Every business will get a bad review from time to time. However, the way you respond to bad reviews is just as important as the review itself. While you may think defending your business will make you look better, but typically it’s the exact opposite. Some customers may be dissuaded by a few bad reviews, but they will definitely call your competitor if they see you constantly arguing with your customers. You will look much better if your responses show that you value your customer’s business and take their opinions seriously.
Why Reviews are Important
Many restoration companies overlook the importance of reviews. However, reviews serve as a trust signal to potential customers. Even if they aren’t reading every word, your average star-rating is a quick way to estimate the level of service they will receive. There are other advantages as well. Your reviews may influence your placement in organic search results and even how your paid search ads perform.
A Few Bad Reviews Are Actually Okay
You may think all of your reviews need to be perfect, but bad reviews can actually help your business. If you only have perfect reviews, customers are likely to assume they are fake or you are screening them. As long as the good outweighs the bad, negative reviews prove all of your reviews are real and that you have nothing to hide. That said, if you notice that all of your bad reviews have a pattern you should take action to correct the situation.
How to Respond to Bad Reviews
When you respond to bad reviews, it’s easy to get wrapped up in defending your business. This isn’t a competition and it doesn’t matter who is right. Your goal is to get the customer to update their review and, ideally, change their negative rating to a positive one.
While you should always try to find a compromise, you will occasionally encounter a customer that won’t be satisfied with any resolution. The best thing to do is just keep your cool, stick to the terms of the contract, and agree to disagree. It’s also a good idea to document your communication with the customer as you can in case they decide to take legal action.
1. Respond Quickly and Sincerely
Try to respond to bad reviews quickly and remember to be empathetic and sincere. Even if you don’t think you did something wrong, apologize and reassure them that you are investigating the situation.
2. Relocate the Conversation
Messaging back and forth on a review site is very public. Your goal is to move the conversation out of the public eye as soon as possible. Give them a specific time when you will follow up. If you don’t have their contact number or can’t determine who they are, leave your direct number and ask them to follow up with you.
3. Stay Calm and Refamiliarize Yourself with the Customer
You should never call a customer when you are angry or distracted. Instead, try to relax and approach the situation with a level head. Before calling, refamiliarize yourself with the services you provided. If you didn’t perform the service personally, talk with the employee who did.
4. Listen to the Customer
While not always the case, many customers just want to be heard. Instead of trying to defend your company when you call, ask the customer to explain their side of the situation. While this may be just one of many jobs to you, this is someone’s home. Listen to them carefully and ask questions.
5. Find a Way to Resolve the Situation
Again, your goal is to get the customer to update their review so it’s in your best interest to resolve their concerns. Each case will be different, but find a compromise that works for you both. Respond as sincerely as possible and don’t be afraid to acknowledge mistakes.
6. Ask the Customer to Update Their Review
Once the situation is completely resolved, ask them to update their review with their experiences. Some customers might not, but most won’t unless you ask. The best case is you turn a negative review into a positive one.
7. Respond Again to Their Review
Give the customer a few days to update their review. However, you should respond again whether they update the review or not. Include specifics about what you did to resolve the situation, but avoid making negative comments about the customer. This shows you care about your customers and looks good to future customers.
Dealing With Rage-Fueled Reviews
You are bound to get an extremely negative, potentially rage-fueled review once in a while. Even if you haven’t gotten one yourself, you’ve probably seen at least one before. These reviews are typically full of expletives, often have poor grammar, and may include the use of capslock and multiple exclamation points or question marks. They express their anger and frustration at the company but rarely include details about what happened.
These reviews can be quite upsetting, but they are nowhere near as bad as you think. The truth is, the reviewer has already done most of your work for you. Without details about what happened, it’s little more than an angry person complaining and most customers won’t consider it very credible. The best way to handle these reviews is to forget about them.
The Best Way to Combat Bad Reviews
No matter how hard you try, you are going to get a few negative reviews. Instead of worrying about how these may impact your business, focus on getting more honest reviews from satisfied customers. These reviews will not only help grow your business but also offset the impact of those negative reviews.
Getting more reviews is usually as easy as asking for them. While you may be apprehensive about asking, 68% of customers will leave a review if asked. If you find that employees forget to ask or customers forget to leave a review, you may consider using a review acquisition program that makes the process easier to manage.
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