Word of mouth used to be the main form a bad review took. Yet in today’s world, Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, TripAdvisor, and various similar sites make it easier than ever to blast a business for “poor service.”
Some believe social media gives consumers the upper hand. Whether you think that or not, as a business owner it’s important to take a positive rather than negative approach to the whole “review situation.” It’s much easier to offer outstanding customer service than it is to troll the Internet in an attempt to find negative reviews. Streamline your customer service experience so consumers use social media to praise your business because they want to.
Preferred Contact Method
Customer service is more important to business success than ever...so how can you ensure all or most of your online reviews are positive?
Let your customers know the best way to contact you when they have a complaint or other problem, such as via email, phone, or official Facebook page. You’ll get to resolve issues without getting shouted down on Yelp or Twitter.
Google 10 DominationMake a point of dominating your Google 10. Write blogs frequently, update social media on a regular basis, create videos, sponsor events—the more you control your brand name, the less likely any “bad stuff” will show up on Google’s first page. After all, you don’t want the first thing a customer sees following an organic search to be a review tearing your business to shreds!
Immediate Follow-UpFollow up with customers immediately after a sale to make certain there aren’t any complaints or issues.
Feedback CollectionTalk to customers at the register, hold focus groups, send out monthly questionnaires, and find other ways to collect feedback so you have a near-constant idea of how consumers feel about your business.
Site Complaint AreaCreate an official complaint area on your site. This makes it easy to resolve issues quickly, and also keeps customers from leaving your site to criticize you on social media.
Part of the ConversationBecome part of the conversation when you come across a negative review. Reply to the consumer and don’t stop communicating until he or she is satisfied with your resolution.
Tracking toolsUtilize tracking tools such as Hootsuite, Google Alerts, and Twitter Search to monitor what’s being said about your brand.
Bad to Worse
Don’t make the situation worse, whatever you do. The “apology letter” from Netflix’s CEO is a great example of going from “bad to worse.” In the same vein, don’t create fake accounts or fake reviews.
Remember, do everything you can to make your customers’ experiences amazing. They’ll be sure to thank you for it by showing serious loyalty to your brand.