How to respond to negative reviews

Listen, respond, learn

No matter how perfect you and your team are, no matter how diligent and thorough, no matter what level of effort you spend, there will always be a client who is unhappy. When they leave a negative review for you online, it can impact your business by warning away other potential clients. Here are some things you can do to remedy the situation.

  • Bury bad reviews.  This is the single best strategy to control your online reviews.  Be proactive instead of reactive. Commit to continually asking your happy customers to go online and review you. Don’t just wait for the random reviews to come in on first-time cleans; ask your weekly and bi-weekly customers to review you, too.
  • Call the client and listen to them. Take a deep breath. Walk around the block. When you are calm, call them up, tell them you are sorry that they were disappointed and ask what you can do to make it good. If they refuse, thank them for their business and end the call. If you can make them happy, once they’re satisfied ask them to update their review.
  • Respond to the review. Once you’ve reached out to the complainer, you can write a response to the review online. If you were able to fix the issue, let people know. If the customer refused any of your suggestions, clearly outline what you proposed to them. “I’m disappointed that Mrs. X would not give us a chance to make this right. I offered to have someone come back to clean the stove at no cost. We take great pride in our high level of service and want all our customers to be satisfied.”
  • Flag the review. Some services allow you to flag the review as abusive or false. If you feel this applies to the negative review someone left about your business, reach out to the review site to see what your options are.
  • Consider reviews a valuable source of information. Once you get over the pain of someone having left a bad review, now it’s time to get something out of it. Come back the next day and re-read the review, considering all the points. Maybe your client is doing you a favor by letting you know about a team member who is underperforming.
  • Generate positive publicity for your cleaning company by giving back to your community in some way. You could sponsor a food drive or have your team volunteer hours at a local charity. You could donate a portion of your profits to a good cause. Whatever you decide to do, be sure your local news knows about it. News organizations are always looking for this type of “good news” story to brighten people’s day. . You can overwhelm the search results that have bad reviews about your company by making sure that Google finds good articles about your company.

Was this helpful? Please let me know in the comments.

This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

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