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Someone Left a Fake Bad Review. Now What?

As a pole dance studio owner and pole instructor I have had my share of feedback.

I love feedback and welcome it. I think this is how we really grow in the pole industry.

This video is targeting FALSE Bad reviews, not real fact-based bad reviews. There are times where people will not think you are a 4- or 5-star experience. And it is okay to learn from these moments and get better. This is how we GROW!Especially if you are a Pole Business Owner because you get the chance to learn more about how people may see you and what people like and do not like.

The only thing I do not like is when some disgruntled former employee or student decides to not take ownership of what they have done and want to spread misinformation. Essentially libel. Yes, I have had this happen to me. I have even had competitors leave fictional bad reviews attacking my personal character when we have never even met in person simply because they hate that I was the most popular studio. Business is a beautiful venture, but I will not lie to you that there are not rough treacherous roads at times.

Janky competitors are one.

Not the competition who think it is healthy to compete, those who spread lies because they are insecure and hateful. The same goes with clients and former team members. When things go south due to bad fits, misunderstandings, and lack of accountability, they too can be a source of contention. The best way to get ahead of these circumstances is to stay ahead. While luckily instances like this do not happen often, if you keep growing and grow big enough, they will.

So here is how you manage receiving a bad malicious review that you really didn't earn....

#1 Always Respond - Using emotional intelligence you need to respond with facts. I will caution you most of the time the people who do things like this will not do it under their real name or account. However, if you recently had a fall out with a team member, competitor, or student then you will most likely know where the false information is coming from. Use your best judgement and respond without accusations and stick to the comments that were mentioned in the review. Offer them an email and phone number for them to contact you and leave a contact name. Leaving a bad review alone will only give one side of the story. It is okay for a pole business owner to defend themselves. Also, always respond to the positive reviews too :)

#2 Constantly Get Reviews - It takes a large number of positive reviews to combat one bad review. Meaning you could have five 5-star reviews and get one 2-star reviews and your rating will drop to a 4.8 or 4.9 or maybe even lower. It can really separate you from the competition when everyone else has 5 stars and you have less. The consumer mind wants the best of the best. To combat that it is like saving for a rainy day. Even though you get 5-star reviews regularly, keep getting them. Build getting positive reviews into your day-to-day service model. This way if you do get a bad review, either earned or unearned... you can focus on improving the subject of the review rather than that plus the ranking number.

#3 Request Removal from the Platform - This is not always likely to happen, and it is a lot of work, but if you are passionate about your brand, you always should attempt this. If you know the bad review is fake and you can prove how and where it came from FIGHT IT. Submit documentation and request, it's removal. Depending on the platform and the supporting documentation strength you may win the request to have the review removed.

#4 Take Legal Action - This can be time consuming and a costly approach but if the libel gets out of hand and begins to cost you your ability to earn revenue then you may have no choice. Often times legal action is warranted when you have suffered financial harm due to someone's lies. Methods like a cease-and-desist order could kick off the process and maybe move the individual(s) to remove their fictitious comment. If you have any signed contracts with a non-disparagement clause in it to back your rights, they may need to be brought to the person doing the slander. Worst case scenario is a lawsuit and that is of course if you have suffered damages. Your lawyer will be able to offer advice and guide you on if it is worth it.

Bottom line is bad reviews DO HURT.

There is always some cleanup to do and salvaging of the comments. Every consumer knows this and at times jaded people will use this against you. So, stay ahead of this possibility, do business right, be a fair person. and keep growing your brand.

Don't let the haters stop you!

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