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  1. Hi TIJ Readers, My favorite articles to write are ones that directly stem from home inspectors' questions. This is one of those articles. An inspector asked us how to approach negative reviews without increasing his liability. Here's our answer. Enjoy! Stephanie P.S. Have a topic you'd like us to write about? Let us know in the comments. How to respond to negative reviews against your home inspection business Online reviews matter. But just how can reviews affect your home inspection business? A 2017 survey by Podium revealed that reviews impact 93 percent of consumers' purchasing decisions. According to the Harvard Business School, a one-star increase in Yelp ratings leads to a five to nine percent increase in that business' revenue. The 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Reviews Survey found that 94 percent of consumers choose to avoid a business based on a negative online review. The bottom line? Online customer reviews can directly impact your success. Which led one of our readers to ask us this question: At InspectorPro, we know a thing or two about receiving negative reviews from people that aren't clients. Receiving negative reviews, especially from non-clients, can be frustrating and disconcerting. The good news? Your response to reviews can make a difference. In a recent study, the Harvard Business Review found that replying to customer reviews, positive or negative, results in better ratings. Software company Vendasta listed three reasons why responding to unpleasant reviews is beneficial in a recent blog post: In this article, we discuss how to respond to negative online reviews to defend your reputation and discourage potential claims. Investigate the allegations internally. Before responding, look into what the reviewer is saying. See if they are a client of yours or otherwise related to an inspection you performed (i.e. seller, real estate agent). Then, examine how their claims match up to your recollection of the inspection and your report. If you weren't the one who performed the inspection, take time to discuss the review with the inspector that did to make sure you have all the facts. Evaluating the feedback first also gives you the opportunity to put your emotions in check. Reacting defensively could inspire your negative reviewer to escalate. Worse still, if your upset reviewer is particularly angry or petty, they might seek to get a bigger reaction from you by spreading their unfavorable assessment across online platforms. [READ MORE]
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