Gig Business

How to Handle Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

By Brian Jenkins

Reviews can make or break even the most talented performer’s business. One great review from the right person and everyone wants to book the best! A scathing review from a dissatisfied customer causes people to doubt your credibility and keep looking.

One thing is for certain, the review culture is not going away. Research indicates that 71% of online consumers believe that online reviews make them more comfortable that they are buying the right product and that 70% consult ratings or reviews before making a purchase.

Reviews are not an option, but how you handle them is a great key to success in the gig economy!

Create an intentional process for soliciting reviews

Before the gig: As you are communicating back and forth, let the client know you’ll be asking them for a review after the event is over. Most consumers expect to be asked for a review and are happy to share their thoughts on the service and on your performance. If you book through GigSalad, they’ll be informed about review options throughout the process.

Immediately after the gig: The event is over, everyone is happy, and now is the time to remind them about the review. As you take final payment or even just as you say goodbye, a simple, “Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this moment, and please take time to leave a review” will go a long way. At this point, let them know they’ll be hearing from you soon.

24 hours after the event: Follow up quickly to make sure the review gets posted. Sending a follow-up email with links to post reviews kickstarts the process. Again, one of the benefits of booking through the GigSalad booking platform is that these processes are automated and we’ll do all the work!

Pro Tip: If needed, you can recruit reviews right from your GigSalad dashboard! Just click on Tools and then Request Reviews.

Engage all reviews whether they are positive or negative

Responding to positive reviews

Responding to positive reviews seems like a no-brainer, but how you respond to them is critical. When someone leaves you a glowing comment, take the extra few seconds to personalize your response with a few key elements such as:

  • Using their name
  • A moment or detail specific to the event
  • Communicating your gratitude at being a part of their memory

Responding to negative reviews

The temptation to dispute or delete negative comments is real. If ignored or handled poorly, negative reviews can have a seriously detrimental effect on your business. A properly handled negative review, however, can actually increase business.

  • Respond quickly – One study says that over 40% of dissatisfied customers want a response within the hour!
  • Respond calmly – Don’t get defensive or belligerent. Other customers reading your response are looking to see how you handle the complaint. You want to avoid an online shouting match. Leave that for Reddit.
  • Respond reasonably – If a refund is appropriate, offer it. If an apology is necessary, say you’re sorry. Let the customer know the steps you’re taking to fix the issue or confusion. Remember, they are complaining publicly, so you need to publicly communicate everything you’re doing to right the situation.

An example of a good reply to a negative review:

An example of a bad reply to a negative review:

Choose the right reviews to highlight

Some sites will allow you to choose which reviews to feature or highlight. (GigSalad allows our Featured members to choose up to 3 reviews to feature on their profiles.) Choosing the right review sets the tone for other reviews and gives future clients a look at what to expect when working with you. Select reviews that feature elements like:

  • Talent. Janet was so good! Her voice and songs made our wedding dance a success!”
  • Professionalism. “Mario was easy to work with. He responded promptly and arrived early. He also helped us know what to expect at the event.”
  • Value. “The Downtown Band was worth every penny!”
  • Recommendations. “Santa Bob made our holiday party a hit. I would definitley hire him again.”

You also want to make sure you have current reviews. Don’t make the mistake of believing that a review from two years ago will win over future clients. Consumers want to see current reviews that help them see that you’re still delivering amazing service.

In short, reviews are essential to anyone selling their product or service. Handling them correctly is a crucial part of running a successful business.

What are some tips you have in handling reviews? Let us know in the comments below!

Creating a profile on GigSalad is a great step toward making a living doing what you love.

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