Crippling Fear of a Negative Review?

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
How do you not let the fear of a negative review control you / dictate what you do when dealing with people. In other words, if you’re dealing with someone who is unreasonable or doesn’t follow through, doesn’t get back to you, etc. how do you cut your losses, stand your ground, etc. without being afraid and crippled by the fear of a negative review?

If you’re ever interacting with a potential client who doesn’t answer the phone, mailbox is full, doesn’t respond to texts etc. do you keep chasing after them or cut your losses?
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
I don’t fear negative reviews. In our case, they rarely (never?) happen, even when they are threatened. If the review is not a legitimate review, you can challenge it with Google/Yelp/Whomever and have it removed. If it is a legitimate complaint, respond to it (like you should with all reviews), learn from it, and move on. It’s not the end of the world.

We also don’t chase customers too far. If they won’t answer their phone after a couple initial tries, they’re too much trouble. Someone else can have them. I know it sounds harsh, but we are sitting on a 6-8 week backlog most of the time, and it’s not worth the time wasted to chase someone who can’t be bothered to put in their share of effort to get their quote.
 

Bendroctanus

Participating member
Location
Springfield
It’s that guy who tops trees, doesn’t wear any ppe, does meth, undercuts his “employees” who fears negative reviews. When you’re a professional doing good, hard work and doing your best to do what is best for the tree and the customers, your performance will generally determine the reviews (minus the inevitable stick-in-the-mud who can’t be pleased). Lions don’t need to explain to others that they’re lions. Plus, I find the majority of my business and reputation comes from on the job referrals and word of mouth. Also, if you genuinely care about what you do, quality of work, and getting your customers taken care of, you will go far.
 

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
I don’t think that’s a fair assessment to say that anyone who is concerned about their rep and reviews isn’t a professional.

You can have all five star reviews and still be worried about your rep.

I’m not talking about reviews from your work, I mean dealing with unreasonable potential customers / people you don’t end up working for or walk away from a job etc.

I know my work, and my clients give me good feedback on the outcome of their experience working for me. I want to protect my reputation.

So what about the people who call you for an estimate who are unreasonable etc.?
 

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
Either write a quote high enough to make the headaches worthwhile, or walk away and tell them you’re not a good fit for them.

What if they don’t respond to you?

Like I had one I call initially and they didn’t answer and voicemail was full. Sent email and got no response.

Decided to call another day and reached them, and got the impression they didn’t really understand everything and how it worked in setting up an appointment to get an estimate etc. (maybe weren’t from around here, had an accent etc.?)

I told them I’d send them a text with with an appointment time later the same day after looking at schedule and asked them if that was okay and they said that was fine. Repeated myself twice saying I would be sending a message later that day with a proposed time.

Never heard back after sending a message with a time (which happened to be the same day).

Should I just walk at this point and let it be? There obviously is some communication issues on their part.
 
Last edited:

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
What if they don’t respond to you?

Like I had one I call initially and they didn’t answer and voicemail was full. Sent email and got no response.

Decided to call another day and reached them, and got the impression they didn’t really understand everything and how it worked in setting up an appointment to get an estimate etc. (maybe weren’t from around here, had an accent etc.?)

I told them I’d send them a text with with an appointment time later the same day after looking at schedule and asked them if that was okay and they said that was fine. Repeated myself twice saying I would be sending a message later that day with a proposed time.

Never heard back after sending a message with a time (which happened to be the same day).

Should I just walk at this point and let it be? There obviously is some communication issues on their part.
At that point, yes, definitely walk. I would have walked long before, after the initial one or two calls and one email. Maybe one call, one text, and one email. After that, I quit. They can call again or go find someone else. My time is too valuable to waste it chasing leads that probably won’t convert into customers.
 

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
At that point, yes, definitely walk. I would have walked long before, after the initial one or two calls and one email. Maybe one call, one text, and one email. After that, I quit. They can call again or go find someone else. My time is too valuable to waste it chasing leads that probably won’t convert into customers.

But see THAT is what I’m worried about that if I walk and don’t keep trying they might bash me online or something, etc. and damage my good reputation that I already have
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
But see THAT is what I’m worried about that if I walk and don’t keep trying they might bash me online or something, etc. and damage my good reputation that I already have
If they do, they do. Deal with it at that point. HOWEVER, it’s highly unlikely they will do it. Think about it - if they’re too lazy to be bothered calling you back, do you really think they’ll bother to leave a bad review? AND, if they do, you can challenge it. They’re not a customer if you haven’t actually worked for them, so any “review” they do leave would be deleted if you contested it.
 

climbingmonkey24

Branched out member
Location
United States
We try to make everyone happy but that’s not possible most but not all
Some people will never be happy
But you can try your best and no one can take that from you

But if someone writes a negative review that tanks the good reputation I’ve worked hard to build, then it’s all over. I have to close down the company. I’m finished. No more work will come my way. That new truck I just bought will be a total waste.
 

Crimsonking

Carpal tunnel level member
But if someone writes a negative review that tanks the good reputation I’ve worked hard to build, then it’s all over. I have to close down the company. I’m finished. No more work will come my way. That new truck I just bought will be a total waste.
If you’ve built a good reputation, how will it get tanked by a bad review? A good reputation means most people will ignore that review because you’re known to run an upstanding operation.
 

