“As a business, you have few online allies more powerful than customer-written reviews. You could say people trust reviews—but that wouldn’t even be the half of it.” (Moz.com)
If you’re on your way to acquiring client reviews to bolster your online reputation, you’re on the right track. Because consumers rely on feedback from others so heavily, leaving your profile page empty can be disadvantageous for generating new leads and urging repeat business. Once those reviews start flowing in, however, the work isn’t over.
Consider the following tips for handling your online reputation after past clients leave positive or negative feedback.
Don’t ignore the positive
Many agents assume that replying to reviews only applies to damage control. But, reacting and responding to a positive message helps you appear friendly and appreciative.
Think about it from the client’s point of view. Leaving affirmative feedback isn’t a requirement for the transaction, so simply recognizing their effort and honesty is important in maintaining good rapport.
You never know when a past client is gearing up to buy or sell again. Concluding the transaction on a positive note often boosts repeat business.
Plus, prospective clients see your responsiveness, which is a highly important trait for an agent to convey. And, constructive feedback is an opportunity to boast about your business in a tactful manner.
For example, if a past client praises you for your listing photos, make sure everyone knows you have a professional photographer on hand for all of your clients.
Keep positive replies quick, appreciative and upbeat with a few short sentences. Above all, use correct grammar.
Reply, reply, reply
Nobody wants to hear negative feedback about themselves or their business, especially online where everybody gets a look. But, today’s platforms provide disgruntled clients with an easy outlet for their frustrations.
Not every review is going to be positive, especially if you’re a successful agent who gets a fair amount of business. When someone is unhappy and communicates their woes with the rest of the internet, reach out to remedy the situation.
One option is to contact the reviewer personally and let them vent to you directly, which takes a bit more discipline. After all, no matter who is wrong, you don’t need any more damaging information about your business posted online.
Assuming there was a miscommunication that can be cleared, an angry client might just update their review or even work with you again in the future.
If you’re in the wrong, take responsibility. Everybody makes mistakes and even the savviest agents slip up from time to time.
When tackling negative feedback in writing, make it a habit not to appear defensive or battle every detail.
Start with a thank you.
Fight the urge to include any personal attacks, regardless of their behavior, or sarcastic comebacks. These comments only make you appear petty and hostile.
Continue with an apology for the negative experience, and let the reviewer know you take their criticisms seriously. If you decide to reach out to an unhappy client personally, make sure to leave a message directed toward the broader audience.
Tell them you’ve contacted the client to remedy the situation and you appreciate feedback from all of your clients.
Some practiced agents operate the majority of their business on past clients and their friends and family. Therefore, managing previous experiences – both good and bad – can help maintain a steady flow of repeat or referral business.
Further, being proactive with your online reputation helps generate new leads to expand your reach.
By Jennifer Riner