As remodelers, your attention to customer care can go a long way toward establishing your professional reputation. Homeowners who are pleased with your service tend to make referrals, which help your remodeling business develop. Despite your best efforts to provide exceptional customer service, you will always have customers who are dissatisfied.
A long list of excellent evaluations may quickly turn sour if a dissatisfied homeowner leaves a negative review. You must be putting your best foot forward when it comes to online reviews since they are one of the most important factors when homeowners pick a contractor. The positive feedback highlights your company’s excellence, while the negative comments may scare away possible clients.
According to recent poll results, 82 percent of homeowners consult internet reviews before selecting local businesses. Homeowners not only want to know what others think about them, but read online reviews of these evaluations. Your response (or lack thereof) as a remodeling company owner may influence whether or not a homeowner decides to engage with your offering.
What can you do if you receive a bad review? If you want to preserve your good name, then being proactive about how you respond is essential. Follow these guidelines to respond to any reviews about your remodeling projects.
If you’ve ever had to defend yourself against negative comments, you know how unpleasant it is. There’s no way for you to control what homeowners say about your company, making the effort of maintaining your reputation difficult. You may easily find yourself dragged into unpleasant email exchanges with unhappy clients who have figured out how to get on social media sites.
Unfortunately, there are no secret methods for deflecting negative feedback. The greatest thing you can do is be methodical about how you deal with online criticism and proactively manage your company’s reputation and image.
Who Should Handle Your Reviews?
Reputation management is a job that can easily slip through the cracks because nearly every role in your organization can (and should) play a part. The difficult aspect is to precisely identify who the first line of defense will be.
- As a kitchen and bath business owner, you’re the most informed about how to protect your firm’s reputation on the internet.
- As a sales manager, you need access to teach your reps on potential objections (for example, during the sales process, a lead comments on a negative review).
- Finding out what went wrong as a production manager/customer service manager helps you avoid future mistakes and handle outsourced installation teams.
- As a marketing manager, you’re already in charge of social media platforms where reviews are posted.
Here’s how the top-performing companies put reputation management in place. Your online marketing manager is the ideal person to handle your reputation management if you follow the cases above. Because these people already reside in your social media accounts, they’re the ones who are most likely to get the first notification when a review is left.
Your sales manager should be given comments from the install team for your production manager to address specific installation-specific customer concerns AND for visibility around potential lead objections based on the review they discover online. Negative reviews aren’t always placed where you can see them, as we’ve just seen.
There’s a whole category of reputation management known as “social listening” in this case. This allows you to research what others are saying about your K&B company name without tagging you personally. You may use quotations to search for your firm name on most social media search engines.
Responding to Negative Feedback: The Importance of Following Through
One of the most damaging things you can do is ignore poor reviews. You give potential leads the impression that you don’t care about your clients or reputation if you don’t reply to your bad reviews. When responding to negative feedback, you have the opportunity to apologize to the customer and/or describe how the issue will be addressed. Try to remember the following while replying:
- Be empathetic. You may not agree with your clients’ viewpoints, but telling them they are wrong will almost certainly result in lost revenue. When responding to a negative review, maintain empathy and understanding while avoiding blaming the client. You must be sorry if they had a negative customer experience.
- Respond promptly with a customized response. You should act as soon as a negative review is posted. When you’re able to fix things, do everything possible to reach out to the client and resolve the problem. You’ll make the customer feel valued and have the opportunity to make any necessary repairs if you respond promptly with a personalized response.
- Offer a solution. Consider what you can do for the client before responding to a poor evaluation. Let’s assume your client decided to update the flooring in their kitchen. The floors were incorrectly set with the wrong adhesive while they were being installed, resulting in loose, squeaking floors. It’s possible that fixing the problem will be costly, but it’s critical to make things right for your clients. They paid for what they received, and it is up to you to make needed repairs so they can enjoy their new kitchen flooring. Most homeowners are prepared to alter or delete their bad reviews if those repairs were made.
- Make no excuses. When a homeowner is angry, the last thing you want to do is offer excuses. Homeowners don’t want to hear you defend yourself or your company, and they don’t want to be overloaded with lengthy, complex explanations. Homeowners who write reviews are simply looking for you to validate their worries and alleviate them.
- Never take what you read to heart. Even though it may be tough, keep in mind that you should not personally react to negative reviews. You show potential customers that you care and are prepared to make things right if you respond to a bad review in a non-aggressive manner.
- Your potential customers are seeing your response. When addressing a negative review, keep in mind that you’re also talking to hundreds of other possible clients who want to know how you operate your K&B business. Customers are forgiving of errors, but they want to know that the business they are doing business with will make things right if an issue arises.
Check Your Online Reputation: How to Keep Track of Reviews and Comments
You can’t respond to the feedback you haven’t read. The first step toward maintaining your reputation is to keep track of all comments and reviews about your remodeling business. Homeowners use a variety of review sites, so if you aren’t diligent in monitoring these websites, you might be missing reviews.
Common review site platforms include:
- Better Business Bureau
- Google Local Listings
Not only do you have to check these sites on a regular basis to see what homeowners have to say, but there’s also an issue with fake reviews. For example, a window contractor discovered negative Yelp reviews from people who had never purchased windows from him.
It’s important to understand that removing bad reviews is both time-consuming and difficult. It’s usually preferable to address the review directly, rather than attempting to get rid of it through the review platform.
