Back in the day, businesses relied a lot on word-of-mouth marketing. Think about how many times you would try a new restaurant or product because a friend or family member said you should try it. Today, word-of-mouth marketing has transformed into something bigger with the prevalent use of social media. No longer are reviews left to professional journalists and critics, everyone is a critic, and with a simple tweet or Google review, your business’ reputation can change for the better or for the worse.
Every real estate professional aims to give their customers a positive experience every time. After all, you’re helping people make the biggest purchase of their lives; but sometimes, you might notice a negative review online.
Whether the negative review is warranted or not, there are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to handling negative press on social media.
Here’s a quick guide on how to respond to negative reviews and turning them into something positive:
Step 1: Don’t Take it Personally
It’s easy to read a negative review and immediately get your back up and become defensive. However, this is one of the worst tactics you could ever do because it makes you look bad and simply reinforces the negative comments made in the review. If you read something negative about yourself online, you should take a moment to think before putting typing out a reply. Take a few minutes or an hour to think about the best way to handle the review and spin it into something positive.
After the initial shock of receiving the bad news, you can think clearly and draft a reply that will not appear defensive or accusatory.
Step 2: Try to Understand the Reviewer’s Point of View
A bad review might just be the result of a simple misunderstanding. Since no one ever sets out to give bad service, it’s important for you to understand exactly what made the reviewer want to write a bad review in the first place.
Step 3: Reply with Empathy and Understanding
It might seem like your first instinct is to ignore the bad review, after all, acknowledging it might be seen as a sign of admittance, but in reality, replying is the best course of action. With that being said, there are a few steps you should take to draft a reply that is personal, understanding, and positive. Some things you should consider:
- Apologize for their experience and reiterate that this is an unusual circumstance. However, do not make excuses.
- Restate the problem and let them know about any systems or processes you have in place to eliminate this type of issue and assure them it will not happen again. You can also take this opportunity to highlight your strengths.
- Resolve the issue privately. If applicable, ask the client to send you a direct message so you can discuss further or provide some type of offer to make up for their trouble.
Here is a great example of a reply to a bad review:
“I am so sorry this was your experience with our company! I can assure you that our team works hard to prevent these types of mix-ups and we are developing new systems to eliminate the problem in the future completely. I would love to make this right for you, please send us a direct message or call the office so we can discuss. Thank you!”
Why Reply to Bad Reviews?
In today’s age of online reviews, everyone is constantly checking everything. You don’t get a coffee nowadays without searching for the best coffee shop in your immediate area. So when bad reviews happen, it’s important to address them right away. If clients see that you are positively responding to negative reviews; and doing everything in your power to make it right, the negative reviews won’t hold as much weight, and clients will respect your business more for it.
Responding to negative reviews earnestly and kindly shows that you care about your business, your clients, and your reputation. It shows that you are trustworthy and that even if something goes wrong, you are willing to step up to the plate and make it right.
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