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How to handle negative client reviews

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How to handle negative client reviews

No matter how good an agent you are, it’s inevitable that while helping clients navigate the various, at times perilous, stages of the buying and selling that things will go wrong occasionally. 

We’ve previously discussed the importance of client testimonials, showing appreciation for reviews and how to get them, but we haven’t covered the flipside: how to respond to negative reviews.

As an agent clients entrust you with their most substantial asset, so it’s only understandable tensions and emotions run high if your service is anything but flawless.

But this doesn’t mean your professional reputation should suffer and be damaged for every mistake you make, causing you stress and potential loss of future business and income.

Research shows 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and negative reviews make 60% of consumers not want to use a local business.

With those sorts of numbers, it’s imperative agents have an action plan for managing negative feedback online. Here are the steps to take when handling damaging reviews.

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Acknowledge

Burying your head in the sand and ignoring feedback is one of the worst things you can do when faced with a bad review. It shows potential clients that you don’t listen or care about your clients when issues arise.

In a timely manner respond to the reviewer directly so potential clients can see that you’re responsive, proactive, willing to listen and resolve clients’ concerns swiftly.

Your aim in responding isn’t to 100% satisfy the aggrieved client and have them remove the review altogether, but to influence everyone who reads it in a more positive way.

By openly getting involved potential clients may consider doing business with you after all because of how well you handled that difficult situation.

Empathise

It’s important to not get defensive or personal when writing your response, even if you believe the client is in the wrong. Remember this is a public forum where your words will exist in searches for your name and business forever.

First, thank them for taking the time to write the review. Let them know you always welcome any client feedback that will help improve your service for others.

Second, apologise in a professional and empathetic manner. This will go a long way towards the possibility of mending the relationship, making amends and getting other readers to empathise with you, as everybody makes mistakes.

Respond

Extend an olive branch to the reviewer and offer a way for them to contact you directly offline to have the issue resolved. This keeps your response brief and prevents the discussion from escalating on the public forum.

Again, this will show potential clients that you’re approachable and if any problems arise you’ll work hard to personally have them taken care of. 

Resolve

Once the complainant’s issue is resolved, go back to the review and post an update in the comments explaining the action you’ve taken and the outcome. This illustrates that you take responsibility for your actions and your commitment to solving client issues.

Every time you deal with criticisms, negative reviews or complaints it can be beneficial to view it as an opportunity to learn about how you and your team can improve your service.

Keep a record of all customer complaints and negative reviews to look for common threads in your service or behaviour that can potentially be improved upon. By doing so you can look at ways to resolve frequent issues and prevent negative reviews from happening again in the future.

What tools can help?

A free and simple tool you can use to manage your online reputation is Google Alerts. It’s easy to set up weekly or daily email alerts for mentions of your name and business.

Also check out socialmention to track and measure what people are saying about you and your company across social media and the web.

If you’re already using Hootsuite to automate your social media posts, it has a handy feature that allows you to set up a ‘mentions’ stream for all your social media accounts. This way you can monitor various platforms all in the one place at a glance.

ComplaintSearch by Go Fish Digital is a good way to check up on your online reviews. It performs a specialised Google search on over 40 complaint websites for mentions of your name, franchise and any other terms you want to check.

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Remember, a well-crafted response to a negative review will help showcase your professionalism and dedication to customer service more than a negative review could ever hurt your reputation.

With these tips and tools, you’ll be responding to client reviews and managing your online reputation like a pro in no time.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Booragoon real estate for sale and properties to rent in Perth. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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What are Homely client Street Reviews?

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What are Homely client Street Reviews?

If you’ve listed a new property on homely.com.au lately you’ll have received an email about our latest product feature, client Street Reviews.

Client Street Reviews are an Australian property portal first, an exclusive tool for agents that list on Homely.

Here’s a bit of information on how this new feature will be beneficial to your clients and your business.

Union Street,  Prahran

Union Street, Prahran

Why request Street Reviews from clients?

  • A Street Review is a unique way to market a property whereby your client explains the specific advantages of living in their home and location.
  • Every month, hundreds of thousands of homebuyers and renters read and contribute to Homely's street and suburb reviews to help them find their perfect home. Your vendor can connect with this unique audience to help them sell their property.
  • Street Reviews paint a clearer picture of what it is like to live in the suburbs you service most, in turn driving new business to you by encouraging others to move there.
For your client to complete

For your client to complete

For every new property listing you have on Homely we’ll email you a reminder to send to your client to complete a Street Review for their home.

It only takes a few seconds to fill in your client’s name and email address to send them a request to complete a review for their street.

Of course you can fill out a street or suburb review for where you live or work anytime on our Suburb Reviews section.

 

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Fairfield real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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