Online reviews are helpful because they provide information about products or services that consumers are interested in; they also demonstrate how a company handles problems. A negative review can tell you more than a positive review. For example, when a consumer comes across a negative review with no response, they will probably move on to the next product or service. If they see the business responded with a simple "Sorry for your experience" or "Please contact us" response, they may assume the company is answering just for the sake of answering and not because they really care.
When a company handles a bad review well, the consumer will be more likely to work with them. Are you equipped to handle negative reviews that comes your way?
- Don't take it personally. A negative or angry review does not detract from your value and worth.
- Don't react in anger. Attacking your reviewer's position, story or personality will not make other buyers and sellers want to work with you.
- Don't ignore it. Negative online reviews don't disappear. They'll be out there where buyers and sellers can find them for years.
- Don't rush your response. A poorly thought-out answer won't win you any points with your former client.
- Don't get discouraged. A few bad reviews don't mean that the majority of your buyers and sellers aren't happy.
- Try to win back the buyer or seller. Just because they've left you a negative review doesn't mean you've lost their business and referrals forever. Try to fix the problem, or, if it isn't something you can fix, offer a gesture of goodwill.
- Remember that even if you can't win back the reviewer, how you respond will determine whether other buyers and sellers who see the exchange will want to work with you.
- Take control of negative reviews quickly. If you don't respond promptly, a potential client may see the uncontested negative review and decide to move on to the next agent.
- Try to see the situation from the reviewer's point of view. Empathize with them and think about what you would want if you and your reviewer switched places. If possible, do or say to them what you would want done or said to you if the situations were reversed.
- Let them know you understand their concerns. Even if the problem isn't your fault, let them know you understand why they are upset. Sometimes people just want to be heard.
- Own up to mistakes. If you dropped the ball, apologize and do what you can to make it better.
- When you rectify the situation with your former client, ask them to update their review with how you resolved the situation. If they aren't satisfied with the resolution you provided, add the update yourself.
- Make sure any remarks you make on your negative review are calm and respectful. That way, even if you aren't able to resolve the situation to your reviewer's satisfaction, potential clients will see that you kept a level head and did your best.
- Remind your reviewer (and anyone else reading) that your business has a great track record of service. Assure them that this is a one-time situation. Emphasize how important happy clients are to your business (as well as how numerous they are.) This will help potential clients put the one negative review into perspective.
- Keep track of your online reputation. When someone leaves a review about you or your business online, the clock starts ticking. Make sure you don't miss any with a good reputation manager that finds the positive and negative reviews for you.
Do you need help monitoring your online reputation? Homes.com Social Fuel doesn't just create Facebook ads and post social content for you; it also has an advanced reputation manager to help you track what people are saying about you online. Learn how we can help you keep your online reputation on track!
By Joe Sesso, National Speaker for Homes.com
For more information, please visit connect.homes.com.
Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.