VenasNursery

Branched out member
Location
Michigan
But if someone writes a negative review that tanks the good reputation I’ve worked hard to build, then it’s all over. I have to close down the company. I’m finished. No more work will come my way. That new truck I just bought will be a total waste.
That’s not gonna happen
You work every day you will get more reviews and people will know your reviews are real and not by your family and friends
Comment on every review and explain your side of the story and people will respect that
 

metaspencer

New member
Location
Urbana, IL
On the one hand, reviews are a real currency these days ... so I think it makes sense to work to 1) get positive reviews and 2) avoid negative ones. But with that said, I compromised myself once (caved) with a customer out of fear of a negative review, and still don't feel good about that. So it seems like at some point you've gotta risk a one-star bomb
 

Dan Cobb

Branched out member
Location
Hoover
I checked out reviews for some of the tree companies in my area. Interesting reading. A number of 1 star reviews from non-customers who had run ins with their company vehicles on the road. Most negative reviews seem to relate to communications and scheduling. Very few negative reviews on the quality of work. Lots of glowing reviews concerning care taken to prevent collateral damage and thoroughness of clean up.
 

metaspencer

New member
Location
Urbana, IL
On the topic of reviews: anyone notice that Yelp reviews frequently vanish? As far as I can tell, only reviews from Yelper customers who write a lot of reviews persist. Every review from newer reviewers get hidden
 

evo

Been here a while
Location
My Island, WA
I don’t think that’s a fair assessment to say that anyone who is concerned about their rep and reviews isn’t a professional.

You can have all five star reviews and still be worried about your rep.

I’m not talking about reviews from your work, I mean dealing with unreasonable potential customers / people you don’t end up working for or walk away from a job etc.

I know my work, and my clients give me good feedback on the outcome of their experience working for me. I want to protect my reputation.

So what about the people who call you for an estimate who are unreasonable etc.?
I’m very aware of reputation, the entire island is 80k and less than a quarter of that is my service area. Reputations are everything around here, stronger than google reviews. I’ve been lucky that I’ve worked for two of the best on the island, and for a long time. Bobby died, and Jim retired (half way). Currently there are 5 certified arborist owned companies, and about 5 more hacks that all live and work on the south end. Then account for the 4 or so companies who travel here for work. That doesn’t leave a huge pool, and some would call it a competitive market.
When I started a everyone thought I was crazy starting a pruning only company (well at least I promote it as such, but I can drop a 200’ fir on a dime.) I’m booked half way though September.
Admittedly I’m not all peaches and cream, I am likely too vocal about the jobs I’m not willing to take on, many seem offended or just confused why I wouldn’t want to do that crap job.
I could likely run a crew and a half and with little effort even increase rates and backlog. I’m not in this to get rich, I love what I do, and just want to provide for my family. We live a very modest life, and are doing just fine (not even close to putting anything away, including retirement but that’s doing great this day and age coupled with the cost of living!
 

flushcut

Branched out member
Location
Delavan, WI
How do you not let the fear of a negative review control you / dictate what you do when dealing with people. In other words, if you’re dealing with someone who is unreasonable or doesn’t follow through, doesn’t get back to you, etc. how do you cut your losses, stand your ground, etc. without being afraid and crippled by the fear of a negative review?

If you’re ever interacting with a potential client who doesn’t answer the phone, mailbox is full, doesn’t respond to texts etc. do you keep chasing after them or cut your losses?
You return their tree and drive the dump truck away laughing.
 
I’m glad I came across this, as I was just going to get on and ask a very similar question and get some input.

What about going out and giving a quote, get told you have the job, schedule the job, then day before/day of they ghost out?
(I do not start a job without day of confirmation.)
I have had this happen twice recently.
The first, the guy acted like all was good then day of I let him know we would be by after lunch as agreed and got no response. I figured he was busy with work. Got all organized and headed his way and let him know (via text after no answer), and got a reply that “today isn’t so good now”. There was a bit of runaround with the guy meeting for the initial bid and complaint about the cost. I just let him know we were booked busy and that we had worked him in for this day/time. Cut my ties/losses.

The next a lady got with me about some limbs and shrubs which turned into completely removing two small trees, trimming bushes, and cleaning a property line. I gave her a price and offered to get started as soon as that evening (lot of rain and wife expecting so not booking up).
She didn’t want to that day due to some family being over who would have input on what she’s having done (I can respect that).
We agreed on a price and day. They day before, I called. She said she was driving and in traffic and would call back in half an hour.
Two hours later I hadn’t heard back. I texted and just let her know we would like to get started the next morning if still good and got no response. I got a response the next morning (day we were supposed to do the work) stating that she was out of town and wouldn’t be back for over a month. I just responded “Ok. Thank You” and left it at that. I will not be following up on this one unless she reaches back out.

Are others experiencing this as well? I think it’s sad to say most people have no concern about your time and are terrible on their end about communicating.
After giving a free quote and booking a day to do a job only to back out day of, causes a bit of a loss so I don’t care to waste any further time with them in the future.

I’m personally not concerned about a negative review from someone I didn’t actually do work for.


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