Separating the truth from the trough.
Do reviews and complaints really matter when finding your perfect business?
This is our very own guide ‘Hilton Smythe Complaints handling advice’ where we talk you through techniques helping you to separate the truth from the trough.
Hearing complaints from customers can be difficult for any business owner to swallow. It can often be upsetting to hear about your hard work being subject to a complaint being made about you or your business.
When you’re buying an existing business, you inherit it’s past reviews too. Inheriting bad reviews or a bad perception from the public can be difficult to deal with. For some, the solution may be a complete re-brand. Although an expensive option, a re-brand can attract new customers and alleviate you of any negative reviews. Often customers are reassured just by the fact the business is now under ‘new management’.
If a re-brand isn’t an option, you can consider responding to complaints as a marketing opportunity by making a song and dance about a change in company standards and ownership. Apologising and inviting those who didn’t quite receive the customer experience they expected back, as an opportunity to make things right, may help put the record straight.
Unfortunately, you may encounter those who use third-party websites in an attempt to maliciously damage your business. When talking complaints the phrase “the customer is always right”, known for being the motto of Mr Selfridge, often comes to mind. But what can you do when damaging reviews appear from people you’ve never dealt with? Well besides legal proceedings, there are platforms out there that will only allow verified customers to post reviews.
It’s inevitable that as your business grows, so will complaints; no business can please everyone all of the time. (Although looking at some of our latest reviews, you could argue Hilton Smythe come pretty close!) It’s a good idea to have an accessible complaints procedure in order to deal with these complaints.
It’s also a good idea to keep a record of any complaints. A complaint made over the phone can be recorded and used for training purposes. This proves a valuable tool when it comes to training new employees. Some scenario orientated training can be based on genuine complaints and also act as a valuable tool for customer facing businesses.
Talk about complaints and negative reviews can be more than enough to discourage businesses from trading! Instead, take a view of the likes of TripAdvisor as an opportunity for a bit of free publicity. There’s no harm in asking your customers to leave a review if you believe in the service being delivered.
Hilton Smythe have recently joined Feefo, a review site that uses a process which will only allow genuine reviews from real customers. We recommend you set something like this up yourself. There are many of these impartial review sites around, Feefo and Trustpilot to name a few.
Take a look at our comprehensive Hilton Smythe complaints procedure here.
You may also be a member of a trade body. For example, Hilton Smythe complaints procedures are guided by our membership to the Property Ombudsman’s code of conduct. Check your trade body to see if they can help.