We get that notification. A 1-Star Google review. Well shit. That ungrateful turd. They have no clue what it cost to run a business. They don’t care about hurting a small business. Their ‘facts’ are wrong or misleading. You got all the negative emotions bubbling up tto the surface. It’s natural for you to feel that way. It’s actually impossible for you to not feel something. Human’s never have and never will have the ability to control the chemicals released from our lizard brains. It’s baked into our DNA. Emotional control comes from how you deal with the surge of feelings. So go on and have your negative emotions. It’s helpful to work through the feelings. It’s what you do next that matters for more. Negative emotions can be helpful if you know how to express them correctly. You don’t have to know how to control your emotions. You need to know how to pivot from them once you get them. So this won’t be an article on how to make yourself cry. If you choose to flame out a reviewer online, you might want to consider learning how to express your emotions more effectively. After all, negative emotions are a part of life. They're not going anywhere and neither are those 1-Star Google reviews. So, what's the best way to express negative or different emotions to a 1-Star Google review? We’ll it starts by going back to your 3 CORE Priniciples– helping people win in a trustworthy and grateful manner. Counterintuitively, that includes the occasional knuckleheads you’ll have to deal with, too. Google reviews are a demonstration of your company’s character. It is far less important that you are right, and considerably more important how others perceive you handled the problem publicly and privately. Do you want your next prospect to read a 1-Star Google Review and make the judgement that you are a terrible place to deal with, or do you want them to go, that reviewer is unreasonable and crazy, I would use this company? So, what's the best way to express your position without allowing negative emotions to creep into your response?
"Spoken words land softly on their feet like a cat falling from a tree. But written words often land with a thud, and the crack of a fractured relationship."– Roy H. Williams
When you're feeling negative emotions, it's important to remember that your words carry a lot of weight. Whether you're writing an email, sending a text message, or responding to a 1-star Google review, the words you choose will significantly impact other people's perceptual reality of your business. It will help if you thought about how to process those negative emotions outside of your responses. One effective way is journaling to process your emotions and writing about your feelings and emotions instead of posting them publically. When you know how to write about emotions you can express your feelings more constructively. Write down your feelings in a journal or talk to a trusted friend or team member about what's happening before responding irrationally. If you're feeling negative emotions like anger, sadness, or frustration, finding healthy ways to cope is essential. Putting these emotions into your responses to 1-Star Google reviews will only worsen the situation and damage your relationships with other potential customers. Choose your words carefully and avoid using negative language in your marketing materials. If you'd like, we can assist you in creating an emotionally intelligent response to 1-Star Google reviews that won't be all rainbows and unicorns, book a call with Ryan Chute of Wizard of Ads® today.
Never Put a Negative Emotion in Writing
"The ax forgets, but the tree remembers." – African proverb
The great Roy H. Williams would like to warn you never to put negative emotions in writing (at least not in your 1-star Google reviews). You see, when you put a negative emotion into your responses, it's like an ax chopping down a tree. The tree may forget the pain of the ax, but it will remember the scar forever. You don't want to be the company who leaves scars on their audience. So please, never put a negative emotion in writing. It will only have more of a negative effect than good. If you're not sure what I mean by negative emotions, let me give you some examples:
- Anger: "If you want us to come rip it out we will. Just try me."
- Bitterness: "Maybe you just want to hurt small businesses."
- Confusion: “I have no idea what you are talking about.”
- Contempt: "You're nothing but a hateful jerk."
- Despair: "I'll never be able to fix your thing for such a cheap price."
- Fear: "I'm afraid you just don’t understand how much it costs to run a business."
- Frustration: "We’ve called you 5 times, left 4 voicemails, and sent 3 emails with no response from you. You must not want to resolve this matter."
- Guilt: "I can’t believe you would do this to an innocent small business."
- Hatred: "People must hate you. We sure do!"
These are just a few of the many negative emotions that can do severe damage to your business. When you're feeling any of these types of emotions, take a step back from your keyboard and cool off. Being angry is 100 percent normal, but gaining emotional control is essential before typing out a response. If you just can’t resist the impulse to unload on customers publicly, it can be helpful to talk to a therapist about the emotions you're experiencing. If you think about it, talking about how to express your feelings or how to control your emotions is safer than writing it out (in general) in a 1-star review. Remember to focus on the positive when you're ready to write your responses. Write about what you believe in – what you stand for and what you stand against — not what you feel in the moment. Use language that inspires and motivates, not language that puts people down. If you can do this, you'll be well on creating powerful responses that work to grow your business. Negative emotions also seep into your responses through the passive aggressive words you use. For example, if you immediately assume the person is a dummy, you could come across as condescending and flippant.
Don't Put Negative Emotions Into Your 1-Star Google Reviews
"If relationships matter to you at all, don't put your negative emotions in writing." – Roy H. Williams
Putting negative emotions into your 1-star Google reviews is a surefire way to turn people off. No one wants to read a response to a negative review that's full of negativity. Using negative words can make it seem like you're not trustworthy or grateful. People want to know that you’re there to help them win, not endure your world view. Some common negative words to avoid include "hate," "disliked," "worst," and "terrible." Using any of these words will make it seem like you're not happy with your product, which will make potential customers less likely to want to buy it. It's also important to watch out for words with a negative connotation, even if they're not technically harmful words. For example, "can’t" is often used in responses, but it has a negative connotation because it makes it seem like you’re incompetent or unwilling to help.
Be That "Someone Else"
"If you want to be that 'someone else,' learn to write ads that make people feel good about themselves, their future, and you." – Roy H. Williams
One of the most important things you can do when writing a response to a 1-star Google reviews is to focus on making the reviewer feel good about themselves. That means using positive and upbeat language and avoiding anything that might make them feel bad about themselves. You will never change a person's behavior until you change their beliefs. For example, words like "failure," "loser," and "reject" are all likely to make people feel bad about themselves, and you should avoid them. Similarly, words like "success," "winner," and "achieve" are much more likely to make people feel good about themselves and are more likely to get them to take action. In short, when writing your responses to 1-star Google reviews, always keep in mind your customer's emotional state and make sure that your response is likely to make them feel good about themselves. That will increase the chances that they (and others) will take the action you want.
"Win the heart, and the mind will follow. The mind will always find logic to justify what the heart has already decided." – Roy H. Williams
How About Those Who Say "Negative Emotions Improve Their Writing Process"?
Some say, "Negative emotions improve my writing process." While it may work for some people, this is not likely the case. Its far more likely that it is a selfish and indulgent way to offload negative emotions that they haven’t come to terms with in their life. The fact is negative emotions block creativity and make it harder to come up with good ideas. This is known as survivor mode thinking. On the other hand, positive emotions open up the mind and make it easier to think creatively and make more complex and high quality decisions. Therefore, if you struggle to come up with new ideas or feel blocked creatively, try focusing on positive emotions instead of negative ones. You may be surprised at how much easier it is to come up with new and innovative solutions when you're in a positive state of mind.
Emotion = Creativity?
Emotions influence the way we process information, and the way we view the world. Positive emotions don't necessarily equal creativity, but they are interconnected with effective decision making. Negative emotions block our creative thinking when we succumb to them. So if you're having trouble responding positively to 1-star Google reviews, it may be worth exploring your emotions and seeing if anything is blocking your decision making. Once you identify what's causing the block, you can start to work on removing it and think more dynamically again. If you're in the home services industry and feel stuck with your marketing strategy, book a call with Ryan Chute of Wizard of Ads® today.