423: Rebuilding Trust After A Negative Online Review

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Manage episode 294700301 series 1082451
By Randal DeHart and Randal DeHart | Construction Accountant |PMP | QPA. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
This Podcast Is Episode Number 423, And It's About Rebuilding Trust After A Negative Online Review Online reviews are an essential marketing tool for many small businesses, especially for service-based businesses like yours. They give potential customers and clients a chance to see how effective your goods or services are, how responsive you are to your clients, and what other people's experiences of your business have been. As a result, the vast majority of people check online reviews before making a purchasing decision. When reviews are great, that's a fantastic thing. But, unfortunately, it's when you get negative reviews that you have to adjust. You can't please all customers all the time. Here's the thing: a negative review can actually be positive for your business. So how do you rebuild trust after a client has vented their frustrations online? 1. Leave the negative review up. A negative review doesn't have to be the end of the world. Although customers like to see five-star reviews, they understand that perfection is almost impossible—and probably a sign that something is "too good to be true." In that sense, having a customer or two provide negative feedback gives more credibility to the positive reviews. Customers expect to see a couple of negative reviews. As long as they're in amongst positive feedback, the negatives likely won't hurt you much and may even increase your legitimacy if they're handled well.

2. Respond to the review honestly.

Customer complaints are a way for you to build trust with your potential clients by allowing you to respond honestly and professionally. Did something go wrong that was out of your hands? Offer an apology and explain what happened. Was there a misunderstanding? Take the opportunity to clear it up. Has the reviewer requested additional information or a solution? Respond online to show what you've done to address the situation.

Did the reviewer misunderstand a policy? Explain your policy and invite them to contact you if they have further questions. Doing so shows readers that you take their concerns seriously and are willing to take responsibility when things go wrong.

3. Learn from negative reviews. If you see the same concerns repeatedly in the online feedback, it may be time to review your services. Negative reviews give you insight into areas where your customers feel your business could make changes, so take the time to consider what you're being told. For example, it may be that you can improve on your offerings, or you need to communicate better with clients to manage their expectations. Thank them for their feedback, let them know you're taking their concerns seriously, and explain what your next steps will be. Final thoughts Don't panic. A bad review or two isn't likely to ruin your reputation. On the contrary, a few negative reviews can help you gain trust with potential clients. In addition, you can use the situation to build confidence in your business by being responsive, transparent, and honest. Many prospective customers will look past a few negative reviews if you have more favorable ones. So make sure you are consistent in providing quality services and encourage happy clients to post a good business review. If possible, make sure your responses include an apology, a statement about your commitment to your clients, and a way to continue the conversation offline if further communication is needed. Doing so will show potential customers and clients that you care about their feedback and are willing to take responsibility, but it also allows you to move the conversation to a more private forum if the reviewer isn't happy with your response.

About The Author:

Sharie DeHart, QPA is the co-founder of Business Consulting And Accounting in Lynnwood, Washington. She is the leading expert in managing outsourced construction bookkeeping and accounting services companies and cash management accounting for small construction companies across the USA. She encourages Contractors and Construction Company Owners to stay current on their tax obligations and offers insights on how to manage the remaining cash flow to operate and grow their construction company sales and profits so they can put more money in the bank. Call 1-800-361-1770 or sharie@fasteasyaccounting.com

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