If your roofing company plans to stay in business for the foreseeable future, you are going to have to learn how to handle negative reviews. Last year, 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. The difference between a conversion and a loss can lie in the balance of your customer reviews. There are 3 components to review management for roofers. They are:
The best way to handle negative reviews is to prevent them from happening in the first place. There are steps each roofing contractor can take to prevent negative customer reviews. They are:
- Accessibility: Making your customer service available on a wide range of platforms gives customers a chance to discuss complaints before they resort to negative reviews
- Customer Care: Treating customers with respect via all forms of communication significantly lowers the probability of negative response
- Encouragement: Don’t act like you have something to hide, link your review profiles on your website and email signature as if to say that you welcome reviews from your customers
- Performance: Do a great job on your roofing services and you are unlikely to see any negativity
It’s not a perfect world, and even the most reputable companies will receive a negative review from time to time. As long as you’ve taken all the necessary steps for prevention, a few outlier reviews won’t impact your bottom line.
There’s not much you can do about a bad review if you don’t know it exists. Review monitoring is an important aspect of your reputation management. Luckily, many of the most popular review platforms offer alert systems that will notify your business whenever a negative review is left. Some of the most common places to look are:
- Better Business Bureau: A longstanding business watchkeeper
- Facebook: The most popular social media platform
- Google My Business: The most visible review site that appears right on search results
- Yelp: Known as “the review site” in many circles
Setting up alerts is the best way to monitor bad press. It doesn’t hurt to look over each of these platforms on a weekly basis to gauge how customers are responding to your services. The more feedback you can get, the more you can improve aspects of your customer service.
Once you are alerted of a negative review, the best thing to do is respond to it ASAP. But before you do so, make sure you know exactly how you want to respond. Remember, this is public discourse between you and a customer, and optics matter. Responses should be:
- Customer-Centric: Put the customer first, even if they’re wrong
- Professional: Refrain from any insults or discouraging language
- Solution Oriented: Offer solutions based on the complaint of the customer
- Timely: Nobody wants to wait weeks or months to hear back, so respond ASAP
Think of negative reviews as a PR opportunity for your roofing business. It’s free publicity to other prospective customers who will be impressed with the professionalism of your responses. As long as you keep the customer first, your business can learn and grow from these bits of feedback.
The final step to handling bad reviews is investigation. After responding to a negative review publicly, it is best to attempt to contact the customer privately and see if you can further resolve the matter while also acquiring valuable feedback. Follow up investigations should be:
- Declarative: Make the customer feel “right” and consider offering a coupon of some sort
- Inquisitive: Try to collect specific information about what they feel went wrong
- Personal: Call the person by their name and try to make them feel as if you truly care
- Progressive: See if you can reach a mutual understanding and have the review removed or amended
If you control what you can, you will find that the majority of your reviews will be positive. The attentiveness to customers is ultimately what will decipher a company with a positive online reputation vs. one with a poor one. If you would like to discuss roofer reputation management, call us at (800) 353-5758.