What to do if you get a bad online review

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    Receiving a bad Google Review can be bad for business. Whether you are a broker, restaurant owner or healthcare provider, having a negative review pop up when a customer searches for you is probably the last thing you want. But according to Loan Market chief marketing officer Lisa Jackson, the best way to deal with a bad Google Review is to embrace it.

    She told MPA, brokers who receive a negative review shouldn’t shy away but should take the conversation offline to find out further details about the customer’s experience.

    “It’s something that a lot of brokers can be nervous about – nobody wants a bad review,” she said. “The reality is, and the approach we’ve taken is, we embrace all reviews. All feedback is good feedback, and you have to do it like that.

    “You’re always going to get the disgruntled outlier client and customers can see through that. If brokers are getting a negative review, that’s OK, embrace it, don’t shy away from it. Respond to the client, take it offline once you’ve responded so you can engage with them and see what’s going on.”

    Another way brokers can negate the effects of a bad review is by generating more positive reviews, she said. This then pushes the bad review further down the page and makes it less visible when new customers are searching.

    The most important thing when it comes to receiving a bad review, is that you are aware of it, she said, which is something Loan Market’s new reviewr platform enables for its brokers.

    Read more: Driving new business through online reviews

    “You’ve got a system that gives you an early warning system that you’ve got a negative review,” she explained. “The broker has an opportunity to jump in and call that client before it hits a Google Review. That’s the real opportunity in that negative space.”

    In terms of getting lots of good reviews, Jackson said it was “all in the prepositioning.”

    “The key is in the positioning to clients so that at the end of the process they’re much more likely to leave a review,” she said.

    A way brokers can do this is by explaining to the client that their service to them is free (assuming they don’t have a charge for service model), and that all they are going to ask for in return is that the customer leaves a review.

    It’s also critical to get the timing right when it comes to sending out customer feedback surveys, said Jackson.

    “Ninety-six per cent (96%) of customers will leave a review if you’ve asked at the right time,” she said. “We survey at two points, one is at the pre-approved moment, two days after pre-approval, and then two days after settlement. The two moments are really different and what we see in the industry is that most people only care about the settled moment.”

    She explained that the pre-approval moment is just as important as most of the work happens in the lead up to this – and it can sometimes take up to two years before the customer finds a property and settles on the loan.

    Kate McIntyreKate McIntyre is an online writer for Mortgage Professional Australia. She has a wealth of experience as a storyteller and journalist for a range of leading media outlets, particularly in real estate, property investing and finance. She loves uncovering the heart behind every story and aims to inspire others through the artful simplicity of well-written words.
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