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Article: How to respond to negative reviews against your home inspection business  XML
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InspectorPro
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Joined: 04/03/2018 11:51 AM EDT
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Location: American Fork, UT
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Hi Home Inspection Forum Readers,

My favorite articles to write are ones that directly stem from home inspectors' questions. This is one of those articles. An inspector asked us how to approach negative reviews without increasing his liability. Here's our answer.

Enjoy!
Stephanie

P.S. Have a topic you'd like us to write about? Let us know in the comments.

***

How to respond to negative reviews against your home inspection business

Online reviews matter. But just how can reviews affect your home inspection business?

  • A 2017 survey by Podium revealed that reviews impact 93 percent of consumers' purchasing decisions.

  • According to the Harvard Business School, a one-star increase in Yelp ratings leads to a five to nine percent increase in that business' revenue.

  • The 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey found that 94 percent of consumers choose to avoid a business based on a negative online review.


  • The bottom line? Online customer reviews can directly impact your success. Which led one of our readers to ask us this question:

    I've had an issue with receiving negative seller reviews. Usually, the buyers are my clients and, so far, they've liked my inspections and my reports. What do I do when it's not even my client leaving a negative review?

    - John Paul Oliveira


    At InspectorPro, we know a thing or two about receiving negative reviews from people that aren't clients. Receiving negative reviews, especially from non-clients, can be frustrating and disconcerting. The good news? Your response to reviews can make a difference.

    In a recent study, the Harvard Business Review found that replying to customer reviews, positive or negative, results in better ratings. Software company Vendasta listed three reasons why responding to unpleasant reviews is beneficial in a recent blog post:

  • You're not just replying to just the one reviewer. You're speaking to everyone who reads this review, including potential future customers.

  • Replying is your opportunity to make things right. If a customer brought a complaint to you in person, you would try to make it right. The same goes for online reviews⁠—despite the impersonal nature of online reviews, it's not over just yet. You can turn this things around!

  • Replying shows other readers you are not shady or neglectful to feedback, and have taken steps to ensure this problem won't happen to the next customer.


  • In this article, we discuss how to respond to negative online reviews to defend your reputation and discourage potential claims.

    Investigate the allegations internally.
    Before responding, look into what the reviewer is saying. See if they are a client of yours or otherwise related to an inspection you performed (i.e. seller, real estate agent). Then, examine how their claims match up to your recollection of the inspection and your report. If you weren't the one who performed the inspection, take time to discuss the review with the inspector that did to make sure you have all the facts.

    Evaluating the feedback first also gives you the opportunity to put your emotions in check. Reacting defensively could inspire your negative reviewer to escalate. Worse still, if your upset reviewer is particularly angry or petty, they might seek to get a bigger reaction from you by spreading their unfavorable assessment across online platforms.

    [READ MORE]

    Stephanie Jaynes
    Marketing Director
    InspectorPro Insurance
    We Protect. You Inspect.
    www.inspectorproinsurance.com
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    lmathis
    Rolling Stone
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    Joined: 11/12/2019 01:56 PM EST
    Messages: 4
    Location: Northern Colorado
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    Great article!

    Legacy Property Inspections
    Serving all of northern Colorado
    970-405-2743
    www.LPInspections.com
    www.coloradowarranty.com
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    InspectorPro
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    Joined: 04/03/2018 11:51 AM EDT
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    Location: American Fork, UT
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    Thanks, Lance!

    Stephanie Jaynes
    Marketing Director
    InspectorPro Insurance
    We Protect. You Inspect.
    www.inspectorproinsurance.com
    [Email] [WWW]
    Paul Altiery
    Rolling Stone
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    Joined: 12/30/2019 10:15 AM EST
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    How you respond to one negative review can negate 100's of positive reviews. When I am searching for a contractor or servic always read the negative reviews and the responses by the owner, this shows me whether or not the company is engaged with their online presence (does their reputation matter to them) and do they respond professionally while not necessarily accepting blame, but offering a resolution or assist in finding one.

    Paul Altiery
    Make today the best today possible
    www.residentialwarrantyservices.com
    www.inspectionsuccess.net
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    InspectorPro
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    Joined: 04/03/2018 11:51 AM EDT
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    Location: American Fork, UT
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    Paul Altiery wrote:How you respond to one negative review can negate 100's of positive reviews. When I am searching for a contractor or servic always read the negative reviews and the responses by the owner, this shows me whether or not the company is engaged with their online presence (does their reputation matter to them) and do they respond professionally while not necessarily accepting blame, but offering a resolution or assist in finding one.


    Great insight!

    Stephanie Jaynes
    Marketing Director
    InspectorPro Insurance
    We Protect. You Inspect.
    www.inspectorproinsurance.com
    [Email] [WWW]
    Paul Altiery
    Rolling Stone
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    Joined: 12/30/2019 10:15 AM EST
    Messages: 3
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    InspectorPro wrote:
    Paul Altiery wrote:How you respond to one negative review can negate 100's of positive reviews. When I am searching for a contractor or servic always read the negative reviews and the responses by the owner, this shows me whether or not the company is engaged with their online presence (does their reputation matter to them) and do they respond professionally while not necessarily accepting blame, but offering a resolution or assist in finding one.


    Great insight!


    4 years at Angie's List you learn the importance of the response to a review good or bad.

    Paul Altiery
    Make today the best today possible
    www.residentialwarrantyservices.com
    www.inspectionsuccess.net
    [Email] [WWW]
    jtroth
    Wizard
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    Joined: 06/18/2014 10:11 PM EDT
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    Location: Columbus Ohio area
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    Best response is twofold.

    1. Respond with concern, stating that an issue is unusual and direct them offline for resolution/further investigation, and then

    2. Be certain to have a review collecting system set up so that the negative ones get buried quickly by positive comments.

    Habitation Investigation
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    InspectorPro
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    Joined: 04/03/2018 11:51 AM EDT
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    Location: American Fork, UT
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    Good advice!

    Stephanie Jaynes
    Marketing Director
    InspectorPro Insurance
    We Protect. You Inspect.
    www.inspectorproinsurance.com
    [Email] [WWW]
     
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