In the past, we’ve talked about just how important Google reviews are if you want to create a solid reputation for your business. We know that the vast majority of people searching for specific services in their area believe that online reviews are worth consideration. For this reason, good reviews from past customers are a crucial part of generating leads for your business.
Many business owners work hard to encourage happy customers to leave feedback online, where other homeowners can read about their experience. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that every review your business receives will be positive. Even the best businesses get negative feedback from time to time. When this happens, it’s important to respond with care. The words you use when you react to a negative review matter, and they just might be the trick to turning around a bad experience entirely.
Read and Reflect
When someone has something negative say about your business, it’s human nature to feel defensive. It’s normal to feel frustrated by your customer, to assume they’re wrong, or to feel attacked. If we’re not careful, can we respond too quickly, letting our emotions speak for us instead of really taking their feedback to heart.
Before you can respond to a complaint or bad you review, you have to read and reflect on what is being said. This is an essential part of excellent customer service, no matter the industry. This is a good time to make sure you completely understand the review, getting a clear understanding of what went wrong. You should also investigate, do what you can to find out the facts. Is their bad review warranted? Is there something you could have done to avoid the negative review?
Don’t respond until you feel you are able to respond calmly. Then, and only then, should you move forward with submitting a reply to their online review. Any response to reviews, negative or positive, should be public. It’s important that those reading what others say about your business have the opportunity to see what you have to say in return.
Respond with Empathy
It doesn’t really matter if your reviewer is right or wrong, you should always respond to bad reviews with empathy. Even if your company wasn’t in the wrong, the person leaving the room still didn’t have their expectations met. Because of this, we always recommended acknowledging the complaints of a negative reviewer. This can be done really well by mirroring back what the reviewer has said, using phrases like, “We are sorry to hear that you were not happy with your experience because…” This confirms to the reviewer that you have heard their concerns and that you have truly considered what they had to say about their experience.
Respond with Your Values
After you have expressed empathy towards the reviewer, it’s a good idea to remind them and everyone reading the review online what your company really values. Negative reviews can make a company appear careless, disorganized, or even unethical. A well thought out response, however, can serve as damage control.
Once you have acknowledged the reviewer’s complaints, share with them that what they experienced is not in line with what is important to you and your business. Share with them that excellence and timeliness are foundational to the way you do business, or that you have worked hard to teach each team member customer service skills.
Respond with an Invitation
Before you wrap up your response to a negative online review, you have to extend an invitation to the author of the review. This is a chance to resolve what went wrong in the first place and to those reading the review that you are serious about what you say.
This doesn’t have to be anything detailed or specific, we believe that the best invitation is one to talk further, face to face. Let the reviewer know that you want to hear more about their experience so that you, and your team can make it right. Make sure to include your phone number and your name.
At More Floods, we believe in the power of a well thought out and compassionate response to customer complaints. We know that responding calmly isn’t always easy and that it often feels like customer service skills don’t come naturally at first. Because of this, we offer training resources to the members of our network, along with operational systems that can prevent the common mistakes that result in customer complaints.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of More Floods, click here or call 1-866-667-3356 to learn more about.