Received a negative Google or Facebook review? Have you got a negative review from a website you subscribe to like trustpiliot or the tradesmen directory websites. Bet you are not happy but dont worry we can help, if you are a premium client of Delicious Webdesign we can help you. On average, companies that are relatively busy will receive one neutral or negative review a year. When this happens, we know it can be disappointing and your version of events will differ to that of your customers. The Review Company (Google / Facebook etc) are then in the middle of this and as a review site, they are responsible for displaying all genuine feedback they receive, whilst also trying to support their account holders.
If this does happen to you and if you would like to speak to someone for support and advice, please call us and we will be happy to go through what happens if a customer of yours leaves a negative review.
If you receive a negative review and you are subscribed as one of our Premium Clients we will always notify you as soon as it is published. This will usually be via email and will explain the details of the customer and their complaint.
We will normally strongly encourage you to contact your customer to see if anything can be resolved. It could be something that is easily rectified and where possible we will support you in trying to achieve a resolution for you and your customer. If a satisfactory resolution is reached, the customer may withdraw or revise the review and complaint which is always great to see happen.
If you have tried your best and the issues aren’t able to be resolved, the feedback you have received (on Google / Facebook / Trustpilot etc) will be visible but you will be able to write a reply. This is displayed directly below the feedback and allows others to see your version of events. This reply can be very powerful, and when written in the right way, it shows your customer service in the event of an unhappy customer and your after care.
If you feel the customer’s comments are factually incorrect / abusive or threatening and there is evidence to support this, we will always encourage you to get us to attempt to appeal against the review on your behalf. If you advise us that you do not recognise the customer’s details, we will contact the customer for further verification on your behalf.
Even with a negative review, the majority of our business / website owners will not be negatively affected. Complaints, when handled well, can be an opportunity to create customer loyalty and its been mentioned that negative reviews give some sort of trust that the reviews are ‘natural’ and not faked.
The power of a reply to a Negative Review
If you need to reply to a negative review, make sure it shows your customer service and aftercare skills in handling a complaint. Complaints, when handled well, can be an opportunity to create customer trust and loyalty.
Most review sites d not accept anonymous reviews. Normally there is no time period before a negative review is published, the exception is some of the tradesmen review sites that you subscribe to that provides you with an opportunity to look into the complaint and either resolve it or provide a reply.
You will always have the opportunity to provide your version of events that will be published with
the feedback. Where possible, we offer to be the ‘go between’ for both parties to try and assist with a resolution where communication may have broken down.
Avoid using technical terminology – there may be times where you need to use this, but most consumers will not understand what this means unless they are in the same business themselves.
Do not include customer details – you should never publish consumer’s name and address details, for positive or negative feedback.
Try to refer to other positive reviews – encourage customers to view all of your other glowing reports.
Avoid being defensive – don’t forget that your comments will be seen by potential consumers so you must remain professional and calm. Using insulting language about your customer will not help!
Use your reply to turn the situation into a positive – try including what have you done to try and resolve these issues? Let consumers know about the efforts you have made to rectify the problems to give them confidence that if the job doesn’t go smoothly, you will do all you can to rectify it.
Tips to avoid disputes Q&As
Good communication is key. Good communication before, during and after a project / job / task can prevent problems from occurring and ensure everyone is clear on the expectations of the work project.
Before – provide clear and detailed paperwork including estimates, quotes, contract, payment terms, terms and conditions etc. Clearly set out what you are going to do, timescales and pricing.
During – keep all channels of communication open during the job so anything the customer may be
unhappy with can be dealt with at the time. If any part of the job requirement changes, keep the customer updated and create an additional contract for variations from the original agreement.
After – if there is an issue, address this as soon as possible. Delay in addressing it will just add to your customers frustrations. Be specific in how you can address their concerns and what action you are going to take to remedy the situation. You should also consider having your own complaint process your customers can follow.
Put things in writing
Keeping written records will help and you should consider keeping your own complaints log. Anything agreed with the customer should also be put in writing to avoid confusion. Written agreements will also serve as evidence if needed and can manage expectations on what has or hasn’t been agreed.
Keep to your word
Things like missing an appointment/not turning up on time, not returning a call or sending that quote you promised are what you will probably receive most complaints about. These can all be avoided by keeping your customer up to date, usually with a simple call or email.
This work was carried out sometime ago, will the feedback be published?
Yes, all feedback websites accept feedback for past work
Can anyone leave Google / Facebook feedback?
In theory yes but if they do you can try to get the fake / fraudulent review removed as they should only accept feedback from a genuine customer. If you have carried out work for a consumer, or money has exchanged hands, they are entitled to leave feedback. If you do not recognise a consumer, we will investigate this on your behalf (we can contact Google directly on your behalf)
Does my feedback get published straight away on review Websites like Google and Facebook?
Normally yes but some paid for trades directories will not publish a negative review straight away. They will give you the opportunity to resolve the issues or to respond to the feedback before publication. The feedback will be placed on a holding period and we will let you know the date that the complaint is due to be published if a resolution is not achieved.
I have dealt with the complaint, can you remove it?
Possibly, contact us to see if we can appeal this negative review for you.
I have evidence that the feedback is factually incorrect, what happens now?
If you feel the customer’s comments are factually incorrect and there is solid evidence to support this, we can appeal the review on your behalf.
I don’t recognise the customer?
We will go back to the customer and ask them for proof of work carried out. If this is not provided, we will appeal for them to remove the review.
We understand receiving a complaint can be disappointing and hurtful. It is about you, your business and its your reputation. A lot of successful businesses are built on feedback, you would hope that all review sites ensure they are open and honest in displaying all feedback received and generally their approach to positive and negative reviews must be consistent. Therefore, part of being a website owner is agreeing to being accountable for all feedback, the good and the bad. We will try our best to support you through the process. The best outcome for all is that the complaint is resolved and withdrawn and this does happen. On the occasions this doesn’t happen, the feedback will be published with your
reply displayed directly underneath explaining your side
Always remain calm and professional. If you maintain a good relationship with your customer, they are more likely to be open with you in raising concerns before they become a big problem.
Listen to your customers to understand their issues and ask them to be as specific as possible. In turn you also need to be specific in how you are going to address their complaint.
Send the customer a direct link to your Google / Facebook / Trademen site reviews to leave feedback online.
Send reminders to your customers about leaving feedback for your business via email.
Stand over / with the customer whilst they complete feedback, this may put customers under pressure to complete feedback that is not entirely accurate.
Put customers under pressure to complete feedback in your presence.
Ask customers to complete the feedback and hand it back to you / offer to post the feedback card for the customer.
Complete your customers feedback under any circumstance online.
Dont hand the customer your tablet / iPad – mobile – laptop to complete feedback.
Offer incentives in exchange for positive reviews (although you can offer incentives for providing you reviews / feedback (which you hope will be positive).