Posted by netintegrity

How to Handle Negative Online Reviews in Property Management

 Handling Negative Online ReviewsNegative reviews: no business is exempt from them. The old saying, “You can’t please all the people, all the time” is very true, and with the rise of the Internet it’s never been easier for disgruntled customers to share their bad experience with the world. So, what do you do if you come across a review about your organization that is less than flattering? Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help ensure that you handle the situation in a positive, professional way that will get you the best possible results.

Don’t ignore it.

As tempting as it may be to simply keep clicking and pretend you never saw those negative words about you or your business, doing so will just send a message to both your current and prospective clients that you don’t care about customer satisfaction and aren’t willing to fix things that go wrong.

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Do respond, swiftly and positively.

As soon as you notice the bad review, you should get to work on damage control. It’s important that you keep your response upbeat and professional, otherwise you’ll just be adding fuel to the fire and end up making things worse.

Don’t argue.

If there’s one thing to remember about the Internet, it’s that things that are put there stay there forever. If you become defensive in your response, or get into a back and forth battle for everyone to see, not only will you drive the reviewer away, but you’ll also tarnish your image for any prospects that come across that review and its response in the future.

Do apologize.

Regardless of whether the review is accurate or overblown, the best thing you can do to diffuse the situation is apologize. Starting your response with, “We’re so sorry that you had such a bad experience…” will show the frustrated reviewer (and everyone else) that you’re listening and that you’re willing to take ownership that something went wrong.

Do offer a solution.

Acknowledge the reason for the negative review and offer a solution to rectify the situation. For instance, if the reviewer is a tenant that is frustrated because maintenance requests seem to go unanswered, apologize that it happened and offer to personally handle the issues going forward (or assign the task to someone specific on your team).

Don’t let communication get out of hand.

If you’ve apologized and offered a workable solution (or two), and the reviewer still isn’t happy, don’t go back and forth with them in a public forum for everyone to see. Instead, offer to take the conversation offline by providing your email address. That way whatever communications you have from there forward aren’t plastered on the web forever.

Don’t cheat.

Many businesses get so frustrated about online reviews that they decide to go the easy route and pay people to give them positive reviews, thinking that better feedback will replace the negative. As tempting as it may be, don’t do it! If you get caught, it will most certainly damage your reputation long term, which completely defeats the purpose.

Do stay on top of your online reputation.

With sites like Yelp, Google Places, Google+, and Yahoo Local, all heavily populated with consumers just itching to share their experiences with the masses, it’s absolutely imperative that you keep a close watch on any reviews that pop up about your business. The easiest way to do this is to set up a Google alert that will notify you any time your business name shows up online, so you can go check it out and handle the situation accordingly.

Every business owner wants to think that they’re delivering 100% satisfaction, 100% of the time, and property management is no exception. Unfortunately, there’s simply no way to keep everyone happy, and chances are those few negative experiences will make their way to the Internet. How you handle those negative reviews can make or break how your organization will fare moving forward. By following these simple do’s and don’ts, you’ll keep any negatives under control and your reputation untarnished.

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Take your customer service to the next level! Get your free copy of the Property Manager’s Guide to Creating an Extraordinary Customer Experience.

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