Bad Customer Reviews And What You Can Do About Them

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Jul 13, 2011

 Bad Customer Reviews And What You Can Do About Them
I was look­ing up car­pet com­pa­nies on my iPhone a week or two ago and came across the pho­to on this blog post (Click to enlarge). I was look­ing for a car­pet com­pa­ny by my home and clicked on this one com­pa­nies’ only review they had on Google Places. It was a 1 star review. I’ve only showed you a sam­ple of the review. You can tell that it is not pret­ty! The cus­tomer was any­thing but hap­py. I feel sor­ry for this car­pet busi­ness but not sor­ry enough to try him out. He prob­a­bly isn’t as bad as the review­er said. So why did I not use him? Because he has a pret­ty bad review and he nev­er did any­thing about it. I was in a hur­ry to find a rep­utable com­pa­ny I can trust, and not babysit. Because of that 1 star review and my sit­u­a­tion, I went else­where. So, what could this own­er do about this review and those in the future, and what can you do to pro­tect your online rep­u­ta­tion? The New Web Has Changed Everything Mar­keters today are call­ing all these social media sites, blogs, videos and so on, The New Web.” The New Web (TNW) can be a win win for both the con­sumer and the busi­ness own­er. The con­sumer loves TNW because he (or she) can express him­self. He can rant. He can rave. He can tell the world whether he likes some­thing or hates it with a vengeance. It takes only sec­onds to post things online. It takes only mil­lisec­onds now to do web search­es. It takes no time at all before a user’s friends and the rest of the web to dis­cov­er the pros and cons of a con­sumer’s expe­ri­ence. The New Web is hear to stay and busi­ness­es can make this a win for them too. It takes very lit­tle time to do one sim­ple thing: Engage. Engage with Your Cus­tomers On and Offline The qual­i­ty con­trac­tors I know tend to respect their cus­tomers pri­va­cy, which is a good thing. How­ev­er, I think many of them tend to be a lit­tle intim­i­dat­ed by their clients and don’t feel they can engage with them dur­ing and after the job. I think it should be the oppo­site. I’ve grown up my whole life in the trades, watch­ing my dad run his awe­some paint­ing busi­ness. I know many of his clients on a first name basis. I’ve been to their house, been invit­ed to par­ties, even gone out to lunch with some of them. Now that I’m on the east coast, I still have con­tact with some of my dad’s clients. These folks are wealthy and busy peo­ple, yet they still have time to talk with their con­trac­tor. Why? Because I was not afraid of them. I stay con­nect­ed to them, and my dad has done that with them for years. Once you get to know your clients, and serve them well, they should be a cus­tomer for life. If you have a bump in the road dur­ing the job, do the right thing and fix it. In the end, engage with your cus­tomers and make sure they will give you a big hug” when you leave the job. By engag­ing with clients on a per­son­al lev­el, you will avoid most nasty online reviews. BUT what hap­pens when you do get a bad one? Respond Respond To The Review When a cus­tomer or prospect is upset about some­thing, and they know how to use The New Web com­fort­ably, they’ll prob­a­bly vent by writ­ing a bad review. Don’t sweat this all too much. Most web­sites like Ang­ie’s List, Kudzu, Yelp and Google allow busi­ness own­ers to respond pub­licly to reviews, espe­cial­ly neg­a­tive ones. This is your oppor­tu­ni­ty to write a nice and sim­ple, not con­fronta­tion­al, response. If you respond and act pro­fes­sion­al, most web users that will stum­ble upon your review will make note that you, the busi­ness own­er, respond­ed well to the review/​complaint. That goes a long way. The big­ger, more well-known com­pa­nies, will usu­al­ly get hit the hard­est: plumber, roofers and HVAC com­pa­nies. These trades live by their online rep­u­ta­tion and have to respond to the reviews.  Respond­ing online means you need to bud­get time each week to take a peek online about what peo­ple are say­ing about you. One way is to sign up for Google Alerts. You can be noti­fied when your name appears online by email or text message.  Maybe this post was noth­ing new to you. If it was, go out and pro­tect your online rep­u­ta­tion and start engag­ing with your cus­tomers. They love you…and make them a cus­tomer for life. Do you cur­rent­ly respond to reviews online? How do you engage with your clients? Love to hear your thoughts on this subject. 

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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