Why 1-Star Reviews Are Great For Your Day Spa

Here is a fun fact I love to shout whenever possible. At my day spa, we lovingly embrace a one-star review. We almost celebrate it, because it is like a unicorn, it hardly ever happens. Our service is that good that we rarely get them so when they happen it’s either a:

  • Teaching moment because someone must have majorly fucked up on our end – and we need to fix it fast
  • A sign something is broken in our business – and we need to fix it fast
  • The client is crazy, and we don’t want them as clients

But the BIGGEST reason I love 1-star reviews is that they give validity to all the amazing ones. When there is a 1-star review with my spa name on it among the 1,000 of great reviews, it means we’re not hiding anything, and people can trust our reviews.

The problem with most spas and other businesses is that when you get a one-star review or a public complaint on social media, it hurts because you don’t have a buffer of great reviews to soften the blow – and that’s the secret to our success because we have so many amazing reviews about our service.

Before we get into why you want so many reviews, we’ll go over why it’s important to have reviews in the first place.

Why are Online Reviews so Important?

New clients are quickly making judgments on your business based on online reviews. According to BrightLocal.com’s 2016 Local Consumer Review:

  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 90% of consumers read less than ten reviews before making a purchase decision
  • 73% of consumers believe reviews three months old or longer are no longer relevant

This means that you need a system to get more reviews in, consistently. You can’t just ask for reviews when you think about it. It just simply needs to be part of client aftercare contact. By not having a client aftercare contact plan you’re leaving money and rebooking on the table.

How did we get to over 1,900 reviews in just six years?

Here is the breakdown of our review sources.

  • 162 on Facebook
  • 31 Google Reviews
  • 12 Yelp Reviews (that they’ll actually show)
  • 1,912 Website/Private Survey Reviews
  • Heck even a few on Groupon (I know, I know gross but 81% approval rating not bad)

We’ve stacked the deck regarding reviews – because in this group there are a few bad ones. A few that we aren’t proud of or a few that make us laugh because that particular client was cray cray. But the point is – those don’t matter!

A handle of 1-star reviews can’t compete against thousand unusual ones.


How to Handle 1-star Reviews

Yes, I’ll admit when we get one it still stings a bit – but going back to my first point in this blog post, it provides my staff the opportunity to learn how to serve our clients better. And yes there are the occasional liars who for some reason want to give negative reviews just for the sake of negative – it’s okay. Here is how to handle it.

When the review is factual

  1. Don’t respond right away – it’s easy to want to dive in and protect your spa and staff but don’t, give yourself time to cool down.
  2. Investigate the claim – find out what happened from your staff and see if the bad review is warrant
  3. Correct any mistakes – if your staff messed up fix it – fast.
  4. Apologize if necessary – reach out to the client to make it right
  5. Respond to the review – once these steps are done then respond to the complaint. Explain the situation from your point of view – offer that you’ve personally responded to the client.

When the review is a lie

  1. Don’t respond right away – especially for the bogus reviews, and you don’t want to attack without a game plan.
  2. Investigate the claim -make sure you have all the facts – especially if the client is claiming things that aren’t true.
  3. Correct any mistakes – maybe you are in the wrong but if you’re not
  4. Don’t directly contact the client – seriously you’re asking for trouble
  5. Respond to the review – only using facts, no personal attacks on the person posting it. You don’t want to escalate the situation. Take the high road – trust us, people will notice.

The biggest thing to remember will all reviews  – respond to as many as possible! Especially the bad ones, because according to BrightLocal 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. If you leave a 1-star review dangling out there without a response, it makes you look like you don’t care about your clients’ opinions.

The key is to create a system to attract more of these reviews – consistently. And the BEST way to do that is through email.

Set Up Email Series to Automatically Go Out

When we decided to get serious about our email marketing one of the side goals was to build up a bank of reviews.

Now it’s one of our most important goals.

After every client is ringed out, we have our email service provider automatically send a private survey to that client about the visit. The client fills it out and if it’s a good review we send them a follow-up email with links to Facebook, Google, and Yelp. And all of this is done automatically.

This sequence is the reason we have so many reviews. The reviews bring in new clients because when they search for spa services in our local area, they see all the reviews and pick us.

If you want to know how to set up an email system that makes it easy to get clients rebooked and helps to promote new business, then you have to take our Ultimate Email Course! This video course will allow you to set up an email program that works – we know because it’s the one we use in our day spa.

email list, reviews

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