(Photo: Blue Planet Studio / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

(Photo: Blue Planet Studio / iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

You received a negative Google review, and it sucks because it’s not your fault.

You may not have done anything wrong, but did you do everything possible to prevent it?

Negative reviews are like accidents, despite your best efforts, they will occasionally happen. Professionals evaluate them by asking if they were avoidable.

If you do not have a system or training to prevent them, then you must accept that you are at least partially at fault.

One of my clients recently received a two-star Google review from a client who was happy with the first service. It was triggered by not receiving a response to multiple phone calls for additional services.

This is the peak season. Everyone is working incredible hours, doing their absolute best. Don’t reasonable people understand this?

They may not realize that business has never been stronger for most landscaping and lawn care companies. They also may not know how difficult it is to get trained labor.

What’s the solution?

Recognize that you don’t have a workload problem. You have a communication problem.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

The challenge for seasonal businesses is that there seem to be only two scenarios, too much work or not enough.

Design-build company R&R Landscaping in Waverly, Ala., is booked solid this year, but co-owner Clair Goldman is actively taking on new design clients. The trick is getting them to wait until this coming winter.

The first step is believing that people will wait for your workload to ease up. And they will if you manage the process by keeping them in the loop. One way to do this is with technology.

R&R Landscaping installed a pop-up box on its website home page that reads:

We are currently booking jobs for Winter 2021, but good things come to those who wait! Kick off the design phase by submitting a walkthrough video of your property today.

Getting the prospect to take any action with your company is critical. If you can get them to do that you have a chance to retain them, which is a lot better than letting them slip through the cracks to a competitor.

Or worse yet, share their disappointment where it will permanently live online.

When website visitors click on the R&R Landscaping pop-up box, it takes them to a form that delivers this message.

Are you able to upload a project video now? If not, we can remind you at a more convenient time.

The visitor only needs to click the yes or no button and enter his or her email address.

Is this always going to work?

Of course not. But most of us can live with the outcome knowing we’ve done everything we can.

A study revealed 50 percent of consumers will give companies a try despite negative reviews if the company responds to them. It shows they care.

It stands to reason then that during peak times they will wait for companies that find ways to give their problem some of their attention.

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Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the owner of True Nature Marketing, a Naples, Fla.-based company helping entrepreneurs grow. Reach him at Jeff works with service companies that want to drive growth and enhance their brand experience with digital platforms.

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