No one wants to get a bad review. But with so many online platforms allowing customers to share their opinions on just about everything these days, negative reviews and the power that they hold have become a growing component of doing business in today’s digital marketplace. It’s no secret that a majority of consumers now put greater stock in online reviews to help inform their decision on whether or not to patronize a business. It’s no different for trenchless contractors with a prominent online presence. Even one bad review can mar a company’s reputation and a few of them might encourage a potential customer to give their business to your competition.
So while it’s important to maintain a strong positive online presence, you’re likely to come across a negative review every so often. Don’t panic, your business isn’t doomed. A bad review can be a good thing, it’s all in how you handle the problem. Here are some useful tips for dealing with negative opinions that can minimize the damaging impact they can have on your brand.
Too many business owners take negative reviews personally. Don’t be one of them! Your online response to a negative review will be scrutinized more critically than the review itself. The way you respond in a public forum, whether it’s your own social media platform or through another site such as Yelp or Angie’s List, will tell consumers everything they need to know about hiring your company.
Therefore, you want to keep your response professional, first and foremost. Refrain from attacking the review or the reviewer, keep sarcasm out of it, and explain that you understand the issue and would like to resolve the problem.
If you receive a negative review, address it immediately. Allowing other customers to see a bad review without a response that is tactful, measured, and addresses the issue fully will portray an image that you simply don’t care. Late responses aren’t helpful either, even if you attempt to fix the issue. You want to impress upon the complaining party, and other potential customers, that you value their opinion and are dedicated to providing a reliable and dependable service. This will engender trust and an image of responsibility.
Acknowledge and Apologize
At first glance you may think this means you have to agree with the negative review or admit wrongdoing in some capacity. This is not the case. Acknowledging the review means you’re ready to work to fix the problem and you are not ignoring the issue. Doing nothing can be deadly for your business – it shows a lack of concern. By apologizing, you aren’t admitting you did something wrong, you are telling the reviewer that you are sorry that they didn’t find your work or your service satisfactory and this can open a dialogue towards rectifying the problem.
Rectifying the Problem
If possible, do everything you can to address and solve the issue offline. Taking the conversation private and contacting the disgruntled party direct can often help you get to the bottom of most issues instead of continuing the discourse in a public forum. Once the problem has been handled in a satisfactory manner, then you can make that known to the general public afterward.
Bad Reviews Can Be Good
Huh? How is that possible? Glad you asked, because too many business owners only see the bad in a negative review. Customers today are savvy; they know if something is too good to be true then it just might be. One or two negative reviews actually allow your customers to know that your reviews are provided by actual customers instead of “plants” or the company’s own employees.
If those negative reviews are on a page or platform that you control, it lets potential customers know that you’re not deleting those comments or shying away from criticism. Your prompt, professional, and helpful responses will also build trust in potential customers who are reading those reviews with an eye towards hiring your company.
Don’t Stand for Defamatory Reviews
Some people can just be jerks. It’s a fact of business. This is why it’s important to constantly monitor your online presence for any negative reviews, not only so you can respond to them in a timely manner but to check for any intentionally damaging, misleading, or defamatory reviews that are designed simply to hurt you and your business. Bad reviews are fine, but reviews that are out to smear and attack you are unacceptable. If you have the power to remove those, then by all means do so. If you find such a review on Yelp or a similar consumer website, then request for it to be removed. You’re well within your rights.
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