How to respond to negative online reviews
As an HVAC business owner, your main goal is to ensure all your customers get reliable solutions to address their heating and cooling concerns. However, you may come across a few negative reviews on online platforms, like Google My Business and social media.
While you may be tempted to just shun them and focus on servicing good, people-oriented customers, doing so is not a sound business practice. It may even affect your company’s financial health and customer demand, especially in the long run. Luckily, there are ways around this.
This article will discuss how you can handle negative customer reviews. Take this as your starting point to know more about your client’s demands and assess your team’s weaknesses and strengths. Doing so will enable you to maintain a positive impression on any current or potential customers, allowing your HVAC service company to stay open for a long time and make significant profits.
Have a level-headed mindset before responding
Whether you like it or not, you can have bad on-the-job days. It can even get worse when you see customers that you thought you could trust leave negative reviews. It can prompt you to respond aggressively by leaving hateful comments. However, this impulsive action will only negatively impact your HVAC company. Because of this, you should always take a break, relax a bit, and read the reviews when your emotions and thoughts are in check.
The best way to quickly have a level-headed mindset is to talk with either fellow HVAC professionals or your co-workers. They have a better understanding of what you are going through and may even empathize with you and your client’s mistakes. This way, you can take active steps to change your work attitude and maintain having high-quality services.
Think before commenting a simple reply
Commenting directly with the tried-and-true reply “apologies for the inconvenience this may have caused you” is something most HVAC professionals gravitate towards, but it should not be applied to all negative customer reviews. In fact, some of them may be posted by those impersonating as customers. They may also be doing this to gain sympathy from your business and request freebies, like an upgrade or even an aircon replacement.
Screening and filtering negative customer reviews are always recommended as it allows you to identify any Internet trolls, hackers, and online impersonators. Take note that some reviews may also have embedded malware through the links they share, and it can affect your website, so you shouldn’t click them right away. Consult with an online reputation management specialist for more information.
Start with your GMB management before moving on to others
Nowadays, customers have many ways to publicize their reviews. They can also leave reviews through chat, emails, and voice calls, especially if they want to be more direct.
It can become overwhelming to address all these concerns. It can even affect your team’s productivity because you are stuck in the office answering online queries instead of servicing HVAC systems. That’s why you should focus on the most preferred review platform for home services: Google My Business (GMB).
GMB is highly accessible since you can pin your HVAC company’s location, determine your service hours, talk about your services, and display customer reviews. There’s often a high volume of users daily since they often come from situations where they need solutions immediately. For instance, households with smart speakers, like Google Assistants, allow your clients to say, “where can I find HVAC services near me?” As a result, your business can end up on the listing, depending on your ranking on search engines.
Take note that once you have effective GMB management in place, it’s still recommended to maintain your business’s positive customer relationships on other platforms. You can start by looking for websites that your customer base typically goes to reach you, like Facebook or your business website. Doing this can give you a clear idea of who your real customers are and how else you can be of better service to them. For further assistance, work with the best digital marketing agency with proven experience and knowledge about the HVAC industry.
Have meetings with your team about reviews
If you are a one-person HVA provider, you can easily keep up-to-date on the latest customer reviews. What you should be concerned about is having two or more people in your company, since it’s not recommended that only you or an employee is subjected to purely reading and taking the reviews to heart.
Remember, these reviews can also be constructive, meaning they can be a way for your team to know where they are as individuals and as one unit. Therefore, take the time to select relevant negative reviews, primarily those with good points about your company. Then, bring them up in your meeting. If you feel it may be directed towards just one person, show it to the person in question and take active steps to help them improve.
Never resort to simply deleting negative reviews
Since you have full control over your online presence from the backend, you may be thinking of just deleting negative reviews like they’re out of sight, out of mind. However, resorting to this is a big no-no, especially in the home service industry. It can be portrayed as censorship among your clients, and your team can be seen as untrustworthy since you are dishonest about your positive image online.
It’s also hopeless to keep deleting negative reviews because customers can simply post again, and they can even stop supporting your business if they get really pissed off at you. The only time you can look into deleting reviews is if you are closing your business. Other than that, consult with online reputation management experts for further clarifications.
Negative customer reviews can be difficult to deal with in the HVAC industry. Fortunately, you now have a better understanding of what you need to do. You just have to follow all the tips mentioned above, take legitimate criticism seriously, and find ways to improve. This way, you can gain respect in your service area, grow your client base, and have the chance to expand to other home service industries.
Are you looking for the best reputation management services in Wisconsin to handle your customer reviews online? Reach out to us at Relentless Digital. We can help you drive up your website’s traffic and ensure your relationships with your clients are accounted for, allowing you to boost your home service company’s online presence. Book a marketing consultation to assess what else needs to be worked on to increase your rankings on the search engine results page.