ONLINE REVIEWS AND RESIDENTIAL CONCRETE WORK
If you do residential concrete repair, driveway or patio work, particularly, you may have heard the saying, “the customer is always right.” Most who’ve worked with the public know that saying. That doesn’t mean that their complaints, or what they claim is the source of their complaints, is an accurate perception of the facts of whatever situation may have transpired.
However, the truth in that saying is that customers are always the lifeblood of any business, and one customer that is unhappy after interacting with your company can result in all kinds of wrong for your business.
It used to be that if you had a dissatisfied customer as concrete contractor, or as any small business owner, the damage to your reputation was limited to that customer and “at least five people in their circle of friends and family,” the saying went.
Some savvy consumers go to the news media “trouble shooters.” If they are just one of those unhappy people who have beef with every company with which they interact, it won’t go anywhere. If a mistake was made and not properly remedied by your company, the news station might pick it up and run with it, with a brief one-time appearance on local news.
With today’s social media and consumer review websites, the impact is far greater. An online review can reach tens of thousands if not millions over time, (depending on your online presence in general). In all cases, that review is up there much longer than an evening’s newscast or a few people at a dinner table, like the old days.
Speaking of dinner tables, a family-owned restaurant that had been around for over a decade was recently closed, with a sign in the window that said, “YOU CAN THANK YELP!” One scathing review of a concrete contractor on a certain person’s online list, yelp or google can cost scores of new customers to be lost.
WHAT YOU CAN DO AS A CONCRETE CONTRACTOR SMALL BUSINESS
Obviously doing great work and delivering on expectations helps, but what about the unexpected or the times the customer is one of those giving bad reviews to everyone?
If you get a bad review on your concrete contractor business, do your homework. If you feel it’s inaccurate and defamatory enough, consult your lawyer; that’s your call. Ad agencies can bury bad reviews through search engine optimization and other methods.
Some advise to respond to the bad reviewer with empathy and concern that the customer is unhappy, then request them to contact you directly so that you can get more information to solve it. Look into what happened on your end and write down all that can be recalled.
If a mistake was made, you’ll want to know how it happened. In any case, you’ll want to make it right to the customer as soon as possible.
One thing you can do is preventative medicine. Whether you’re doing concrete installation or concrete repair – concrete cutting and concrete drilling or new construction pouring and forming – communicate as much as you can about timing and outcomes up front with the customer.
Concrete work is tough enough work without having to worry about call-backs and bad review forwards. We do what we can in an uncertain world. For surer, professional cuts, though, try the Professional®
line of concrete cutting diamond blades from Husqvarna.