Protect Your Reputation
How To Handle Unrealistic Customers And Internet ReviewsAtlas Roofing
In the home renovation and construction industry, every contractor will come across homeowners who are downright unreasonable. No matter what the contractor does to appease the homeowner, nothing is ever enough. Some customers, your competitors can and should have. Remember that you don’t have to accept every customer who wants do business with you, just as they do not have to hire you.
Frequently, a customer’s unreasonableness stems from an unrealistic view of the project. A Dayton, OH, roofing contractor cites an example of a homeowner who wanted a two-bedroom addition. During the qualification process, the sales representative discovered that the homeowner’s budget was insufficient for the project. The rep spent some time outlining the changes necessary to stay within budget.
The homeowner balked at paying for drawings and permits, claiming they were an unnecessary expense. The rep explained that drawing and permits were required for that type of project and that the company would not compromise its business ethics or reputation. The homeowner fully understood and thanked the sales representative for his honesty.
When the job is over, hopefully the homeowners are happy with the work, and you can ask for a positive online review. Check your online reviews weekly and interact with your customers. Say thank you and let them know how much you appreciate them choosing to do business with you. Don’t forget to ask for referrals, too.
From time to time, you’ll run across a negative review. You should respond promptly and calmly to those as well. Rather than picking up the phone and calling the reviewer right away, respond online and let the person know that you will call, or ask him/her to contact your office. Not only will you have the opportunity to resolve the issue with a simple phone call, you will also show anyone reading the review that you are responsive to customers.
Whenever you respond to reviews online, you have to maintain your professionalism. Remember that your current and potential client base can see everything you post. If you come across as condescending or angry, potential customers may steer away from doing business with you. No matter how wrong the client is, you have to stay level-headed and diplomatic with your response. Start with a simple apology for the customer’s feelings toward the company and extend the invitation to call your office to discuss the matter. If, after you have responded reasonably, the reviewer remains or becomes irate, do not continue to interact with them. Without getting into a public battle, you have shown anyone reading the review that you are more than happy to work with customers even when they are less than satisfied. Most people online understand that some people cannot be pleased.
No matter where you are in the sales process — at the beginning when you are setting expectations or at the end dealing with online reviews — always be proactive and professional with your clients. Demonstrate to potential customers that you care about their projects and your business.