Responding Promptly and Clearing Your Emotions
It’s critical to respond to reviews as soon as possible. A prompt response suggests that your remodeling company is attentive and responsive to the needs of its customers. If necessary, take a break from the computer before hitting “submit” to allow your emotions to cool down. While it’s critical to react promptly and immediately, you must also be cautious not to give in to your emotions, which could damage your reputation.
For timely responses, review platforms such as Trustpilot allow you to set up e-mail alerts to receive notifications for customer feedback. Create a schedule for reading and responding to reviews.
If you don’t have a defined timetable, this chore may easily fall by the wayside. Choose two or three days each week to conduct a response review. If you’re swamped with responsibilities, consider delegating this task to an office worker.
Responding to Critical Reviews: Stay Professional
The most essential thing you can do is to stay professional at all times. When you read a critical review about your company, it’s easy to take it personally, especially if you feel like the homeowner is wrong or unreasonable. Responding in a huff or on the run, on the other hand, frequently makes matters worse.
Thank the reviewer for bringing the problem to your attention and be professional in your response by expressing gratitude. Then apologize for the issue and suggest how it may be resolved. Avoid being unpleasant or defensive. A genuine, considered response will be more successful at resolving the issue.
You may choose to advertise that you’re monitoring reviews. This public display shows homeowners that you’re interested in their feedback and more likely to get them to respond positively. It’s important not to get discouraged when receiving negative reviews, for it could result in constructive criticism which helps improve your K&B business. Be hopeful and positive when responding, while remaining polite and professional.
If you have a string of negative reviews, don’t panic. Calmly read through each review and decide which ones need a response and which do not. Try to respond as soon as possible, asking for more time if necessary.
If you notice a pattern or recurring issue in the negative feedback, you can search your records or digital files for previous responses to similar complaints. Once you have a list of earlier responses, choose which ones would be most appropriate and effective in this situation.
Include a Call to Action
Responding immediately to the homeowner and providing a means for other individuals who read the review to contact you for further assistance is a good idea. It’s possible that at this point, thanking them in public and offering a phone number or email address that consumers can use if they have additional queries or issues will be beneficial.
Respond to All Negative Reviews
It is time-consuming to respond to all negative reviews, but it’s the only way you can show future leads that you take their complaints and suggestions seriously. Don’t let a critical review go unanswered. If you don’t have the resources to reply publicly, ask the unhappy customer for permission to contact them directly.
Taking the time to respond to every negative review will provide you with valuable insight into what works and what needs improvement. Eventually, it will become easier to spot common complaints that require immediate attention, which will help you better serve your satisfied customers in the future. You can also use your response as an opportunity to ask for new reviews on platforms like Google.
Example: How to Respond to a Negative Review
Consider this scenario if you have a bad review to address:
- Review: This is the most unpleasant kitchen remodeling I’ve ever had. The new countertops feel flimsy, and the installation team delayed the completion of the project. If you’re searching for remodeling services, check with another company!
- Response: [Reviewer name], Thank you for taking the time to share your comments. We apologize if this experience did not meet your expectations; this feedback will assist us in ensuring that it does not repeat itself. We work hard to offer exceptional services to each customer, and we’re dedicated to your customer satisfaction. We’d like to make things right, so please contact us in private so we can discuss the next actions to address your concerns.
The formula for designing is a great thoughtful response is to follow this pattern:
- Address the review directly, using a name when possible
- Thank the person for sharing their response
- Offer sympathy for the situation
- Apologize and take responsibility if needed
- Always make things right
Negative evaluations aren’t good, but negative reviews followed by an equally angry response – or no response at all – are far worse. The most effective strategy is to respond to the problem and seek solutions for each scenario.
The Value of Negative Feedback
Look at your lowest-rated reviews to see if you can identify any trends. Do you notice any similarities in the comments? Is there a recurring complaint among consumers that needs to be addressed? If so, it’s probably time to make some adjustments.
You should take each negative review response as an opportunity to improve your house remodeling business. Make changes that will result in more positive feedback, and devise a plan to prevent similar issues in the future.
Develop a Listening Strategy
You should be constantly monitoring what your clients have to say about your company. Customers may never communicate with you directly about their experience. Customers may leave reviews on third-party sites or via their personal social media accounts. Your service was satisfactory to them, but they felt something could’ve been improved.
Perhaps your customer has expressed a need to discover additional of what they’re looking for digitally. Take this into account if, in that situation, you wish to include online resources like 3D virtual tours and photos on your website so clients can access them right at home. Developing a plan like this might help you adapt your company to better satisfy your customer’s demands.
What Not To Do When Handling Reviews
The customer is always right. This old adage has been around for a long time and it’s still true today, especially in the age of social media and online reviews. If you’re not careful, your business can be ruined by one bad review that goes viral. Here are some important things to NOT do when handling reviews so that your K&B business survives!
- Don’t get defensive. Make the case that you’re receptive to criticism and care about those who had a bad experience.
- Don’t go into detail about the project. This not only reflects badly on your company, but it also makes you seem as though you’re trying to make up for a bad experience.
- Don’t rely on the recommendations in this post for every response. It’s difficult to seem genuine when each evaluation looks identical. To make your replies seem genuine, be sure to reference certain members of the team and situations. Write in your company’s distinctive tone.
- Customers aren’t dim; canned responses will be detected quite quickly.