4 Ways Plumbers Can Avoid Earning Bad Reviews
Everyone makes mistakes. They don’t have to turn into bad reviews that haunt your business. There are ways that you can avoid turning bad experiences into a bad Google review. Whether the customer was impossible to please, didn’t really understand your work, or just had a really bad string of luck, you can handle them more effectively and resolve the issue before it turns into a frustrated rant on Yelp.
1. Set Expectations
Most people complain when their expectations were not met, no matter how unrealistic their expectations were. Consider a hypothetical client named Candace. She is used to dealing with plumbers who clean up after themselves. If you’re a busy plumber who charges a lot and doesn’t want to charge a customer a high amount for some simple cleaning, Candace might write a bad review about you. Even if you did your real job really well and actually intended to save her money.
The secret is to let Candace, and any customer, understand what they can really expect from you well before you do the work. Common areas where plumbers need to set expectations include:
- Whether your work will fix a problem or is just a stop-gap for more expensive work the customer will still need to do.
- If your work will involve opening up drywall and how that will be handled.
- How long things will take, including the work itself, waiting for a replacement part, or waiting for the new water heater to actually be usable.
When you get a bad review, consider if setting an expectation could have prevented it, and then make it your policy to explain the issue up-front to new customers.
2. See Complaints as Opportunities
When someone calls to complain to you it is tough to take it positively. But you should. Complaints are the customer giving you the opportunity to fix an issue before they write a bad review. Plus, when you respond positively, you’ll decrease the risk of a bad review. Be sure to:
- Allow the customer to rent during their complaint.
- Thank them for giving you the opportunity to make things right.
- Reassure them that you will take their issue seriously.
- Followup with them after you’ve tried to resolve their complaint.
When you take this attitude, people feel heard. Which reduces their need to complain to the internet.
3. Listen Carefully
If you don’t resolve someone’s core issue, they’ll eventually turn to writing a bad review. So, you need to make sure that you’ve heard their real complaint. For example, someone might complain that one of your staff used their washroom. Is the problem that the customer feels their privacy was violated? That their property was not respected? You don’t know, and you can’t address it, unless you listen carefully.
4. Have the Professionals Handle Complaints
While you’ll probably be personally speaking with many customers who might want to make a complaint, you’d be surprised at how a skilled receptionist can soften the customer for you. A trained digital receptionist can help make your customer feel understood, help them understand your perspective, and avoid bad reviews with personal connection and charm.