Short Story: The Truth About Facebook Reviews.

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In a perfect world of social media your Facebook page would be embedded with raving reviews about how fantastic your business is, and how everyone should be hot footing it to your salon or spa.
The reality is we live in a world of harsh competition, and unfortunately along with social sharing out come the keyboard warriors.

These disgruntled clients, for whatever reason (fair or not) have the power to give your salon a very rubbish 1 star rating, and there it will be in all it’s shining glory for all the world to see.

Yep, it’s a special kind of bummer. It just takes that one person to possibly bring your beloved history of 5 star ratings to come to a not so beautiful end. An even sadder fact is they may comment negatively on your prices, staff, salon ambience, treatments – whatever they want really!
And it is all just their opinion…..

It often flabbergasts me to see some of the negative reviews I see left for salons or spas that I know to be truly excellent places, because these are businesses where the owners have put their heart and soul in.
It shocks me even more how these “reviewers” don’t even think about just how much they are potentially affecting the business owners livelihoods.

What’s your rating?

Fair enough, on few occasions the reviews may well be justified, but unless steps to rectify any unsatifaction on the client’s behalf have been totally ignored, then I believe Facebook reviews can well be an unfair, unbalanced place to leave or receive negative comments.

It’s not nice when we have to take the bad hits with the good.

Let me throw this out there-
Do some clients take their freedom of speech a little too far?
Could we accuse them of some sort of fake news when they hit that 1 or 2 star button on our page, or leave us a beastly review?

Here’s an example.

I recently received an email from a spa owner who was extremely distraught after a client had visited her salon, liked her actual treatment, but some days afterwards couldn’t find her very expensive scarf. She then practically accused the salon of stealing her scarf on the salon’s Facebook page and left the salon a rubbish 1 star rating to boot!
Indeed I too was recently a victim of receiving a 1 star rating from a strange man – who wasn’t a client of my spa consultancy business. I had never met him or done business with him and he left a review on my FB business page  SalonSupremacyPro  consisting of three words only – “I don’t know”……!!!!!!!!!
In fact he only actually wrote 3 letters – IDK – Code for something else?

It was weird…..

Laughable really, but VERY annoying as this immediately took my overall rating down from 5 stars to 4.6, and this is what my genuine customers were then seeing on arrival at my page. Consequently I reported it to Facebook and it was discovered it was a fake account. It was promptly taken off, by Facebook themselves. I did notice however that unfortunately for me it took a couple of days for my overall rating to go back up again.

Again, bummer.

Going back to the client who left a review on my client’s business spa page, accusing them of theft. We shall call her Mrs Smith.

Mrs Smith had left a written review of the said spa, as well as a 1 star rating, so my client could have contacted Facebook and complained that this was slander.

However, I advised the spa owner to contact Mrs Smith herself, who did agree to take the review down, in the realisation of what she had done. The other option open to the spa owner would have been to publicly reply to the review, which can sometimes be a transparent way to respond. Due to the sensitivity of the matter, the first option was the best here.

What can you do, and what should you do about Facebook reviews in the face of the keyboard warriors.

Let’s take a look at the current situation with Facebook reviews. If you decide not to have the map option available on your business page for some reason then the option to leave off the review section is actually available – but this is not really an option for a bricks and mortar business. I am not sure why this goes hand in hand , but it’s the most current information I can find.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this as a viable option for a salon or spa as people need to know how to find you.

I could do this for my consultancy business  SalonSupremacyPro,  as I don’t really need a contact address, but for the moment I enjoy getting my 5 star reviews and ratings. I just have to hope another Mr I Don’t Know doesn’t come along!

Missing out the map option is also a viable option for beauty bloggers or vloggers, as details of how to get to them physically aren’t necessary.

If you find yourself receiving a fair number, say more than 10, low starred reviews, especially if it is in a certain area or treatment in your business, then I would say that that would definitely be an area that you should be looking to improve on. One or two clients can be wrong, but not that many. Utilize the bad reviews as a learning experience, a chance to make improvements and prevent negative reviews from popping up in the future.

Like we’ve touched on already, there is also the option to respond publicly to a negative review. Leave it on and respond in a timely manner! Be nice, make things right, and this will show everyone that you care about the service you give out.

Facebook Reviews

As a busy business owner, don’t waste your time fretting.

There is good news. Studies show that consumers trust reviews more when they aren’t all good. This is because 5 star ratings all round can look a teeny bit suspicious.

Clients think “Is it all just her friends that visit that spa?” or “Did her mother just write that?”

Lol, you get me?

You can get away with one or two bad ones as clients are actually more likely to trust you, as they will take into account that you have included the bad ones, along with the glowing ones. Leaving the baddies on is kind of like being honest and wholly reflective – just like how clients want you to be with their treatment plans and skincare advice.

The idea is to remain open. Trustworthy.

Clients are not daft or stupid. They know as well as we do that there is always going to be a Mrs  Smith or a Mr I Don’t Know. They will scroll past those comments with a look of knowing on their face. Let’s face it, we’ ve all been at work somewhere, and we’ ve all met them and faced them.

As long as the good reviews on your Facebook site largely outweigh the bad, your salon or spa’s image will still be beautiful (just like natural beauty – clear, honest and transparent).

If you find yourself still reeling about that negative review you keep seeing on your page (you know the really unfair one) use that energy it conjures up in you to show the world how good you can be. Before you know it the review will have slipped down the line under another 20 glowing 5 star ones, and Mrs Smith  will have to find another salon to “review”……

Have you ever been left aghast at an unfair review on your page?

Have the Facebook rules/options for ratings changed recently? We know can they change all the time….

Please leave your comments below.

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  1. Personally, I think that some folks who bad mouth a solid and legit business, do not have a clue themselves of how to run a business. It is so easy to criticize when you only see a small part of the picture.

    Sadly, though when it comes to social media, alot of damage can be done with just a few words. It can hurt a person, group or a business.

    I like your advice about handling the negative reviews, some of them can actually be used to the advantage and show people that you are willing to listen and make necessary changes.

    All of your information is truly helpful to us, as we have just opened our own massage parlor and need all the help when it comes to handling social media queries.

    Thanks so much

  2. Great perspective! I think that how the company handles a negative review shows much more to me than that negative review itself. And, as you say, I agree that having some non-5 ratings helps make your business look more legitimate. You can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time after all!

  3. An interesting article. It’s always a really difficult issue with reviews – I often think the people that are more likely to leave reviews are the ones that have something bad to say anyway so often it leans towards the more negative scoring. We should be trying to encourage as many as people to leave reviews so hopefully the good outweigh the bad!

    I personally don’t always take reviews at face value when looking at a hotel, spa, restaurant etc – I alway smoke sure I look on a few different sites and wouldn’t always go fro somewhere just because it had better reviews.

  4. Thanks for talking about this issue that many of us face on our FB business profiles!

    Many are a victim of it and they choose to ignore it since it can’t really be eliminated from the picture completely.

    And I couldn’t agree more that people wouldn’t trust your rating if it were “All Good”.

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