Written by Zach Hansen
In our contemporary world being a successful contractor involves making sure that your online reputation stays intact. Most contractors will receive numerous online reviews from clients throughout their career, and if you’re a successful contractor, the majority of those will likely be good. But there’s no denying that even the most professional contractors will sometimes receive a negative review.
It doesn’t matter how careful you are throughout your contracting career, a negative review at some point in time is inevitable. You can’t avoid these comments, but when you do receive one, it’s important to understand the best ways to respond.
One of the most critical things to remember if you do find a negative review is not to ignore it. If you respond in a way that could solve the issue for the client there’s a good chance that you can get them to delete their review. Even if that doesn’t happen, at least other potential clients will be able to see that you’ve responded.
Many unsatisfied clients leave negative reviews in the heat of the moment because they’re angry about some aspect of the service they received. If the unhappy customer knows that the contractor saw their review and is doing something to resolve it there’s a good chance that they will rethink the comment and delete the review. What’s more, by responding in the right manner, you could end up winning that client’s loyalty back.
Tips for Responding to Negative Reviews
Probably the worst thing you can do is to respond angrily or disrespectfully. It’s understandable why you might have a knee-jerk reaction to reading a nasty or dissatisfied review, but whatever you do, don’t respond while you’re upset. You must always remain respectful in your comments when responding to an unhappy client, otherwise, you’ll likely just make the situation far worse. Besides, others may see a disrespectful comment responding to a negative review, and this will likely put them off from considering hiring you.
Propose a Solution
Most of the time, when a client leaves a negative review they’re simply looking for the business to recognize the issue and provide a solution. Offering some sort of resolve is your best bet in gaining back the loyalty of an unhappy customer.
Provide information about how you plan to resolve the problem that the client had with your services. If you don’t want to offer a solution to the problem as a direct response to the review, you should consider responding and leaving your contact information asking them to reach out to you directly to come up with a resolution.
A dissatisfied client probably won’t understand all of the ins and outs of a situation or how your business runs. Due to this, they may leave inaccurate information in their negative review. As long as you remain respectful there is nothing wrong with politely correcting them and stating the truth.
For example, if you have photos proving that work was completed but the client is claiming you never finished the job, you could post those for the pictures. It’s important to remember that correcting someone in the negative review may make them angrier, so even if you are offering truthful information, it’s also best to provide some sort of solution for the client as well.
If you reach out to a client asking them to contact you regarding their dilemma and they don’t immediately respond, always follow up. It can be easy to think that because they haven’t reached out you’re off the hook, but it doesn’t resolve the situation or make the negative review go away. Always follow up with clients who have left a negative review about your services.
Keep a Record
Keep records of all of the issues or complaints that you received from clients. You should also keep a record of the steps that you took to correct the problem. This way you can provide accurate information about the situation and you can also refer to your records if a similar circumstance is to arise in the future. More importantly, if the issue was to be taken to court you would have a record of the steps you took to overcome it.
A client leaving a negative review about your contracting business is largely out of your control, but responding positively is. Never respond to negative reviews in the heat of the moment, and if you follow these steps, you’ll be much better equipped to manage your online business.