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7 steps to defend against negative online reviews

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Reposted with permission from Listing Depot.

Bad online reviews are inevitable, but how they are handled by the real estate agent makes all the difference. The only thing worse than a bad review for a business is a bad review that is poorly handled.

Responding with anger or accusations can cause the situation to spread like wildfire, tarnishing your name or brand. However, an upset customer still has the potential to remain a customer, if the review is handled properly.

Happy customers are important to every brand; here are a few tips for how to respond to a negative online review in a way that benefits both real estate agents and clients.

Do not ignore the review

If a negative review is posted to your page, never ignore it. Instead, responding should be the top priority.

This is an angry customer, and by treating the situation with care and tact, he or she can remain a loyal customer.

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Give the ‘personal touch’

Make sure the consumer feels like you are being genuine. It is important for them to feel like their complaint is a top concern.

Have them contact you

Provide them with a phone number or email address where they can contact someone in the company who can help them ASAP.

Communication has to be a priority. Explain that you want them to contact you directly so you can learn everything about the event.

Always make an effort to resolve the issue

Even if it is at the expense of the company, always make an effort to resolve the issue. Not only offer a sincere apology, but also offer a way to resolve the problem.

Ask them what you can do

Put the consumer in charge of the conversation. Ask them what the company can do to resolve the issue.

After assessing the consumer’s request, do everything within reason to make amends.

Avoid being defensive

Rather than defending the company or the problem, don’t take the negative review personally. Instead, take the customer’s side and immediately start working toward making amends.

Make the customer feel like his or her review is heard and the situation will be handled. Even if it is clear that the review is false, respond immediately.

Respond with a cool head

Reading bad reviews might make you angry or upset. Instead of attacking the individual who wrote the review, take a few minutes to get into the right mindset to tackle the issue.

The last tip is crucial. Having a cool head in crisis situations will help you to continue providing great customer service.

Remember a poor review can be a productive learning experience. Training can be improved, thus providing an even higher level of customer service.

Marina Baker is the lifestyle editor with Listing Depot. Follow her on Twitter.