4. Avoid future issues too
Being proactive about soliciting feedback from clients can minimise the risk of receiving a negative review in the future. Jennifer Coates, lead designer at the award-winning architectural and interior design studio JL Coates Design, sends her clients a survey at the end of each project phase. “Since there are many different parts to the project, we want to get feedback for each phase of the job,” she says. Coates values her clients’ feedback and uses it to prepare better and prevent any issues going forward — keeping clients happy and the company’s sterling reputation intact.
Contractor and designer Taghi Shaw, of Waze Development, knows the importance of maintaining a good name in this industry. “Your reputation is everything,” Shaw says. To ensure he’s always managing his clients’ expectations, Taghi sends them pictures of his construction progress. “I always communicate via text with my clients,” he says. “I’ll send them updates as we’re going along just to make sure, and ask, ‘Are you happy with this? Is there anything we need to change?’ I think that kind of communication is important so that your clients don’t get to the finish line and they look at it and say, ‘That's not what I thought it would turn out to be.’" This strategy helps keep Shaw in good standing with both current and future clients.
Designer Ginger Curtis, of Urbanology Designs, sums up the ideal approach to addressing negative reviews: “When dealing with a bad review, it’s important to validate the concerns of the client. Contact them and let them know it is of utmost importance to you that they feel understood and that you want to address their concerns in a manner that fully satisfies them and is fair for all involved,” she advises. “Always remember: You don’t have to be right, you just have to get it right! Getting it right means letting go of your pride and addressing client concerns or a bad review with the goal of them being totally satisfied and removing the review.”
Received a Bad Review? Here’s How to Turn It Around — Part 1