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How to Respond to Negative Reviews


After you wrap up a remodeling project for a client, there’s a good chance they’ll head over to a site like Google, Yelp, or Facebook to leave you a review. The more positive reviews your home improvement business receives, the more likely future clients are to do business with you. It’s a win-win! Unfortunately, not every review you get will be a glowing 5-star testimonial. Luckily, there are some actionable steps you can take to make the best of a bad situation. 

So, what should you do when your home services company gets a negative review? Let’s find out! 

Should you respond to negative reviews? 

When you see a bad review come through, you may have the urge to just ignore it and move on with your day. But replying to reviews – both the good and the bad – is essential to your company’s reputation. A polite reply lets the customer know you’re committed to listening to their feedback and concerns. On the other hand, negative reviews with no reply from the business owner can drive away future customers. And in addition to boosting customer perception, replying to reviews will also boost your local search results! 

Wait until you’re in a positive headspace to reply

It’s completely normal to feel upset when you read a bad review. After all, you’ve worked hard to build your business and do well by your customers. However, even rockstar businesses get hit by occasional bad reviews. When this happens, it’s important to cool off and let your emotions settle before you reply. Responses written in anger will only hurt the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build. Instead, walk away from the keyboard and only return once you’re in a calm, positive, and productive mental space. 

Here are a few best practices for answering negative Google reviews:

  1. Address the reviewer by name: This adds a personal touch that generic salutations like “dear sir or madam” can’t achieve. 
  2. Thank them for their business: This one may sound counterintuitive, but there’s a method to the madness – by thanking someone for leaving feedback, you reinforce the idea that you’re always listening and improving. 
  3. Commit to making it right: It’s best to be diplomatic and avoid things like accusations, name-calling, and retaliation.  
  4. Offer to take the issue offline: Invite the customer to call the office so you can discuss the matter further and find a solution that makes them happy. This shows you’re truly committed to resolving the situation instead of simply trying to save face online. 
  5. Get a second pair of eyes: Replying to a negative review can stir up negative emotions that are best kept offline. Before you hit the post button, have a trusted colleague read the draft. A neutral party may notice things you missed on your initial read-through or catch things that are better left unsaid. 

What about positive reviews – should I reply to those too?

Absolutely! The more you engage with your customers, the better. Replying to positive reviews  allows you to shine a spotlight on why your customers love doing business with you – whether that’s customer service, quality products, beautiful designs, or something else that’s uniquely “you.” Your reply doesn’t have to be anything complicated – even a simple thank you is enough to let the client know that you’re listening and appreciative of their time. 

Can I remove negative reviews? 

For the sake of transparency, most platforms have fairly strict rules about removing negative reviews. However, some reviews may violate the platform’s policies and may be removed. Common violations include spam reviews, profanity, and the inclusion of personal information (like the name of a specific employee). If you receive a negative review that violates a policy, you can report it and have it removed from your page. 

Got any questions about how to handle negative reviews for your home remodeling business? Reach out to your Built-Right account manager today! 

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We provide digital marketing solutions for home service businesses across the US.  If you help your customer get comfortable at home, we’re here to help you grow your business with proven lead generation systems, guaranteed!

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