By Jeanne Dotson
A vast majority of online consumers rely on user reviews when making purchasing decisions. In fact, according to Web-analysis firm iPerceptions, 63 percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a website that has user reviews. The same holds true in the self-storage industry. User reviews are important for your facility’s overall online reputation, so it’s important to understand the repercussions of an unfavorable review.
Luckily, one or two bad reviews aren’t the end of the world. Most consumers understand that not all reviews are going to be positive. In fact, according to software company Reevoo, 68 percent of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad ones, while 30 percent suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see any negative opinions about a business.
Still, the question remains, what should be done when your storage facility receives a less-than-favorable review? Here are four ways to successfully handle a bad review.
No. 1: Respond Professionally
Try not to get defensive about the criticism. Take the emotion out of the situation and really listen to your customer’s concerns. Negative comments can be a great way to address breakdowns in communication during the unit-rental process.
No. 2: Act Quickly
In many cases, the longer you wait to respond, the more upset the customer will get. It also becomes more likely other customers will spread the negative experience with people they know. Address the review and let them know the situation has been heard and is being addressed. Focus on the positive
No. 3: Avoid Generic Responses
When responding, be sure to mention the specific situation. Convey that you understand where the person is coming from and apologize for any inconvenience caused. Provide the customer with your contact information, so he feels like a specific person is handling the situation.
No. 4: Make it Right
Outline for the customer the specific steps being taken to correct the problem. This will assure all of your customers that you take their satisfaction seriously.
User reviews can be a wonderful way to quickly establish trust with current renters as well as potential ones. With that trust comes the responsibility of owning up to issues or problems that arise during the storage rental process. How a business handles critical comments tells customers a lot about that business. Following these steps can help turn a negative situation into a positive one.
Jeanne Dotson is the director of Internet marketing strategy for The Storage Group. The company has more than 40 years of combined self-storage industry experience and a team of Internet marketing professionals who specialize in website design, online marketing and website-management services. For more information, visit www.storageinternetmarketing.com.