Bad commercial cleaning reviews can be one of your best marketing tools – if you handle them well. 

No one sets out with the hope of getting bad commercial cleaning reviews. They can be disheartening. They can make you angry, especially if you don’t feel like they’re fair. And if you don’t have many reviews to begin with, it only takes one or two bad ones to bring your rating way down. 

It’s understandable if your instinct is to write back and point out how wrong the review is and how that customer’s behavior was inappropriate. After all, you’re trying to protect your business reputation. Generally, though, that’s a bad idea. 

And yes, we’ve all seen those viral responses where some restaurant owner responds to a rude customer and calls them out for treating waitstaff poorly and not understanding how to behave in public. While that may feel satisfying, it’s a risk. The business could solidify a poor reputation if the public sides with the reviewer. 

What’s a commercial cleaning business to do? Should you even reply to bad commercial cleaning reviews? Let’s explore your options.

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Commercial Cleaning Reviews

How to turn bad commercial cleaning reviews into new customers

One thing that’s important to understand is that you need as many good commercial cleaning reviews as you can get. Two or three bad reviews don’t stand out so much if you have 100 five-star reviews. But those same two or three bad reviews can be bright red warning flags to potential customers if you only have just 10 other reviews. 

So the very first thing you need to do, even before any bad commercial cleaning reviews appear, is get positive reviews. Don’t just hope for them, either. You have to be proactive and ask your satisfied customers to write a review

And you need to respond to them. Every time you get a positive review on Google or Yelp, or any other review site, take a minute to respond. It could be as simple as, “Thank you. We appreciate your support.” The point is that you’re establishing the fact that you care about customer satisfaction. So when a bad review comes along, you already have a history of responses. 

Of course, to get those reviews, you need to offer high-quality service. Everything from your bidding process to your inspections should be impeccable. From your customer’s point of view, you have a reliable, hard-working team that does the job right every time. And the results are undebatable.   

So far, so good. Right? Stock up on good commercial cleaning reviews, and the bad ones won’t impact you too much. Except, you can’t ignore bad reviews. 

The truth is, no matter what we do, there will always be a bad review in there. It could be that someone thought you charged too much or didn’t like the color of your uniforms. Or maybe they have legitimate concerns, like your team spilled cleaning chemicals and didn’t resolve the problem correctly.     

When you come across a bad commercial cleaning review, don’t respond right away. Give yourself some time to process the review. Is it truly bad? Is it something entirely made up that people will see right through? Or maybe you or your team messed up, and the reviewer has every reason to give you a poor rating. The reason, at this point, doesn’t matter. Go for a walk, talk to a friend, and think about the review. 

When you respond, put on your best customer service hat. Be empathetic and concerned about their experience. Even if the review is entirely off base, you’re still the business person here. Depending on the situation, start by thanking them for the feedback or bringing the issue to your attention. Then apologize. Again, even if the problem isn’t your fault, people reading these reviews and your responses want to see that you’re at least capable of trying to work through an issue. 

Hi Jeff. 

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. I’m sorry our services didn’t meet your expectations. 

If the review is about something you have control over, you can attempt to resolve the situation. 

I’d like to make this right. Please call me and let’s talk about how we can provide you with a better experience. 

A response like this accomplishes several things: First, you’re addressing the specific complaint and trying to correct an issue with a customer. Secondly, when other potential customers see this, it reassures them that you genuinely do care about the quality of your work and how your customers feel. 

What about commercial cleaning reviews that rate you poorly on items you don’t have control over? You can try an explanation. For instance, if it’s a review complaining about your rates: 

Hi Jeff. 

Thank you for your feedback. I’m sorry our services didn’t meet your expectations. We charge a premium rate because we pay our teams higher wages than any other commercial cleaning company in the area. We also offer them health insurance and sick time. In return, we hope to provide our customers with the best possible experience and excellent quality. I’d be happy to discuss this more with you if you’d like to give me a call. 

Similar to the other response, you’re acknowledging and responding to the reviewer, but you’re also letting other people know that you charge higher rates for a specific reason. There are plenty of people who are willing to pay more, knowing a company is looking out for its employees. 

What about the bad commercial cleaning reviews that are specifically about your quality? And what if you get several of them? You can reply similarly to the first example above, but you’ll need to do more than reply. 

Multiple bad reviews may very well indicate that something isn’t working and your quality is slipping. So, in addition to responding to the reviewer, it’s essential to explore what’s happening with your team. 

Bad reviews aren’t the end of your business. Some can even offer you insight into ways you can improve. Just be sure when you respond to them that you stay calm and remember that other potential customers will read your response. 

Harness the value of Janitorial Manager to grow your business like never before. Learn more today with a free discovery call and find out how to make your cleaning business more efficient and more profitable!