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How to Respond to Negative Reviews from Homeowners

Image of Olivia Orme
Olivia Orme
Five star graphic, with one star filled in. Woman on the end looking frustrated with poor reviews

By now, you probably realize how important it is to get online customer reviews, especially in the home service industry. Customer reviews provide leads with relevant insight into your company, and are always a great testimony to your work ethic as a company.

 But, what happens if you pull up your website on Google, and see a one-star Google review? Or, read an unhappy comment on one of your Facebook or Instagram Posts from a homeowner whose dissatisfied with your service.

While some businesses might feel like an ostrich and place their head in the sand, it’s in your best interest to address the problem head-on when it comes to unhappy customers. If you need some suggestions on how to respond to negative customer reviews, we have you covered.

Respond to Customers Quickly

The worst thing you can do is look online, read a homeowner’s bad experience, and ignore the comment for weeks on end. That is not the key to changing that customer’s perspective on your company. While seeing that negative review isn’t the way to start your relationship with that customer, the best way to proceed forward is by addressing the comment as quickly as possible.

Be courteous in your response, and offer a couple of alternative solutions. Depending on the review, you might have to offer a more in-depth response via email. This is a great customer care practice to follow, not just when dealing with negative reviews. Plus, depending on the homeowner’s problem, they might need a solution sooner rather than later.

See if You Can Offer Additional Products or Services

Sometimes, it’s not necessarily your business that a homeowner has an issue with - it could be a specific product or service you provided that didn’t fit their needs. If they were looking for something else, offer an alternative solution. See if you can provide them a complementary product that could remedy the problem or a different service option that could get the results they’ve been looking for.

Your existing customer base will see that you’ve taken the time to respond to negative reviews, which speaks volumes about the character of your business. Also, providing an alternative solution could change that negative review into a positive review later on. Ultimately, it’s about trying to change the reviewer’s perspective about your company and putting the customer experience first, which achieves overall higher customer satisfaction rates.

Ask Them to Continue the Conversation

As a business owner, reading a negative online review about your product definitely stings. But, instead of feeling bothered or upset, ask the homeowner to explain more about their negative experience. Reach out to them over email or messenger, and see what exactly went wrong during their experience. Not only does responding to the review help alleviate the problem, taking the extra step to have a conversation is going to make them feel heard. They can outline what exactly went wrong, and you can use this review to adjust the necessary products or services or offer other solutions to their problem.

Ask for Redemption

After you start communicating with the homeowner, see if they are willing to try another service on the house, or at half price. If they accept your offer, see if they would be open to leaving another review based on their experience. It’s a great customer service practice to provide multiple solutions, and once again, turn that negative review into a positive review.

For instance, if you own a plumbing company, and someone wasn’t happy with a repair service, offer them a free drain cleaning. Chances are, the homeowner just wants to feel heard, and offering a free service is going to appease everyone.

Also, based on what kind of response the negative reviews have on your website, encourage even more customers to leave reviews on your website. Potential customers will be impressed by how you’ve taken the bad and transformed it into something that has significant sway on your business. This is a good way to help define your personal brand as a company.

Be Earnest - and Honest

The best way to address a bad review is by being earnest and honest with your customers. Homeowners, in particular, feel a lot of emotions towards their home, and want their investment to remain safe and protected. It’s important that those emotions are acknowledged by you when you’re leaving a response to their review. Showing that you feel strongly about the negative feedback, and would like to rectify the situation, is the best thing you can do for yourself and your business.

Best response tips: use their first name, and address them directly. Also, open with an apology right off the bat. Then you can segway into alternative offers.

Final Takeaways

No matter what is going on in day to day operations, it’s important to take the time to acknowledge your customers, and the impact they have on your business. A bad review shouldn’t be the only time you respond to reviews or feedback. Make your relationship with your customers a consistent dialogue, so they know you’re open to ideas. This not only adds value to your business, but it will help them feel positive about future customer service experiences.

We always want happy customers, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. If you want to keep your customers happy, and implement digital marketing strategies that get the results you’ve been looking for, take a look at The Best Customer Service Practices: Six Secrets to Happy Customers, and Making The Most Out of Digital Marketing as a Home Service Provider.


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