So, you got a really bad review. Yikes.
You were sitting on your computer when a notification popped up. Now, you’re staring at the one star Google review next to flamed letters that read “WORST SERVICE EVER, NEVER AGAIN.” What do you do with a bad Google review? Is your online reputation damaged?
Bad Reviews Happen
At some point in time, every home service company will receive a bad review. The first thing you must acknowledge and accept is this: bad reviews happen. Even if your company has the best customer service on earth, you will still run across disgruntled customers with unrealistic expectations or the dreaded “fake” review from someone you did not service. So, now what do you do?
If you made the mistake, own up to it
Honesty is always the best policy, and customers can sniff out dishonesty pretty quick. Your company is run by imperfect humans, and mistakes are bound to happen.
If you realize your home service company is at fault for the customer’s one-star review, don’t be afraid to own up to it. Maybe you miscommunicated and forgot to inform the customer of an important detail. Maybe their job ticket got lost in a stack of office paperwork, or you forgot to return their call. In any case, it is your responsibility to own up to the mistakes your company makes.
The simplest way to navigate this situation is to reply honestly to their Google review. Acknowledge where your company was at fault, steps. you are planning to avoid this in the future and request they reach out to you directly at your company’s main phone number. Your main goal should be to make a personal connection with an authentic retribution and ask if they would reconsider their post.
If you weren’t responsible for the mistake, let your audience know
In the case of a disgruntled customer with unrealistic expectations and wanting to cause trouble or post a fake bad review, it’s important to reply to their Google review as soon as possible with detailed information. Read two examples of disgruntled and fake reviews below:
The disgruntled customer
Example complaint: “Steve is RUDE, uncaring, and lazy. His team left their tools ALL OVER my lawn. NEVER HIRE STEVE!”
Example reply: “Hello (insert name), We are sorry you feel this way. However, we stand by our leader Steve and his history of 5 star reviews. When we work on homes, we take before and after photos of our work. Below you will find the “after” photo of your home, with a clean lawn free of tools. We attempted to call you, but were unable to reach you. If you have time, please call me as I’d like to clear up any misunderstandings. Thanks. ~ The Owner”
The fake customer
Example complaint: “This company is AWFUL. Their service is HORRIBLE. I will NEVER work with them again.”
Google asks that you report fake reviews to their platform as inauthentic and not a customer. If you do not see the review removed by Google in a week, then proceed to leave a reply to their review.
Example reply: “Hello (insert name), we have no record of our company working with you, ever. When start job tickets for any work, we document extensive information from the customer and have that information on file. Because you are not in our system and we have no record of working with you, we don’t have a way to contact you about this matter. If you have left this review and intended it for another company, please remove this review and post it to the correct company. Thank you.”
Though it might feel weird to place a complaint reply in a public forum, it shows your audience that you aren’t afraid to handle any type of complaint. You can’t control what others say about your company, but you can respond in a respectful and truthful manner.
When all else fails, let the professionals handle it
If you’re still struggling with a disgruntled customer who left an inauthentic review, it’s best to contact the experts. At Creative Connection, we specialize in reputation management when it comes to communicating to your customers. For over 20 years, we’ve handled countless fake or bad reviews, and helped our clients maintain their online brand reputation. We handle every situation with honesty, clarity, and respect. We also have the ability to contact Google on your behalf and attempt to remove inauthentic/fake bad reviews. If you would like to learn more about our services, give us a call at 952-373-1881 or contact us through our website!