negative online reviews and how to deal with them

31 March 2021

Dealing with negative online reviews. I stumbled upon an article in Medium which was very critical of my photo editing services. I use my free time to promote my photo editing services online and this is when I can across the negative online review.

Unfortunately I did not bookmark this negative article, basically it was a review of 10 photo editing companies. I suppose I should have been slightly pleased, that  I was listed as one of the digital photo editing services that was being reviewed.

The article claimed to have sent the same photo to 10 photo retouchers and then reviewed the quality of the work, the quality of the website and customer service. It came as a surprise to me, as I had never even received an email or enquiry from my contact form.

I can assure you that I check all my emails and reply to all enquiries, on top of that I will always reply within a day to any photo editing requests. If the negative online review was to be believed, I did not even bother to get back to a potential client.

This is really silly, why would I ignore earning money retouching a photo? As you can well imagine, online competition for photo editing services is fierce. All companies are constantly trying to get a high Google Ranking for their website.

I suspect that the negative article, could well have been written or paid to be written by the photo editing company that got a glowing review. Fake news on social media has been in the headlines, and I suspect certain unscrupulous photo editors are using this to gain an advantage over their competition.

Dealing with negative online reviews

Dealing with negative online reviews

The first thing I did was leave a comment to the review, saying I wish I was contacted so that I could have submitted my photo retouching sample, as I am very confident about the quality of my work.

I did also mention that a more accurate measure of the quality of a service is the Google My Business Reviews, and they were more than welcome to check the feedback from my photo editing clients. After posting the reply I forgot about the article.

I get a lot of photo editing enquiries from clients who have had negative experiences from other photo editors. To my surprise my client was very critical of one of the so called winners of the “Best online photo editing service” article. The one where I was completely rubbished for the quality of my services.

This is what she had to say:

“I googled and found a list of recommended product photo and portrait retouching sites. I sent 2 samples to 2 companies…one called Exx and one called Fxx. 

Exx is one of the most unprofessional companies I’ve worked with in my career.  I sent a sample with all of my notes, and got a quote. I got the first set of photos back and they were fine, but a lot of the first edits were completely missed.  

I sent back another marked up PDF, and got back some rather unnatural edits. Arms were made smaller by just shaving the whole thing down in a straight line. Body contouring wasn’t natural at all. Also, in the email letting me know they were done, she told me this is the best they can do.  

I asked if there were any additional revisions, especially since we weren’t happy. She told me they can’t accommodate my “endless requests”, and asking them to change something back (because it looked so horribly unnatural that I’d rather the original) was “nonsense.”  So, that didn’t last 🙂

Fxx was much better in terms of customer service.  However, the people making the edits just don’t understand photography basics. They know how to use photoshop. So, their edits are not especially natural.  

If you straighten out a wrinkle or move something, the light will hit it differently. It’s not only a matter of straightening it out…you also need to think about how the light might hit it if it was naturally flat. That element is missing in their edits.  

That’s why we love your work. You clearly understand photography and lighting elements, and you/your team know photoshop well.  So, the end result is much more natural.”

Negative online reviews can be really damaging to your reputation

But two wrongs don’t make one right, so I will not mentioned the photo editing companies that she is talking about, even if I suspect that they were behind my negative feedback.

I believe the best way to deal with negative online reviews is to deliver a professional service, listen to your customers needs and give them the photos, they are going to treasure. Google My Business Reviews will do the rest.

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