“An unanswered bad review becomes true” @jaybaer@convince#podcast
— RealSatisfied (@RealSatisfied) January 9, 2016
Client satisfaction is a highly nuanced achievement in real estate transactions. There are any moving parts, constant follow up and communication — all while balancing numerous clients and transactions at once, as well as prospecting for new customers. Sometimes when all doesn’t go well- clients can take to other channels to communicate their frustration, and this can make you feel for a moment like business could tailspin in a split minute. Don’t feel that way, and don’t let that happen. Here are some ways to stay proactive – and handle anything that might be thrown your way.
Here are 8 how to’s to handle negativity online:
Don’t freak out.
Show them that you are listening
Most of the time, negative comments or reviews come as a last resort, when clients or customers feel like they haven’t been heard or understood. Perhaps its a simple misunderstanding, or a bad day, or a text that was misread, or a multitude of other things. In real estate, transactions and relationships are emotionally charged, stressful — and you, as their agent — wear many hats. If you stumble upon a bad review or a comment- don’t pass it by without responding. An unanswered bad review becomes true in the eyes of the consumer. Validate their emotion (even if you don’t agree with it) and address the comment directly and pleasantly, or offer to take it offline to have a conversation. Most importantly- just let them know you are listening, and value their feedback.
Respond quickly and with kindness
Be proactive with your responses online. Watch your industry review and social media channels regularly. Customers today expect that customer service will be public and transparent and can take to social media.Think before you respond, and don’t respond in anger. Respond quickly and with kindness. This kind of professionalism shows that you are aware, working in real time, and care about their experience no matter what communication channel or device they use. An example might be:
“Hi Susan! I’m sorry you feel you a bad experience with our service during the purchase of your home. We’ve been around for 25 years, serving hundreds of sellers and buyers in our community and we always strive to provide the best possible experience for our clients. Clearly, we have failed you along the way.”
Turn a negative into a positive
If it looks like their experience cannot be resolved by a conversation – redouble your efforts to end on a high note. Often this can be an additional gesture within your means to mend their last impression. Consider a small gift card, a couple of tickets to a movie, or a gift to a charity of their choice. This act simply keeps the level of customer satisfaction in focus or anything else. It’s good karma and good will. Let them know while you are sorry their issue couldn’t be directly resolved, you do care abut their experience.
If you have made the effort to fix it – Ask them to reconsider
If you have made the offer to fix it and move on, and things look like they are the mend, ask them to reconsider the comment or review. Don’t take it too personally if they decline, but many times customers will be happy once they feel they have been heard and valued.
Take steps to insure reviews are in your control
The best course you can take to proactively be in control of your online reviews, is to ask for feedback within 7-10 days after the close of a transaction. With a RealSatisfied survey, you can collect their feedback and their sentiments in advance if they know it will be coming their way. Give them a way to provide that feedback, remain and open, available, and provide easy communication tools.
Tools You Can Use
Use tools like RealSatisfied, Google Alerts and Social Mention to stay on top of your brand reputation
Remember, not all bad reviews are negative – but an opportunity to show that you care about customer satisfaction and their ultimate experience, as well as any future clients and customers. Turn those negatives into positives. It’s more authentic, more trustworthy, and real!