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Creating Something Positive Out of Negative Testimonials

June 29 2011

A post from the ReachFactor blog.

As we’ve mentioned in past articles, testimonials are a good way (but not the only waybut not the only way) to create an after-sale line of communication with your clients. Giving them the opportunity to comment shows them that you appreciated their business, care about their opinion and want to improve your skills and service. Overall, it’s a good first step in solidifying your long-term client relationships.

In the last few months we’ve featured Realtor profiles of some active ReachFactor agents with multiple positive reviews. One example is Eugene MillsEugene Mills, who shared with us that gathering testimonialsgathering testimonials is part of his closing process. Most Realtors probably feel that they don’t have the time to add another step to an already involved process. Also, considering that a home sale can often be an emotional event for people, some professionals might not want to open themselves up to negative feedback from an unhappy client.

This week we talked to ReachFactor member, Robert Diamond, who practices in the East Troy, WI area, and whose verified 5-star reviews say that he’s:

“Personal, prompt service, good follow-up via phone and email. A thorough and friendly person to deal with.”

“A fine and trustworthy agent… "

“Very helpful. He even helped my mom scrape and paint the interior of the house I was buying while I was at work. It needed to be done before I could proceed on the purchase.”

But what happens at the end of a sale when you receive a negative testimonial, especially if nothing could have been done in that situation to satisfy the unhappy buyer or seller? Robert says it has only happened to him twice in his career, and both times he followed the same procedure, which would work for just about any realtor who’s gathering testimonials and real estate agent reviewsreal estate agent reviews to market themselves online.


Responding to Negative Reviews

1. Read through the testimonial carefully
2. Share the review with your manager or business partner to determine what, if anything, could be learned from it*
3. If constructive criticism can be gleaned from the testimonial, make adjustments and move on.

*Mr. Diamond points out that “negative” feedback is a different thing entirely from “constructive” feedback, which might not be a glowing, positive review but at least offers some tidbits to help an agent make adjustments and improvements to ensure as many flawless transactions down the road as possible.

So, don’t be afraid of seeking client testimony. Taking the above approach will ensure that no matter what comes of it, something positive will result.

Agents confront a world that is (at times) skeptical or confused about what value an agent brings to the table in a real estate transaction. ReachFactor is a 3rd party service that thousands of real estate agents use to conduct client surveys, collect feedback, and improve service levels.

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