Even the most successful pros get bad reviews. But, with an approach that’s both authentic and strategic, they turn those negatives into opportunities to build trust and put their best foot forward – and so can you! Take control and get people talking for all of the right reasons with this step-by-step guide to managing your online reputation.
1. Define your approach.
Before you dive in, you’ll want to consider how you’ll approach your online reputation. As you read this guide, keep these questions in mind:
- What image and tone do you want to convey?
- Who will be responsible for responding to reviews and resolving problems?
- What actions will you take to resolve issues?
- How far back will you go if you have a backlog of reviews?
- How many times will you engage with an unsatisfied customer?
- Which positive facets of your business can your highlight in your responses?
Once you’ve read through the guide, refer back to these questions and note your decisions.
2. Respond to all reviews.
The best way to deal with any review, good or bad, is to respond with gratitude and understanding. It’s much less effective – even detrimental – to get defensive or ignore them altogether. Potential clients will see your response, and you want to maintain control over your tone and image.
⇒ When responding to a positive review, thank the reviewer for their feedback, offer a compliment in return and remind them that you’re available for their next project. You might even market to the review-reading audience by mentioning the benefits of the product you installed or its relevant warranty.
⇒ When responding to a negative review, thank the reviewer for their feedback, show empathy for their situation and offer to correct the issue by directing them to an email address or phone number – taking the discussion offline. If they mention something that might concern review readers, say you’re glad that the reviewer brought it to your attention and note that you’ll investigate the situation in order to improve your services.
See examples of how to respond to various reviews at the end of this article!
3. Tap lost reviews.
It usually takes more effort to pull in good reviews because people are much more likely to write about negative experiences than positive ones. As a result, many home pros feel that their online reputation showcases the exceptions rather than reflecting the reality. If you encourage all of your customers to leave reviews, the positive reviews will likely start to outweigh the negative.
Take some time to go backwards and reach out to past clients. Send them an email with your review link to make it easy, and tell them how much you enjoyed working with them. Direct them to platforms where you could use the biggest boost, like HomeAdvisor or Yelp.
4. Get on your soapbox.
Reputation management isn’t just about fighting fires and navigating reviews. It’s also about defining your company brand, cultivating content around that brand and putting that content out into the world. When you do this, you get to curate your image and tone, rather than letting reviews and press make the impression for you.
Content includes things like your social media posts, email campaigns, blog posts and contributions to local media. These tools give you control over how you’re perceived – and they allow you to highlight the values and skills that set you apart.
Take action: Learn more about promoting your business with storytelling.
5. Keep an eye out.
It’s not easy to stay on top of bad press and negative reviews, especially if you’re not using a tool to monitor them automatically. Tools like Google Alerts and the HootSuite monitoring service actively monitor the web for mentions of your company. With these automated systems, you’ll be notified when your company is mentioned so that nothing flies under your radar!
Examples of Good Responses to Reviews
Responding to a bad rating with a short or blank review:
This company sucks!
Thank you for your feedback! We’re sorry you had a negative experience. We strive to provide the highest level of customer service and we regret that we didn’t meet your expectations. We would love the opportunity to address your concerns. Please reach out to us at [email or phone number]. Thanks again!
Responding to an unmet expectation or suggestion:
Communication could be better but I’m happy with the final outcome.
Thank you for your suggestion! On behalf of [company], I’m sorry to hear that we fell short of your expectations as far as communication. We’re working to improve our methods and implement new tools in order to communicate more effectively. We hope that you’ll give us another chance if you need services in the future! Email us at [email] and mention this review for a discount on your next project.
Responding to a potential miscommunication or contract issue:
This company left our property a mess! All the time it’s going to take to deal with their mess isn’t worth the work they did.
We appreciate this feedback about our services! We’re sorry that you were left in this situation. We pride ourselves on being diligent when cleaning up if the service is included in the contract. Many homeowners opt out of cleaning services in order to save on their budgets. There may have been a miscommunication around this detail in your contract. We would love the opportunity to correct the situation and work with you to turn this into a more positive experience! Please contact us at [email or phone number] at your earliest convenience.
Responding to positive feedback:
If I could give more than five stars I would! We had an absolutely perfect experience and we love how our project turned out. We would recommend this company to anyone and everyone!
Thank you so much for this stellar review! We’re so glad you had a great experience. We really enjoyed working with you, and we loved how the project turned out too! We look forward to working with you again should you need services in the future.
Are you stumped by a recent review and looking for a solution? Or, do you have a story to share about your challenges with reputation management? We’d love to hear from you!
Submit your questions and stories to: ProContent@homeadvisor.com