In case you didn’t read the news this past summer, one local moving company made it into several major publications. Here’s a summary of what happened:
The mover promised to show up at a certain time. Then he offered a discount for a positive review. What followed was a 45 minute exchange refusing to show up until a review was posted. The customer than tried to contact mover and said he would cancel and remove his Yelp review. The mover responded with a rude text.Then the customer updated the review and many news publications picked up the story.
Here are a few tips for preventing negative reviews:
Say NO: Overbooked or at capacity? Say no. The move request was during the busiest time of the year and the cost to move one item outweighs the profit of the job (thanks workers compensation). When you have many jobs on that day, an extra $50 in profit isn’t worth it. Suggest an alternative mover and explain you don’t have capacity.
Manage reviews: Do not require a review prior to completing service. Customers can always go back and change their review.
Communicate frequently (or have us do it for you): Let’s say you’re running late. Contact the next customer immediately. Managing customers expectations is the key to success. Ask them if they can do it at a different time and provide context. By addressing the issue promptly you can deescalate the situation. More on best practices for customer communications here.
Let’s imagine for a second that the company took accountability for the actions. What would that have looked like?
“Dear Customer, we are very sorry for your experience. We cannot take back the messages sent or actions as much as we would like to do this. We do not tolerate behavior like this nor do we endorse solicitation of reviews. We greatly appreciate your feedback and hope to have the opportunity to serve you in the future – on us.”
Take a deep breath. Treat everyone you encounter with respect and empathy. Moving is one of the most painful times in people’s lives. Remember, you’re in a unique position to provide comfort during one of life’s most stressful experiences.