hired you, thank them for the review, then proceed to ask them what could you have done better, or why they felt you didn’t deserve the 5 stars.
Don’t offer money back, don’t be quick to counteract anything they say (if you’re on the phone with them). Maybe remind them of something specific that you did that showed that you went out of your way for them. If you’re able to win them over, ask them if there is a chance they can edit their review. Don’t push it, you could make things worse, after all, we are all imperfect and maybe you didn’t deliver something that you promised.
Next, reply to the review itself, most platforms allow for the owner of the business to write a reply. Be nice, objective and don’t call out the client. Say things that other potential clients would like to hear. Apologize if the bad review is about a service not done properly or something tangible (don’t apologize if the client is complaining about price). If you find it necessary to mention a specific situation that caused the bad review try to be as unbiased as possible. Mention that you’ve contacted the client in hopes to learn from the experience. Express the changes in policies that you have made in your company to ensure this won’t happen to another client. Finally, move on.
Hopefully these tips can help you build your online reputation. These are my thoughts and my points of view, in no way is this legal advice. You have to use your own judgment as to what, if any, of this advice to follow. The websites I’ve listed aren’t paying me or giving me any compensation, I only share what I’ve learned from experience.