It’s equally important to address negative as well as positive feedback.
If you market your business online, you probably know about the power of good reviews. They rank your website higher on Google, and potential clients use them to discern which shop to go to. Chances are you’ve used review-based websites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor to pick your next meal or destination. We love great feedback, and some shops make it a habit to ask for reviews. What do you do with poor reviews, though?
Reviews are opportunities
Reviews are subjective and as author Jia Jiang quips, “Opinions are the cheapest resource on earth, and they’re completely renewable, too.” Poor reviews are truly opportunities to check in with the processes that you’ve implemented at your shop. For example, if a client writes that they received a bill higher than expected, you get to check if your staff obtained an authorization or if it was explained that the estimate may fluctuate. If the feedback is that the vehicle took longer than expected, you can choose to review your communication procedure. Whatever you uncover, it will either affirm that your team did the right thing or present you with an opportunity to improve shop process.
There are many reasons to respond to a review, whether the client leaves you a good or bad one. For the good reviews, your response further solidifies your appreciation for the client. A simple “thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, we’re happy to know that you received great service” goes a long way. Your response is an opportunity to show potential clients your personality. They’re not just bringing their vehicle to a business; they’re dealing with a human who has a genuine interest in serving clients well. When you respond to a negative review, you have an opportunity to demonstrate your integrity, understanding, responsibility, and show that you care. In essence, responding to reviews brings your shop’s personality online.
Stick to the facts
When replying to a negative review, acknowledge that the client is dissatisfied, even if what they wrote isn’t true. “After reading what you wrote, I can understand why you’d be disappointed with your service.” This doesn’t imply that there’s truth to what they claim. If what they wrote is accurate and you already tried to remedy the situation, you can make note of that in your response. If you weren’t given a chance to remedy the situation and what they wrote is accurate, indicate that you’re thankful for the opportunity to improve your client service and have made or plan to make changes to your process.
A few negative reviews sprinkled amongst many great ones actually bring credibility because it doesn’t look as if you’ve paid or schemed to receive only fantastic reviews. Make it a point to respond and use the moment to give your business a voice online. If you generally have great reviews, don’t be afraid of what a few negative reviews will do to your business.