- April 29, 2014 at 1:51 pm #5687
- June 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm #14276
Big tip is do all you can to avoid bad reviews in the first place! Doing that is mostly improving your customer communications skills and being very clear with what you do and don’t do. Clear expectations and no surprises is key.
Not much you can do once bad reviews are online. Best advice is to take the issue off-line and try to make the customer happy. Often they will go back and change their review. Comes right back to communications… If you can’t contact the person then you need to write a careful reply. Prospective new customers will use your reply to judge how you will react if (when) things go sideways. You don’t want to be defensive or blame the customer. That only makes you look worse. Sometimes getting an outside 3rd party to act as mediator and write a bad review reply. Contact me if you need help with a particularly bad one.
All too often customers don’t want to experience having to ask for warranty (fighting for satisfaction) so they just go away angry. Online reviews are just a place they can vent that anger without getting into a fight. If they know you
actually “want” to know if they are not totally happy they are usually
much more willing to let you know something is not right with the work
that was done. Proactively seeking feedback is a strong signal of trust.
The secret to avoiding bad reviews is that shops have to be actively seeking customer feedback so they can catch service failures before people vent their displeasure online. The shops who actively seek customer feedback have almost zero problems with bad reviews. But auto repairs being what it is (complicated, expensive, & unwanted) you will always have service failures… What you need to do is have a safety net to catch the cases that blow up. I have been working on a system to capture unhappy customers BEFORE they vent their frustration online.
My system works by placing a simple form on your website that ALL customers are directed to by the SA. some shops use a small card they place in every vehicle and staple to every invoice that asks people for feedback and provides a link to your website. They are asked to simply rate their experience on a scale of 5. Based on their rating it directs them to where they can leave feedback to you: if they provide a low rating (dissatisfied) they are channeled to a review/feedback form on your website where you can moderate before their comments get published online (captures bad reviews); if their rating is high (happy) they are presented with option to post review on your website or any other review website (G+, Yelp, Yellowpages, etc).
SA’s like it because it is quick & easy to explain to customers, customers like it because it is simple & easy to use (and shows your commitment to their satisfaction), shop owners like it because it captures unhappy customers BEFORE they post bad reviews online. The bonus is all the additional reviews the shop gets which increase your online reputation (trust factor) and SEO improvement for your website.
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