Most customers rely on reviews to decide if a company is credible or not. That said, it’s important to encourage your clients to leave you positive reviews so you have a positive star rating online. If you maintain a high star rating, it will decrease the odds that a prospective client will focus on the negative review because the overall experience was positive. However, it can be more complicated in practice to manage your agency’s reviews. Negative reviews are an inevitability, good and bad businesses will receive them. The trick is to know when negative reviews show up and how to respond.
Be aware of when you receive a negative review
One of the most important things that you can do is to be aware of new reviews. You should read and respond to new reviews as they go live and rectify any issues that arise. A mistake that many businesses make is ignoring or not reacting to reviews at all. This is the fastest way for your reviews to get out of hand and it can negatively impact your reputation and star rating. The simplest way to know if you have new reviews is to use an online management platform that notifies you when a new review gets posted.
Respond to negative reviews quickly
Once you become aware of the negative review the next thing you need to know is how to respond to it. Negative reviews require carefully crafted responses to ensure that your agency doesn’t seem unsympathetic to the issue. Also, if the negative interaction happened with someone specific, whoever responding should be someone separate from the issue altogether. This promotes a calm and cool-headed interaction between the client and your agency going forward. If someone with an emotional investment responds it could come across as defensive and will look bad on the agency from an outside perspective. If someone that is separated from the situation is not available to respond, be sure to keep as calm and collected as possible.
When crafting your response follow these tips:
- Apologize (We’re sorry to hear about…)
- Respond with a calm and collected demeanor
- Offer a solution to their issue if possible ( We’d like to do everything we can to rectify this issue…)
- Ask to move the conversation to a private channel (Please contact us at …)
If you follow these tips and post your response as quickly as possible, it decreases the time other prospective clients will see a negative review that hasn’t been responded to. Even if you can’t fix everyone’s issue, it looks good to have acknowledged them and people will have a better overall opinion of your agency.
Apply what you’ve learned from your negative review
Applying the knowledge gained reading and responding to your negative reviews is a long-term step that could be the most valuable take-away from this process. It focuses on the valuable insights gained and lets you make a data-driven decision on how your agency operates. (This can also be applied to positive reviews as well!) This is what is referred to as the Customer Experience Feedback Loop. It is a process where your agency will evolve over time in accordance with how your customers react to you.
The process starts is as follows:
- An online review gets posted
- The reviewed business takes note of what is said and responds (if needed).
- If the review is positive, it reinforces that their process is performing well; if the review is negative the business alters its process to improve the customer experience.
The Customer Feedback Loop is an inexpensive and often times more accurate alternative to paying for a net promoter score (NPS) or a survey software that provides similar data. There’s no need to complicate getting data to improve your business.
Responding to your negative reviews could be one of the most important things you can do for your agency’s image. A negative review that was ignored could be the red flag for potential customers looking to do business with you. Be sure to follow the advice above to improve the feedback and interactions for your agency.
If you have any questions, the professionals at Agent Pipeline are here to help at 800.962.4693.