Property

Can ignoring online reviews damage an agents' reputation?

Warren Lewis
|
14th March 2017
Tech
"There will always be occasions when a client is unhappy about the service they have received and will take to the net to complain about their experience"

According to social media experts, Chatty Imp, agents are still handling bad reviews inappropriately, which is resulting in a damaged reputation and loss of potential instructions.

Recent research from search agency BrightLocal highlighted that more people are reading reviews on a regular basis (50% vs. 33% in 2015), with 91% of consumers regularly, or occasionally, reading online reviews.

Their survey also shows that 84% of people trust online reviews, as much as a personal recommendation, 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business and 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.  A further 58% of consumers say that the star rating of a business is most important.

Google is also placing more emphasis on reviews and ratings. The search engine recently took the step of displaying reviews and ratings from trusted third-party review sites within a businesses’ Local Knowledge Panel, which appear underneath the information that has been submitted to the Google Business Page, titled ‘Reviews from the web’.

Peter Watson, Managing Director of Chatty Imp comments: “Unfortunately, bad reviews are a fact of life for agents. There will always be occasions when a client is unhappy about the service they have received and will take to the net to complain about their experience. The important thing for agents to remember, is how they respond to the bad review is very public.  Potential new clients will check out reviews and look at how bad reviews are handled.  This gives them an indication of how good the agent’s customer service is.

If an agent handles a review inappropriately, it can damage their reputation and lose potential new instructions. So it pays to take the time to handle a complaint in a professional and fair way, replying promptly to stop the issue from escalating.  It is also worth asking the disgruntled reviewer to send more details in a private message, to remove the issue from the public eye.  

Online reviews offer a great opportunity agents to enhance their reputation online and convince potential vendors to make contact. They can also be used across all on and offline marketing channels, including social media. We incorporate positive reviews in our campaigns, highlighting the most positive ones, along with specific testimonials which mention excellent service provided by staff members.”

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