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How to Deal With Bad Reviews
By: David Squires, Online Access, Inc.

Since people first started service businesses, there have been unhappy customers due to jobs that didn’t quite go the way they were supposed to go, or because some people just enjoy being upset. Unfortunately, just moving on no longer cuts it, thanks to the Internet. 

Today, reviews matter and the impact of bad reviews can affect your business—especially if you don’t have a whole lot of great reviews to counter them. Because of this, it’s important that you actively pursue getting happy customers to leave you great reviews. 

However, getting them consistently does not just happen; you need to have a system in place to make it happen. The good news is that there are some very cost-effective systems that can help you accomplish this. However, before we go there, let’s look at why we as contractors get bad reviews.

Why do customers post bad reviews?

To understand why customers leave bad reviews, we pulled over 25,000 contractor reviews off Google and analyzed them. Fortunately for most home service contractors, getting bad reviews isn’t that common. 

Out of the 25,000 reviews we analyzed, only about 1,500 were below a 3-star rating. So, over 94% of the reviews were favorable. Unfortunately, the first thing many of your potential customers will do when looking for a service company is sort your reviews by reading the unfavorable ones first.

Unmet expectations = dissatisfaction

Because reviews are about perception more times than facts, focusing your people on customer perceptions is key to avoid getting bad reviews. Your staff needs to know that actions, including inactions, have consequences. For example, is your office staff setting you up for success right out of the gate? Did they explain to the customer exactly what they can expect as far as when the tech will arrive, how they will perform the service, and how payment is to be made?

Lack of communication

Lack of communication or follow-up when things change sets your techs up for failure before they even arrive at the jobsite. A good rule when scheduling is to keep your promises. So, when you can’t keep a promise, you need to be the one that initiates the call to your customer—as soon as you know the situation has changed. 

As far as your field staff is concerned, value needs to be communicated—do not assume the customer just observes the value you bring to the job. This is critical in avoiding bad reviews due to pricing issues. If you can’t justify your price, figure out how they can—then roleplay it with your techs weekly so you know they can as well.

What do you do when you get that inevitable “mood-crushing” bad google review?

Whether or not the review you just found that ruined your day is justified, there are plenty of “best practice” rules to follow when responding to negative reviews. We have curated a list of the 12 Golden Rules to follow.

Download the full article to read more!

Whatever you do, do not ignore a bad review. You should always respond to them. Here are the numbers showing why it’s important:

  • 94% of consumers say that a bad review has convinced them to avoid a business

  • 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews

  • %3% of customers expect businesses to respond to negative reviews within a week

gustave-a-larson-hvac-distributor.jpgThe final step in dealing with bad reviews is to simply bury them with great ones

Believe it or not, the easiest way to get a review from a happy customer is simply to ask them for it. Systems that involve the technician personally asking the customer to review the work they did, versus systems that automatically contact each customer and request a review, can easily generate 4 to 5 times as many responses. Automated review requests are just too easy to ignore.

Implement a system that allows customers to post reviews easily

However, even when your techs personally ask for reviews, if you don’t have a system that makes it easy for your client to leave one without the hassle of having to find where to do it – or having to sign-in somewhere… or do anything but click a link the tech sends them that takes them right where they can simply leave you a review—you are probably losing over 80% of the potential reviews your company could be getting. 

The best part is, is that it doesn’t take much of an investment to put a good system in place. One such system that makes it extremely easy for techs to request reviews and makes it easy for customers to give them is Rocket Reviews. 

Who can help me implement Rocket Reviews into my business operations?

Typically, the Rocket Reviews program costs contractors $149 per month to make it available to their techs – however, the GA Larson Company has made arrangements with Online Access to provide it to their contractors for just $99 a month. If interested, click here, or give us a call at (810) 985-6603 to learn more. Best of all, like everything we offer, you get a full 90-day money back guarantee based completely on your satisfaction with the product when you try it.

Whether you decide to invest in a review system or not, you need to be extremely focused on the reviews your company gets and respond to any bad ones—if for no other reason than I guarantee potential customers will be. Fill out the form below to receive the FULL article on how to deal with bad reviews!