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August 3, 2018
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Tiffany Houkom

4 Tips for Addressing Negative Online Reviews

With the help of the internet, anyone can easily share their experiences with a business to the masses. Between social posts, blogs, and review websites, it’s easy for people to share their experiences, both positive and negative, with friends, family members, and even strangers. Consumers have come to trust and rely on online reviews when making purchase decisions. According to a recent LinkedIn article:

  • 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from a friend or family member
  • Over 72% of consumers have more trust in local businesses with positive reviews
  • 50% of consumers will question a business’s quality after reading negative online reviews

As a property management company, you need to understand that people will write negative reviews about your company and your communities online. It’s unavoidable and will most likely happen at some point if it hasn’t happened already. The problem isn’t whether you’ll receive negative reviews, it’s how you react and take action when it does happen. Here are four tips to help you properly address negative reviews.

1). Respond to negative reviews

30% of consumers say responding to reviews is a key factor when judging local businesses. When you see a negative review, don’t ignore it. By publicly responding, you’re letting the person who wrote the review know that you care about their concerns and are focused on making improvements. You’re also showing incredible customer service to prospective residents or HOAs who may be researching your business. Showing people that you’re open to receiving feedback and are dedicated to making changes rather than getting defensive can help you close future deals.

2). Use negative reviews to make positive changes

Take what the reviewer is talking about to heart and look for opportunities to make improvements to both your business model and community based on their feedback. If someone complains about the cleanliness of the pool, take a trip down to the pool to look for simple ways to clean it up. If people are complaining about the service they received from your staff, look at implementing training sessions to help your staff properly deal with difficult customer service situations.

3). Develop a review campaign

After reading negative reviews and making critical changes based off the feedback received, you’ll start to see the happiness of your residents improve. Once you’ve identified a happy group of residents, or if your team has positive interactions with residents, encourage those residents to write reviews. Sure, this can open the door for more negative feedback, but that’s even more of an opportunity to improve your business. To encourage reviews, consider implementing a small reward system, such as a $10 gift card for the first 10 people to leave a Facebook review.

4). Do not write fake reviews

If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this point. Whatever you do when handling negative reviews, do NOT write fake positive reviews to improve your rating. Fake reviews stand out as being phony, especially for companies that have a majority of negative reviews. It also doesn’t show that your company is honest or transparent. Work to improve your business so you can earn positive reviews rather than faking them.

Looking for additional ways to improve your community? Get your free copy of our whitepaper, Key Strategies to Promote an Informed and Efficient Community.

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