In today’s world with Yelp and Facebook, online reviews are the primary word-of-mouth about businesses and services. You’ve probably written reviews as a consumer when you’ve been impressed with the customer service you received, or unfortunately when you’ve been unhappy with the product or the ultimate outcome.
Online reviews don’t just pertain to restaurants, massage therapists, and auto mechanics. Consumers will be writing reviews about your window options and window installations. Read on to learn about how to handle or what to do about negative online reviews.
Reading online reviews is now a major part of the shopping experience while browsing on Amazon, looking up a business on Facebook or Yelp, or even while looking at products inside of a store. Online reviews give prospective customers an idea of the quality of your services and the quality of the work you do on people’s homes.
Even with an amazing team of experienced window professionals who are well-trained and knowledgeable, mistakes can happen.
And sometimes there are factors outside of your control. So you will most likely encounter a negative review about your business at some point in time, but don’t panic. What’s important is how you handle the situation.
What to do about a negative online review:
- When someone writes a negative review, do your best to keep your cool. Even if you feel that the reviewer’s comments are unfair, cooler heads will prevail. Take a moment to collect yourself before moving forward.
- Respond as soon as possible to the negative review. A prompt response shows customers that you are taking their comments seriously and that you are providing the best customer service within your power.
- Write a brief response to the negative review. Be sure to introduce yourself with your name and your title, which makes your comment more personal and sincere. Apologize and take accountability for the situation. Next, make an offer to speak with the person offline and try to make it right. Provide your contact information.
- If you’re unsure of what to write, review some templates on how to respond to a negative review. Nicejob has some excellent examples.
- Ideally, you will be able to speak to the review writer over the phone or via email. Communicate an apology and offer a solution. A solution might be offering to come to the client’s home and fix any issues they may be experiencing with their windows. Hopefully, the customer will accept your offer to help resolve the issue.
- Once the issue has been resolved, follow up with the customer. You can even post a second comment on the review explaining what was done to make it right, signaling to prospective customers that you are doing everything you can to resolve the situation.
- If a negative review seems suspicious or fake, contact the platform. You may be able to have fake negative reviews removed.
Once you’ve handled the issue and smoothed things over with the customer who wrote the negative review, be sure to address how you can work with your team to avoid these issues in the future.
For example, if you are receiving multiple negative reviews about the same issue, then you may need to implement some training or strategies to avoid repeating the same mistakes.
What not to do about a negative online review:
- Do not get angry or write an angry response to the review. Keep things professional. Once you hit enter and post a comment, you cannot go back. Furthermore, an angry comment may result in potential clients perceiving you as hostile, and they may decide not to hire you for their window installation.
- Do not accuse the customer of being responsible for the issue or wrong about the situation. It’s best to assume the customer is always right. Getting into a public argument with a customer online will only reflect poorly on your reputation.
- Not responding or ignoring the negative review is the worst course of action. When businesses ignore negative customer reviews, it gives the impression that the business does not provide good customer service and doesn’t care about its customers.
Once you’ve resolved a customer’s complaint, the best-case scenario is that the customer will update their review or write a comment expressing their satisfaction with how you responded to their concerns.
As a window professional, you can’t prevent negative reviews from ever happening. But you can do your best to provide excellent customer service. Create positive experiences for your customers; get to know them and provide the windows that best fit their needs and desires for their home.
Are they looking to enjoy more sunlight in their homes, to update their interior and exterior decor, to save on their energy bills, or to have replacement windows installed? Listening to their concerns and nurturing these relationships will go a long way.
Customers resort to writing negative reviews when they feel like they need to vent. If you follow up with your customers following a project, you can create an opportunity to address their concerns and issues. Then they may not feel the need to write a negative review; they might actually write a positive one!
Positive online reviews improve your local search ranking, and they show potential customers that you are the right person for the job. A negative online review can mean losing future business as well as return business.
Show past customers and new customers that you care about customer satisfaction and that you pride yourself on delivering the best customer service possible.
Make a point to be proactive and ask customers to leave you a review or provide a customer testimonial. Check the rules of the different platforms where you are receiving reviews to be sure that you aren’t violating any policies.
Monitoring online reviews that customers post about your business is an essential task in online marketing. You can find where the reviews are being written and monitor these spaces for negative reviews. You can also respond to positive reviews to thank customers for their kind words.