5 Tips on How to Handle Negative Online Reviews
How to Respond to Online Reviews in a Way That’s Representative of Your Business
If you’re like many business owners, you check sites like Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List and Google for reviews of your business. That’s smart—sites like these can help you keep a pulse on your business’s reputation. Yet reading online reviews is a little like riding a roller coaster. Because you care so much about your contracting business, the highs are very high—but the lows are very low.
Receiving a negative review is not fun, but resist the urge to treat it as an insult. It’s important to remain calm and remember how important online reviews can be for the future of your business. Here are some tips to help you manage less-than-impressive online customer reviews.
1. Respond Promptly
In a consumer review survey, BrightLocal found that 88 percent of people trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. It’s good form to respond to online reviews as they come in, just as you would if they were in-person customer complaints or complements. Always start by thanking the customer for sharing their concern and/or experience. Responding with appreciation and respect shows other potential clients that you run a professional business that values and responds to feedback.
2. Take the Conversation Offline
If there is an especially bad review about your business, or someone who is posting multiple criticisms, it might be a good idea to respond with a request for their contact information. This way, you can bring the conversation off a public forum and into a more personalized customer service situation. You will also be able to learn more about their experience, which may help you avoid similar situations in the future.
Listening is the most important skill in managing negative online reviews for your contracting business. Even if you don’t agree with what the review is saying, reviews are a great way to get candid feedback about the quality of work you’re supplying and the performance of your employees. Listening to what the reviewer has to say can alert you to issues that need addressing within your business. It will also infuse more sincerity into the tone of your response.
4. Stay Poised and Professional
You work hard every day to ensure that your business is exceeding expectations, so it’s hard not to take criticism personally. Take a deep breath and remember that how you respond to a customer review will be used by future customers to determine if your business is worthy of their time and money. Your business is poised and professional, so your response should carry the same voice.
5. Share How You’re Resolving the Issue
Finally, include a resolution in your responses. If someone says that your team mishandled some aspect of a project, offer to redo or fix the work—and then follow through with that promise. This will show other potential customers that you’re committed to doing great work. It will also satisfy the reviewer, who will be more likely to come with future projects if you fix the issue at hand.
Responding to customer reviews is a critical part of maintaining a professional contracting business. Maintaining a calm attitude and responding with poise can help you improve your business and show professionalism through all levels of customer service.
If you’re interested in more ideas for how you can strengthen your relationships with your clients, check out our Top 6 Ways Contractors Can Build Trust With Customers article on the ABC Supply blog.