How Moving Companies Can Handle Bad Yelp Reviews

As a relocation professional, you know that one bad online review is enough to damage your online reputation and send your company into the red. While no one ever wants to receive a negative online review on Yelp, Angie’s List, or MyMovingReviews, chances are that you’ll receive a few unfavorable reviews over the years. But, what’s the best way to handle customer complaints online (other than hope that they get lost in the dark corridors of Yelp)?

Think of your online reviews as your next opportunity to refine your business practices and deliver a higher level of service to your customers. In fact, bad online reviews are actually an invaluable asset for you to learn from your past mistakes, surpass your customers’ expectations, and drive even more traffic to your business. Read on for a number of ways to deal with common negative reviews.

The “Eh” Review

If your review looks something like this:

Not much to comment on with regard to the quality of Strong & Burly Moving. Don’t get me wrong – they got all my stuff from Point A to Point B, but it was definitely a “no frills” experience (one of my past movers gave me a housewarming gift when I moved into my new place, and I always thought it was a nice final touch). All in all, Strong & Burly Moving is definitely not the kind of company that’ll go above and beyond to make sure that you’re taken care of, but they did get get the job done.

We’ve all gotten it: the “eh” review – your customers will give you one or two stars and complain about your “average” level of service. Before you desperately try to right the wrong, stop to think about how you can improve your services for the next customer.

For starters, consider unique ways to raise the bar on your customer service delivery. Example – personalize the conversation with your customers by installing caller-ID at your call center so that your sales reps greet your customers by name every time they call in. Bonus tip: Schedule a check-in call after your customers have moved (Think: “Just calling to see how you’re settling in! How are the kids liking the new place?”). However small the gesture, it sends the message that your business cares about every customer’s experience.

The Damaged/Lost Furniture Review

If your review looks something like this:

How Strong & Burly Moving managed to move my baby grand piano to the second floor of my apartment flawlessly while SHATTERING my grandma’s glass vase (wrapped tightly in bubble wrap) is beyond me. The icing on the cake had to be when my dining room table showed up with NO LEGS or CHAIRS. Seriously, what kind of operation are they running?! Guess I should have taken the other reviews posted here more seriously, but count me in for another customer lost.

Admittedly, this kind of review will probably rank high on your list of worst reviews ever. A mover's worst nightmare is working with a moving company that loses or damages their stuff, so you’ll need to tread lightly with this one. While the damage is already done (literally and figuratively), your best bet is to respond proactively and transparently to the review.

Better yet, if you want to minimize the chances of something like this from happening in the future, it’s a good idea to try to track down which of your employees were involved in the move. As simple as it sounds, chatting about what happened will often reveal why the slip up occurred in the first place. It’ll better inform you what you can do as a manager to minimize confusion or damage – and then communicate that accordingly in your mover training.

The “I-Was-Misquoted” Review

If your review looks something like this:

I’m still trying to wrap my head around how I’m walking away from Strong & Burly Moving, literally paying 1k more than what I thought I would. Two weeks after I moved, I received a bill itemizing a $200 travel time fee, a $100 long carry fee, and $30 for the large moving boxes I used. The final blow was when they made me pay for their parking ticket. Talk about ridiculous!

Do yourself a favor, and offer binding estimates to your customers so they know just how much they’re going to be charged upfront (and if you don’t, describe the difference between a quote and a binding estimate). Better yet, if you’re going to charge extra for things like long carry fees, be transparent about your pricing from the get-go. Create a short pricing sheet that clearly delineates all of your extra fees and charges so that everyone’s on the same page.

Trust us, it’s not worth it to trick prospective customers with “too-good-to-be-true” pricing, only to have them pay much more in the long run. It’ll come to bite you in the foot come review time and make prospective customers distrust your company’s business practices even more.