How to handle Negative Reviews

In a service business, reviews have become a crucial part of how future customers measure your business.  Fair or not, an appliance repair business needs to take online reviews very seriously. Ninety-seven percent of consumers utilize the internet when researching local products and services.  Even if your company has not invested in a strong web presence, this will not stop the online reviews from coming.  Most review websites will allow a customer to create your business profile online for free so they can leave a review.  These reviews are usually negative because they want their opinions to be heard.  So now you have a bunch of negative reviews and a poorly created business citation on a review website like Yelp or Yellowpages.  If this sounds like your company’s online profile, then you are losing money on a weekly basis, maybe even daily depending on your volume.

Think about the perspective of your consumer.  Our example customer is named Joe and his washer broke.  Joe pulls out his smartphone and does a quick google search of “washer repair near me”.  The phone recognizes his location and pulls the websites that are located closest to him.  Your company happens to be the closest physical location to Joe’s house so your results come up first on the map search results.  Unfortunately, you have an overall ranking of 1-star out of 5 for Google Reviews.  Joe makes a quick brush with his thumb upwards and moves on to a company with better reviews.  So this customer didn’t even check out your website.  You could have spent a million dollars on the website, but if people do not click on it, then the website is worthless.

How do you combat negative reviews?  Simple.  You start earning positive ones.  This can be done many different ways and our marketing team is more than happy to help you figure out the best strategy to accomplish this goal.   One thing we can share is that it takes time, so don’t keep pushing this issue down the road, it will only get more difficult to climb out of.

I have seen articles speculating that it might be wise to NOT respond to the negative reviews.  That would be like not answering the phone call on the first ring or not responding to an email until next month.  It makes no sense.  These customers are already upset, heck most customers are upset when they call for appliance repair.  Their product is not working properly!  So when they are scouting your company online and see that you are not responding to your negative reviews, they assume you don’t care.  Why would that potential customer even bother with your company when they have other choices in your market?

Today,we track 16 different reviews sites on a monthly basis for our clients and we plan to add more in the near future.  We track these reviews to report the good and the bad and we encourage our clients to respond to EVERY review.  Create an account on each review website and assign a member of your staff to these reviews.  With our handy reports, you can easily audit your review responses to ensure it’s getting done.  Let the customer’s know how much you appreciate the good reviews.  It’s common courtesy and shows that your company responds quickly which is a great impression to give to your future customers.

If you have any questions about how to improve your company image, brand, and overall customer experience, reach out to Fred’s Appliance Marketing today!