How to Deal with Negative Customer Reviews
A big part of owning a business is finding customers and providing the best service to them. Many roofing companies use the digital space to promote themselves via social media, Angie’s List, or some other place online where customers do their research. This is a great opportunity to market your company and grow your business in this competitive market. However, there can be downsides to all of this exposure.
In today’s digital world, if something bad happens on a job, there is a good chance customers will write a negative review on sites such as Yelp, Porch, Angie’s List, or even Google reviews. Unfortunately, bad reviews can spread quickly online and will be seen by many potential clients, which can cause serious damage to your reputation. Here are ways to deal with bad customer reviews and still come out on top.
- Reach out to the commenter and hear their side. Sometimes there is just a miscommunication, but if your crew was at fault, own up to it and do whatever it takes to make the problem right.
- There is a saying: “The customer is always right.” Follow that mantra and make sure the customer is happy no matter what the problem. For example, one contractor had a policy called “our mis-steak” where they would give dissatisfied reviewers gift cards to a steak restaurant.
- Be present on review sites and respond online if appropriate. Even if you speak to the customer offline, make sure there is an online record of the bad review so potential clients see you responded professionally. For instance, put in a response like, “We are very sorry you had a bad experience. Our clients are very important to our business and we strive for 100% satisfaction. We will reach out to you to rectify the situation.” By posting a response, anyone who sees the negative review will also see that you are proactive in finding a solution.
- Ask happy clients to post good reviews. This will help counteract the bad ones and allow potential clients to see positive feedback as well.
The best way to avoid customer service problems is to keep them from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to make sure mistakes rarely happen.
- Have a procedure for checking work and identifying problems. If something does happen, have a process in place for what you’ll do differently.
- Set an appointment. Tell them when you will be there and if you’re late or need to reschedule, call them before they call looking for you.
- Have the person who deals with customer service issues actually be skilled at customer service. Hire someone patient, understanding, sensitive, and kind. This person is the face/voice of your company, so you want the best person for the job.
- Have a survey at the end of each job to ask customers about their experience. This way, you may be able address issues before bad reviews are posted online.
If you put a priority on customer service, then you should only receive positive reviews.