How to Manage your HVAC Company’s Online Reputation?
By Bill Corbett
How do I monitor my brand?
Remember, your brand “lives” online. This being said, it is a good idea to Google your company regularly to see what others are saying about your brand. A helpful tool to use is Google Alerts. Google Alerts allow you to plug in keywords, such as your name or company. You will receive an email (from Gmail) when the keywords are mentioned online. It is also helpful to search specifically within platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. For businesses with over 15-20 employees, check Glassdoor, a site where employees leave reviews. Many people are familiar with Yelp and Google Business pages. Take the time to search all relevant review sites and see if you have any positive or negative reviews. Good reviews are gold. If you don’t have reviews, get some. More and more consumers are using reviews to choose which providers to work with and what products to buy.
How to handle negative comments or reviews?
Negatives reviews are similar to a “crisis situation” that we manage all the time at Corbett Public Relations. The key is being proactive. This means constantly putting out positive information about your expertise, your services and your business to build good will and positive reputation. Doing this you will have demonstrated your knowledge, expertise and commitment to clients and customers over a long period of time. In the event of a bad situation or negative review, the good news and content will far outweigh the negative.
Some HVAC business owners see negative reviews as something that is very upsetting. Instead think of negative reviews as a gift. The review shows that there are areas where you need improvement. Take the time to address the issue and don’t fight over it. Learn from this experience and use it to make a positive impact on your business operations or customer service.
In the event of a negative review, first make sure the complaint is valid. We have seen many fake complaints or reviews posted by competitors. Conduct internal research and review before answering complaints. After doing so, I recommend following these three simple steps:
1) Own it
No one is perfect; some issue or event will occur and a customer will comment. Acknowledge the customer’s concerns. I suggest replying privately and limiting any public back-and-forth conversations. Keep interactions short and over the phone if possible to be sure your message is received and understood. It is okay to respond once in a public forum that you are addressing the issue. This lets all readers of reviews know that you listen and care.
2) Fix it
How to Manage your HVAC Company’s Online Brand Reputation?
Whenever possible, correct the problem with the customer. Respond to the unhappy customer and let them know that their concerns were heard. Many times simply acknowledging that an issue occurred will deescalate the situation. From an emotional point of view, consumers need to vent if they feel that they were treated unfairly. They are often won back with the right approach, consideration and the willingness to just listen.
3) Communicate it
Follow up with the customer. Recognize that some customers will never be satisfied and that all interactions can be posted online. I suggest never arguing online, instead, simply state the facts and never call into question a person’s comments.
If you enjoyed what you learned in this post, take a look at the Top Applications for HVAC Management.