I can recall failing students on belt exams and moms literally yelling at me in the school front of students. Can you imagine the posts and reviews those moms would have unleashed?

Protecting your reputation is more important than ever. The leverage that a student’s family has to post a negative review because or a real or perceived slight against them is huge.

Because reviews are now one of the most important factors in local search results, it is your job to know how to keep them positive and deal with the negative.

Responding to reviews is a delicate art. You must calibrate your response to each of the six types of reviewer you are dealing with.

The First Time Reviewer

First-time reviewers place a lot of weight in their review. If something was so good at your school, it prompted them to post a great review, good for you! Conversely, if the experience was so bad it prompted their first review, it is like an open wound.

You should take a first-time reviewer seriously. Thank them for their positive review. However, negative reviews must be handled delicately with considerable thought given to the response.

Since it’s their first review, you probably will not get a response, but it’s still important that you acknowledge their post.

For negative reviews, the first question is, “How much of this is true?” Truth is a matter of perspective. When I fail a child, I’m upholding my standards. However, a parent may see it as my not preparing the child or being unreasonable in my expectations.

If there is truth to the review, acknowledge that and outline the steps you will take to avoid the issue happening again. For instance, if you do not teach a child a belt requirement and then he/she fails a belt exam, that’s a serious issue. Maybe the child was on vacation or missed class the day you taught that. That’s not entirely your fault. But, what if you never taught the skill? That’s all on you.

If you disagree with the reviewer’s claims, politely and professionally provide your side of the story. Resist the urge to play “Master” of all. Thank them for their feedback and resist the urge to use all CAPS or!!!!!! Just answer like an attorney would. Just that facts.

Next week, The Constant Complainer

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