Google reviews are one of the best ways for potential clients to check out an insurance agency. 58% of consumers are willing to spend more money or even travel long distances to buy from companies with predominantly good reviews. Moreover, 93% of consumers search for companies’ Google reviews before contacting them.
Getting negative reviews on Google is detrimental to any insurance agency because it lowers the company’s overall star rating. A mere 9% of consumers would consider purchasing from a business with a one- or two-star rating. 94% of consumers are unwilling to contact a company that gets negative reviews.
If your agency receives the occasional negative Google review, it is not the end of the world. Never ignore these reviews, however, because it creates the impression that your business is not interested in providing good customer service.
If you implement the following steps, you can turn an unpleasant situation around and effectively resolve customer complaints.
Contact the Customer
A negative review is typically the result of a breakdown in service delivery. For instance, if one of your sales agents promised to call a customer on a specified day and at a given time but failed to do so, the customer may express their anger via a Google review.
In this case, the agent should contact the customer directly to apologize and inform them how they will remedy the situation.
The same principle applies if the Google review comes after a misunderstanding regarding an insurance policy. If a refund is due, the agent should inform the customer when they can expect their money and ensure they stick to their promise.
Resolving a complaint is about calming the customer down and providing the service they initially expected. If your agency is slack in responding to negative reviews, it may lead to worse reviews.
Taking responsibility for the circumstances that led to the customer becoming irate doesn’t necessarily mean adopting the stance that “the customer is always right.” Instead, it shows the customer that you take their frustration seriously and that your agent is trying to transform their negative experience into a positive one.
Even if your agent wasn’t wrong, they should acknowledge the client’s anger and inform them how your agency intends to rectify the matter.
The best thing to do when dealing with an aggravated customer is to let them get their frustration out. Chances are the customer may shout at you or your sales agents, especially if several days have passed without your agency acknowledging the problem.
Never shift the blame or get defensive when this happens. Allow the customer to finish speaking before responding.
Don’t reply aggressively to the Google review, even if your staff is not at fault. It is bad form for your agency to be involved in an online spat on a public forum for everyone to see. Under no circumstances should you or your agents use derogatory language or offensive terms when posting publicly or speaking to a customer over the phone.
Instead, be professional and calm if you decide to reply online, apologize for the inconvenience caused, and let the customer know you are working to fix the issue.
Thank the Customer
Once you’ve resolved the issue, contact the customer to let them know. Also, take the time to thank them for alerting you to the problem. Even though it may be unpleasant to deal with negative reviews, it does present an opportunity for your insurance agency to improve its level of customer service.
Make amends by offering the customer a lower insurance premium or discount. Follow up with them a few days later to find out if there is anything else you can assist them with.
Root Out Fake Reviews
Unfortunately, there are a lot of trolls on the internet, and you may find yourself having to deal with fake reviews on top of real ones. If you spot a fake review about your agency, you can take steps to have it removed from your Google business account.
Trolls usually target one business at a time, so you may notice that their profile contains only one bad review: the one about your agency. Sometimes, competitors write fake reviews to get one over on your agency, or a random person may decide to post a made-up review to slander your business.
If you’re sure a review is fake, you can flag it as inappropriate by logging into your Google My Business account. A survey will pop up for you to complete and inform Google why you think the review is inappropriate. Google will then remove it from your account.
Getting negative reviews on Google is never easy to deal with. But the sooner you do, the better for your agency’s reputation and credibility. Resolving customer complaints also provides opportunities to avoid the same scenario down the line. You may gain more good reviews if you sort out the issues promptly and to the customer’s satisfaction. By following the above steps, your agency will continue to thrive despite the occasional bad review.