Editorial Advisory Board: July 2019

July 23, 2019 -  By
Editorial Advisory Board graphic (Graphic: Landscape Management)

Graphic: Landscape Management

How should landscape pros handle negative reviews — even during the busy season?

Landscape Professionals

Richard Bare
Arbor-Nomics Turf
Norcross, Ga.

“We are always apologetic in our reviews and let them know that we will be out to rectify any mistakes the same day. If they are anonymous, I sometimes offer $500 if they call me on my cell number (which I provide to them) and inform them we will fix their problems right away to the best of our abilities, even if it means sodding the lawn. I have never had anyone take me up on this because they know it’s their problem, not caused by us.”

Paul Fraynd
Sun Valley Landscaping
Omaha, Neb.

“Negative reviews must be seen as a positive learning experience — you get a chance to practice your core values in front of an audience by responding professionally, fixing any issues that caused the review and standing by your work. We find that most negative reviews can be avoided by quickly communicating with your clients when they are upset, being empathetic and making their concerns a priority.”

Luke Henry
ProScape Lawn & Landscaping Services
Marion, Ohio

“We all mess up, and sometimes someone calls us on it in a public forum. If the person is a client, and we know them, we try as much as we can to make the situation right. If we do, I don’t think it’s wrong to ask them to take the review down. If we don’t know them, or it’s an unreasonable person we don’t believe we can appease, show humility and sincerity in a public response to the review. Don’t just ignore it. People want to see that we care!”

Jerry McKay
McKay Landscape Lighting
Omaha, Neb.

“Work harder at getting more positive reviews to drown out the negative ones.”

Bryan Stolz
Winterberry Landscape & Garden Center
Southington, Conn.

“The most important aspect of handling a negative review is urgency. We contract with a marketing agency who constantly monitors and lets us know when a negative review comes in. When it does, we go back through our records to look at who made it and what the situation was. We then reach out and make a point of doing so to learn more and get better, not asking them to change the review. It can be difficult when you’re busy, especially this time of year, but we try to make a consistent effort. By doing so, we’ve actually been able to recover several unhappy clients and get referrals/further business from them by showing we are committed to our work and are passionate about having happy clients.”

Industry Consultants

Marty Grunder
The Grow Group
Dayton, Ohio

“Do not engage with anything other than a positive response to any negative review. Try to make things right. More important than worrying about negative reviews is to focus on doing great work and getting your page full of positive reviews. Most sensible consumers know that there are some people who are never happy. A couple bad reviews can be overcome.”

Phil Harwood
Grow the Bench
Grand Rapids, Mich.

“With humility. See feedback as an opportunity to improve.”

Kevin Kehoe
3PG Consulting
Laguna, Calif.

“Do not ignore them, but do not defend and point fingers and argue. Merely state through weekly blogs, newsletters and your web presence all the successes you have and the nature of your service and recovery process and how you try to do everything for all these customers and provide examples of where this happened.”

Jeffrey Scott
Jeffrey Scott Consulting
Trumbull, Conn.

“Speed, honesty, professionalism, forthright — while adding 10 new positive reviews.”

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