How to handle negative reviews as a tradie


You might be trucking along quite nicely and getting some great client referrals, when suddenly out of nowhere you get hit with a negative review. Whether this is a Google review or a review on your social media channels, you’ll need to have an action plan in place to deal with it quickly and professionally so that potential clients won’t be deterred. So here’s what you need to do.

Get in quick
The quicker you can resolve a complaint or a negative review, the better. It’s a good idea to regularly monitor all of your reviews so you can pick up any complaints ASAP. The last thing you want is for the negative review to sit there with no response and then escalate later. If you can, take the complaint offline and have a discussion over the phone to discover what went wrong and offer any solutions.

Keep it professional
The one thing you should never do in these kinds of situations is let your emotions get the better of you. Sure, you might think the client is just being a pain, and maybe you didn’t actually do anything wrong, but it’s important to maintain your composure and keep emotion out of it. Although a speedy reply is key, perhaps have one other person read over your response before you post it to ensure you’re staying cool, calm and collected.

Offer a solution
Sometimes it might be hard to find a solution that satisfies everyone, but it’s important that the client feels that you really do want to make things better for them. If you’re not sure what should be offered, you can ask them directly – what would be the best outcome for them? Is it compensation, is it redoing something, is it changing your processes?

Find the lesson
When a client is unhappy, it usually indicates that there’s something you could be doing better. You might think it’s a one-off, but not everyone feels comfortable speaking out or leaving a negative review even though they might have experienced the same thing. To ensure that you’ve got everything covered, look for the lesson and see what this experience is telling you that you can improve on in future.

Don’t take it personally
This one can be tricky, especially if it’s your business on the line. You’ve likely put in a lot of time and effort into building it up, and it can be difficult not to take negative reviews as a personal affront. But remember that it’s just business, and if you want to grow, criticism can be a good opportunity. The best thing you can do is front up, make amends, and learn from any mistakes.

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