Posts Tagged ‘customer reviews’

How dare you leave a negative customer reviewBusiness owners never make mistakes.  Customer service is always stellar and the employees are the best in the whole world.  Yep, and I have some beach front property here in Arizona for sale!

Businesses, for the most part, diligently work to provide the best customer service experience possible. Notice I said “for the most part”. Some days, no matter how good your intentions are, customers may have a less than pleasant experience. Maybe you just got off the phone with a supplier telling you the shipment you were promised for an urgent job today won’t be in for another week. Maybe half your staff called in sick so you’re stuck answering the phones, scheduling appointments, ordering supplies, and keeping the jobs running. So when a customer calls with their “frivolous” complaint, you sound less than sympathetic.

Today’s customers are empowered by the Internet. A satisfied customer will tell a few people about their positive interaction with your business. An unhappy customer, on the other hand, will tell everybody they know, plus they will Facebook it, tweet it, post a video on YouTube and find every reviews site they can to tell the world your business sucks. How you handle that negative review is critical to your reputation, both online and off.

The first step in the process is establishing a company policy for negative reviews. Will you answer them or ignore them? (I always recommend answering them.) Who is responsible for monitoring review sites? Who’s responsible for responding to customer reviews, good or bad?

Here are five steps you can take to help negate the impact of the poor review:

1. Keep an Online Vigil – You have no chance of turning a negative situation into a positive if you don’t know it’s there. If someone posts a bad review on your Facebook page and you don’t see it for a month, it’s too late. Use monitoring tools like Google alerts, Nutshell Mail or Social Mention.

2. Engage Brain Before Opening Mouth – Remember, your customer is emotional. They feel they’ve been wronged or cheated so it’s up to you to soothe those emotions.  The last thing you want is to respond with emotion. That’s a guaranteed grease fire waiting to happen.

3. Just The Facts M’aam – Read their review carefully, looking for the facts hidden behind the emotions. Who did they deal with? What are the specifics of their complaint? Talk to your employee that dealt with the customer. Remember, they will be responding with emotion as well so don’t make it an inquisition.  Step outside your owner/manager body and try to see the situation from the customers perspective.

4. Carefully Craft Your Response – Be apologetic and sincere in your answer. Defending your company’s actions will only fuel their arguments. Have someone else read over your response to make sure the tone is what it should be.  Does it sound condescending or sincere?  Does it sound like you’re calling them an idiot?

If possible, offer them a discount or some other concessions. Offer to discuss their issues off line and give them phone number where they can reach you (or someone in authority) easily. The last thing you want is for them to call and they get put on hold, get shuffled around the office or leave a message and don’t get a prompt callback.

5. Overshadow The Negatives – Negative reviews are inevitable.  And negative reviews don’t hurt if you have enough positive reviews to offset it. In fact a negative review when mixed in with several positive reviews shows that your reviews are genuine.  Be proactive and encourage your good customers to write reviews in places like Google + Local, Facebook, Yelp and some of the other local customer review sites.  Then when a prospective customer looks at the reviews, they will see that one negative among the dozens of positive reviews as a flake,   “You know you can’t please everyone”.

Ultimately, there’s going to be that one customer that you just can’t satisfy (or shut up). Remember though, this conversation is not taking place behind closed doors. There are hundreds, potentially thousands, of prospective customers watching. And those are the ones you’re after. When they see you trying your best to correct a bad experience, they feel reassured that, if they do business with you, you will bring the same level of customer satisfaction to them.

How do you handle those irate customer reviews?

Gary Wagnon is the owner of 800biz Ninja Marketing Strategies and the Ninja Marketing Dojo, a program designed to help businesses master all aspects of online marketing.  The goal of the Ninja Marketing Dojo is to improve search engine rankings, increase web site traffic and convert more browsers into buyers.

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28
Jun

Who do you think you are?

   Posted by: Gary Wagnon    in Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Who do you think you are? Or better still who do your clients, customers or prospects think you are? In our interconnected world your reputation, your profile and what your customers are saying are only a few clicks away. So are you moderating what people are saying about you?

When would you call to set up an appointment with someone you just met, what do you think their first order of business is going to be? They’re going Google you, Facebook you, look you up a Linkedin, look for you on YouTube. Maybe they search Yelp, Manta, Merchant Circle or any of a dozen other local business review sites. Do you know what they’ll find? If not you should.

To be safe, be proactive. It starts with completing your profile online. A Google profile, a Linkedin profile, even a Facebook account. Next, as business people, we need to guard our profiles with extreme caution. What happens on the web stays on the web, FOREVER.

With all the tools that are available online today, there is no reason for you not to know what others are saying. We all know that if we do something right or special for a customer they will tell a few people. But if we make a mistake or do something they don’t think was fair, they will tell every one they see. And post it on Facebook, Twitter, local community sites and maybe even make a YouTube video. If that’s the only review out there, how does that make you look? To safeguard against that, cultivate your own reviews. Ask your customers and clients to write a review on your Google places page, on your Yelp page, or on Facebook. Carry a video camera and ask your good customers record their testimonials. Now one bad review among the dozens of glowing reviews has little damaging effect.

Set up Google alerts on your name or your companies name to know when someone’s talking about you and what they say. Set up TweetDeck or SocialMention to find out who’s mentioning you on Twitter and the other social media. If you see a problem, address it immediately. Don’t wait.

Guard your online persona with the same vigilance you would your home, your business and your family.

Gary Wagnon is the master Ninja traffic generator for 800biz Online Marketing Solutions. Using a combination of action-centered web site design and the latest search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, combined with efficient and effective use of social media, 800biz creates an online presence that helps it’s clients stand out above the competitors and drive more traffic through the door.

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