Home Inspectors May Get Negative Reviews
As a home inspector, you likely will encounter a negative review at some point during your career. And with technology and social media as it is today, more damage can be done. Reviews, good or bad, can be found online for years to come.
No one likes negative reviews. But it is practically inevitable. As a home inspector, you may not make everyone happy all the time, even if you do the best job you can. The key is to extinguish the negative review before it gets out of control and draws negative attention from other potential customers. Let’s discuss how you can use the internet as a powerful marketing tool and respond to negative reviews effectively while maintaining a good reputation.
Be Prepared for Reviews – Positive and Negative Ones
Welcome reviews! Encourage your clients to leave reviews about your business. Yes, you risk getting a bad review or two posted, but when the majority are good, that will help your business and your reputation. Think about when you are looking to buy a product online. You read a bunch of reviews. There is never a product with 100% positive reviews. What is important for you, though, is that there are a lot more positive reviews than negative ones. Customers won’t avoid you because of a couple of bad reviews.
Be sure to request reviews after the inspection. You may want to set up an automated notification that goes out to your client right after sending them the inspection report. It can contain a link to where they can leave a review. Reviews can be left on Google, Yelp, Facebook, or whatever platform you find is most popular in your area.
Know What Is Being Said
It is important to know what people are saying about your business. You don’t have time to constantly search reviews, so setting up alerts is most helpful. You can set up a Google alert so that you are notified when someone says something about your business. There are a variety of tracking tools that you can utilize to manage your online reputation.
Do Not Ignore Bad Reviews
One of the worse things you can do is ignore a negative review about your company, thinking it will just go away. It needs to be addressed, but with care and professionalism. Here are some steps to take:
- Breathe. Do not act on emotion. You will be upset when you first read a negative review. Your pride will most likely be hurt a bit. Take a few minutes or hours to collect your thoughts and calm down.
- Review the history of the client. Go over the inspection report for the client. Try to remember what happened on that inspection. Were there complications while doing the inspection? Was the client upset with the findings?
- Honestly evaluate yourself. Is there any validity to the critical statements being said about you or the inspection? Use this as an opportunity to improve your business.
- Make improvements. Allow negative reviews to help you improve as a home inspector. Can your reports be improved and more detailed? How is your communication style? What can be done to ensure happy customers?
Respond to Negative Reviews in a Positive Way
As said earlier, you cannot ignore bad reviews. They won’t just go away. They do need to be addressed, but the key is to respond in a way that will win back the trust of that client again, or at least future clients.
- Respond quickly and follow up. As soon as you have calmly collected your thoughts, address the issue so your clients know they matter. Respond to the review by stating that you want to resolve the issue and will contact them directly. Do not resolve the matter for the whole world to see. A simple public reply reassures other potential clients that you are willing to help them. Be sure to reach out to them until you make contact.
- Be professional and polite. Regardless of how rude a comment may be, do not respond in the same manner. Always treat a client with respect and dignity.
- Acknowledge your client’s feelings. Whether your client is correct or not is not the point. Start your conversation with them by letting them know you heard them and are sorry they were not happy with the inspection. Let them express their feelings, and then try to find a way to make them happy.
How you will work this problem out with the client is up to you. In some cases, a simple apology can be enough to make them happy. Perhaps you can clear up the misunderstanding, whether it be with your services or report. If it was a mistake on your part, you may choose to offer a refund to them.
How to Manage False Reviews
If you ever receive a false or fake review, perhaps by someone who never even used your service, take action. Fake reviews are illegal, so hosting sites usually work with you to remove them. If you find a fake review, flag it.
If the fake review remains, politely respond with a simple comment backed by evidence to refute the comment. For example, you may reply that you have never serviced the client with that name and date or in that location.
Make the Best of Negative Reviews
The way you respond to negative reviews can help you in marketing. These reviews can give you an opportunity to promote your business, show what a trusted inspector you are, and humbly let others see how you are always improving your business. Respond quickly, be respectful, and show people that their viewpoints matter to you.
Success as a home inspector is more than just being great at inspecting homes. It is vital that you build and maintain good relationships with all types of clients.