How to deal with bad reviews
By having social media accounts or reviews platforms you have a visible way to respond to anyone who gives you a negative review. They will say what they want about you and by having a platform for testimonials or reviews you can take control of the conversation show that you care.
That said, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to answer your critics, and we’re going to take a look at how to deal with bad reviews.
It’s all in the response
How to deal with an exaggerator
Firstly, you might have been dealing with a difficult customer who decides to get online and tell downright lies. This is always frustrating. You may have bent over backwards to help a tenant only to have them try to disgrace the company’s reputation with untruths.
The temptation is to reply with ‘YOU’RE LYING. THAT’S NOT TRUE. I’VE WORKED SO HARD TO HELP YOU. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE I HATE YOU.’
The thing is, when people are writing this kind of review, their aim isn’t to sound reasonable. The comment is probably largely going to be something along the lines of:
‘I’ve rented a property from this agent for 18 months now and they have been TERRIBLE. They never phone me back, everything is broken, I asked them one simple thing and they yelled at me. I WILL BE TELLING EVERYONE TO AVOID DO NOT TOUCH WITH A BARGEPOLE.’
In this instance, it’s really easy to gain the upper ground as the reasonable one. A calm and measured response to a review like the above will reassure anyone reading the review that on balance, the reviewer probably isn’t telling the whole truth. If it’s not someone you have engaged with before, it’s great to try and take bad reviews to offline dialogue by simply saying ‘We’re sorry you feel you haven’t received the service you expect, please give me a call or drop me an email to discuss and I will make sure your complaint is dealt with personally …. ‘
However, people can read that and feel like you’re trying to hide something, so this is a good response:
‘Dear Mrs X, we’re really sorry you feel that we haven’t been responsive to you. We established earlier when I called you that you’ve in fact been calling the wrong number by accident. I provided you with the correct number, so you have them going forward. As for your blown light bulb complaint, this is the responsibility of the tenant, however, as I mentioned earlier, I have arranged for our electrician to pop in and replace the bulb as a gesture of goodwill. I am sorry you didn’t feel your issues were resolved satisfactorily during our phone call, if there are further problems please don’t hesitate to give me a call or drop me an email on …..’
See? Easy. Anyone reading that would immediately think ‘Ah yes, Mrs X is one of those….’
What if the bad review is true?
People make mistakes, including estate and lettings agents. Communication errors happen, calls get forgotten, and the worst possible thing to do in this situation is to pretend it hasn’t happened.
You might get a review like this, when someone is frustrated at not having got a response.
‘Scott was due to call me on Wednesday morning. When I called the office on Thursday, one of his colleagues said he would call me back before 5pm. It is now Monday again and I still haven’t heard anything, I’m so disappointed and regretting my choice to sell my home with them.’
CALL FIRST BEFORE REPLYING TO THE REVIEW. Then a really good response to something like this would be.
‘Dear Mr X, I apologise unreservedly for the communication mix-up on my part. As I said just now, thanks to you pointing this out, we now have a failsafe system in place so when someone is unexpectedly away, absolutely nothing gets missed. It was great talking to you, and as I said on the call if you need anything at all please feel free to call or email at any time. Scott.’
That reply owns the mistake, as well as showing people action has been taken to put it right so they won’t face the same problem.
Really, it’s about taking control of the narrative, as anyone reading the reviews will take more notice of your response, than the review itself.
If you’re still worried about starting your own social media page which could receive bad reviews, then there are probably some processes worth looking at within your agency, to keep customers happy and remove the worry!
All of our bespoke social media packages involve monitoring posts and engagement from your customers, so with us no reviews or messages will be left without a response, you don’t need to worry about how to deal with bad reviews, we can do it for you.
Find out more about our social media packages here.