Yes, negative reviews are actually good for your business
You pour your heart and soul into each of your couples’ weddings for a host of reasons: you’re passionate about your work, you want your couples to have an amazing wedding experience, you are hoping to get a great review when it’s all said and done. But sometimes you can finish working with a client thinking everything went perfectly and end up reading a review from them that is less than stellar. We’ve all been there, and while it doesn’t make you feel great, getting a not-perfect client review isn’t as bad as you think—in fact, it’s actually good for your wedding business. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to see all the reasons your client reviews don’t have to be perfect and why negative reviews can actually help you book future wedding dates.
What couples are looking for
When you think about a successful marketing and sales plan, it is really founded in consumer psychology (the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that influence someone’s drive to buy). And, when it comes to the research potential clients are doing before deciding to reach out with an inquiry, there are emotional “checkpoints” they need to pass through. Now, this might not be anything new to you (perhaps you already know that getting potential clients to know, like, and trust you is foundational to your marketing efforts), but did you realize that this is the precise reason couples turn to reviews on The Knot and WeddingWire? It’s true and they are looking for what they need in order to get through those “checkpoints.” Specifically, couples are reading your reviews because they:
- Want to get a quick impression of you and your services and this is where they look at your star ratings
- Want a deeper look at what it is really like working with you and this is where they start to read the actual reviews your past clients have left
- Are looking for reviews that are about what they care (or are worried) about; essentially, they are looking for reviews that either confirm or deny what they already might know about you
- Want to see a mix of positive and negative reviews because it paints a realistic picture about what it is like working with you when things are awesome and when they are challenging
Pro-tip: Read more about what couples look for when reading reviews to better understand what you should be asking for when you request one.
Negative reviews aren’t as bad as you think
It never feels great to get a negative review or critical feedback about your services, but the reality is that it isn’t as detrimental as it feels when you first read it—a 4-star review (or lower even) isn’t going to ruin your reputation for being great at what you do. In fact, negative reviews can actually help you build trust in your services because it is essentially about the worst case scenario. That is why taking the time to respond to negative reviews is imperative—your reply can and should demonstrate your professionalism as well as your ability to accept feedback and make changes.
Having client reviews that are not all the same is also very helpful in building trust around your business and makes it easier for potential clients to know your reviews are real and reliable. Think about it—you know that a lot goes on behind the scenes during the planning process as well as on a wedding day and that it isn’t always smooth sailing. That is life, and (as much as you try to shield your couples from the snags and snafus) sometimes your couples are going to have to get roped in as a part of the solution. Those real life experiences can show up in your WeddingWire reviews as well as on The Knot but you can make the impression you need when you make a commitment to reply to every single one.
Pro-tip: There is a difference between one-off reviews that aren’t perfect and repeated complaints. Couples are looking for patterns in your reviews, so it is important to address constructive feedback and make it clear you have addressed the issue.
How to get compelling reviews on The Knot and WeddingWire
Just because you know your client reviews don’t always have to be perfect doesn’t mean you don’t want to strive for them—so we wanted to close out this piece with a few tips to help you get the most compelling reviews you can on both of your Storefronts. The good thing is that it doesn’t take much more effort (you’ll have already done the hard work leading up to the wedding):
- Time your ask to ensure you’re not sending the request when your couples are still in the honeymoon phase (or actually on their honeymoon). A good rule of thumb is to ask 2 weeks after their wedding or their return from their trip
- Ask specific questions to get unique reviews on each of your Storefronts; you don’t want couples copying and pasting the same one on your two profiles
- Follow up if you need to; and if they don’t respond after a follow up email or two, get in touch with them on their 6-month or 1-year anniversary
Your reviews on The Knot and WeddingWire can help potential clients know, like, and trust you, but there is always more to the story. Get expert advice from other wedding pros across the country to help you build client trust before they book.
Photo Credit: Dean Drobot/Shutterstock.com