Negative Reviews: How to Deal With Them, How to Improve

How to Deal With Negative Reviews


As we explained in this article, reliable customer reviews can boost sales, improve business, and get your name out in a way that no marketing campaign ever could. We even discussed the benefit of negative reviews – having one or two less-than-ideal testimonials sprinkled into your reviews page makes you look more legit, honest, and real.


Of course, most of the magic behind negative reviews actually occurs when it comes to how you deal with them. The right response, and you’ve transformed a potential minefield into a veritable gold mine. So if you are staring down the barrel of fully loaded negative feedback that’s cocked and ready to go off, here are some expert tips on how to diffuse things and even turn the situation around so you come out looking like the hero.


Time is of the Essence


The saying “a day late, a dollar short” certainly applies to negative feedback response. When someone is mad about the less-than-perfect work you did for them, they aren’t going to wait a week to tell people about it. So when you see negative feedback, the time to respond is NOW. Even if you don’t have an immediate solution, a quick reply shows the customer (and potential future customers) that you are on top of the situation, and that you care enough to respond.


If the problem is complex, you can ask the customer to continue the conversation offline for a more in-depth look at the problem. Either way, fast responses ensure that the barrage of negativity towards your company stops after that initial comment.


Keeping Tabs


Of course, you need to know that something was said if you want to respond to it quickly. That’s why any smart contractor is going to keep one eye on the business and the other on social media. All you need is for one person to grumble about your business and not get a response for your reputation to get flushed down the toilet.


There are easy ways to keep tabs on your name being mentioned. Some great tools like Reputology or Social Mention will help you keep track of what others are saying about you, and you can set up a Google Alert to let you know whenever somebody’s talking about your business.


Watch Your Mouth!


Maybe you’re the type of person that when someone insults you, the first thing you want to do is rip them a new one with some harsh words. Don’t do it! Your business’s reputation is at stake here, and the world is watching how you respond. If you need to, take a few minutes before responding to the negative comments. Once you’ve regained some composure, reply to the reviewer with polite, considerate, and respectful words and tone.


Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is


We all think that our business is the best. But if we’re really honest with ourselves, we know that every company has room for improvement. When someone leaves negative feedback, take it seriously. Consider what they’re saying and see which areas of your business you can improve upon so that you are really giving your customers the best service possible. If you can accomplish this, then you’ve really turned a negative situation into a golden opportunity.


Of course, if someone has really defamed your business or is being antagonistic, some review sites will allow you to request a review removal. If there is profanity, aggressive language, or unnecessary rudeness, a business owner can ask the site to take down that comment. In general though, you want to try as much as you can to deal with the unhappy customer on your own.


What are some of the way you deal with bad reviews?

Productivity Tips for Contractors: Keeping Busy with the Right Things

Bookkeeping, ordering supplies, scheduling estimates, calculating quotes, keeping track of appointments…oh yeah, and actually doing the work you’re being hired to do. Wondering how you’re going to juggle all these jobs in a 24-hour day that feels like it just gets shorter by the month? The key is PRODUCTIVITY. It’s a bit of a catchphrase in today’s society, but when you use it right, productivity can mean the difference between a smooth, successful, and enjoyable contracting business and one that is a total mess – one that doesn’t just cause you stress, but that could completely fall apart.


Check out these 4 tips for staying productive and making the most out of your small business today.


Tip #1: Schedule Everything, Even Scheduling!


It’s nice to have a solid memory, know every customer by name, face, and address. As your business grows though (and that’s the goal, right?), you may have a harder time keeping track of all the details, appointments, and commitments you’ve made. All it takes is standing up one client because you forgot about coming over to give her that estimate you promised for you to realize the significance of keeping a clear and organized schedule.


Tip #2: Get Techie


You might be a nuts and bolts, get your hands dirty kinda guy, but no one can deny the efficiency and accessibility of modern day technology. In terms of scheduling, you can use one app wherever you are to fill in all your appointments and to remind you when an appointment or meeting is coming up. Ordering supplies online has become even easier than ever, and it’s the fastest, most efficient way to keep your inventory stocked. Getting directions to a new customer’s house, marketing yourself to a wider audience, learning new industry-relevant info, and more are all at the tips of your fingers. That’s what technology does for you, so take the time to explore new apps and helpful programs to help you get the job done most efficiently (like Evernote for collecting/sharing ideas and Waze for navigating the fastest route to your jobs – every minute spent sitting in your van in traffic means less money in your pocket!).


Tip #3: Boost Your Time Management Skills


Newsflash: if you think you’re Superman, you’re not. There’s only one Clark Kent, and he isn’t you, so don’t try to do everything. Realize that the 24-hour clock only has 24 hours on it, and you need to work your business obligations, social life, and personal time into that window. So plan accordingly. Estimate how long things take you (consultations, supplies shopping, clean up, various projects, etc.), and add a little buffer for safety. Then use these time estimates when scheduling your day so you don’t overextend yourself.


After all, a burnt out contractor won’t be much of a help to anyone. Better to tell a customer you’ll have to get to them tomorrow for a non-emergency job than to come over at midnight and do a shoddy job.


Now you’ve got your homework cut out for you. The more productive you are, the better quality work you’ll produce and the more you’ll enjoy life both at work and outside of it.


What are your biggest productivity hacks?

Focusing on Customer Reviews

Why Small Business Owners Like You NEED to Focus on Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are quickly becoming the official litmus test for products, services, and businesses. Good reviews will generate dramatically more sales, while negative reviews will harm a company’s business growth (well, usually, more on that later). For small businesses like contractors, customer reviews are even more important since potential clients quickly turn to this form of authentication before inviting a contractor into their home.


Here’s the inside scoop on customer reviews and why contractors like you need to get on the bandwagon fast.

What’s All the Hype About Customer Reviews?

Check out this infographic from Invesp. It tells you the story of how important customer reviews are. As you can see, testimonials can really change your business for better or worse. Some of these fast facts about customer reviews may surprise you, and they’ll definitely give you a better idea of why this has to be one of your top priorities as a marketing contractor in 2017:

– 92% of people are going to use a local business that has received 4 stars in reviews.
– 9 out of 10 shoppers trust online customer reviews as much as they do a good word from friends.
– 72% of buyers are not going to make a move before they’ve read customer reviews.
– 67% of people actually read up to six reviews for a given product or service.

So people are reading more, trusting more, and relying on more peer reviews than ever before. The internet is a wide open field, and customers are charging across to pick up whatever information they can about you before making a decision about whether or not to hire.

The Black, White & Gray of Negative Reviews

Negative reviews are a bit of a puzzler even for expert marketers. Of course negative reviews can be detrimental to a business or service. 86% of buyers will think twice before using a business that has a substantial amount of negative reviews.

On the other hand, people don’t believe in the perfect product. If you saw a service or item that had all glowing reviews, wouldn’t you think something was a little fishy? In fact, 67% of shoppers feel they’ve come across bogus reviews. So think twice before deleting your negative feedback – a couple of less than perfect reviews might actually help boost your ratings. Just make sure they aren’t totally lambasting.

In another post, we’ll go into more detail about exactly what to do with negative reviews, but for now, you’re first point of action should be to respond professionally, courteously, and quickly, man up to your mistakes, and fix what’s wrong. This will show potential customers that you aren’t some jerk who just ignores a problem. In fact, 95% customers said they’d use a service again if the issue was dealt with properly. So it’s more about giving people a positive experience regardless of where they’re coming from or why they’re having an issue than it is about being perfect in every way.

So how do you get those million dollar reviews anyway? We’ll cover that in the next blog post as part of your marketing toolbox.