In a recent article from Inc.com, I read how negative reviews can become a positive.
Turn those Bad Reviews into Good Customer Service
Here is what I see:
How many of you have ever applied for a job that you did not get? Did you receive a “So Sorry” letter? Did you make a phone call or email inquiry about why you didn’t get the job so that you might improve for the next similar interview?
Who has ever submitted a proposal to a client? Did you receive a note back to say “Sorry, but no thanks”? Did you find out the “why not” – price, timing, scope, etc.?
Negative reviews on social media to me are very similar to a turn down on a resume. The one exception here is that you know what you didn’t do well enough to meet that customers expectation.
Years ago, before the advent of the internet, when I was working retail, the company training program addressed good and poor customer service. If you treated a customer well, they may tell two people, if you treated them poorly, they may tell 10 people. Today, by posting a review on a site like Yelp, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon or Google Local, that poorly treated customer could tell thousands of people.
Use that negative review to find out how you can improve your service or product. So often, we just never see that customer or client again. They don’t give us the opportunity to improve or make things right…AND they tell all of their friends.
This brings up the next point that you need to be checking your profiles frequently. You may not know that someone has written something about your business if you aren’t using a particular tool. That is a great reason to have a Google Alert with your company name. Whatever you decide to do about answering the negative review, my advice is to limit your public comment to asking the person to reach out to you by phone or email so that you can rectify the issue. Do not ever have the conversation over social media! You won’t win. What you will win is allowing potential customers the chance to see that you want to address any customer concerns, they may discount the negative comment as just one bad experience out of a googob of great ones!
B2B vs B2C – Location Sites
As we near the end of this series of articles, our topic of this post is B2B vs B2C – Location Sites. This area of social marketing may not be 100% social media, but it is something that can play an important role in how our business is viewed and found!
The platforms that I consider is this category include Yelp, Foursquare, Google Places (now Google+ with a Local business designation), directory listings, and all of the map sites – Bing, Google, Yahoo, and Mapquest (yes it is still in existence).
Another consideration that may be included in this category is local or industry related sites. In construction for example, sites like Angie’s List, Houzz and Hometalk may be great sites for you. Do they have mini-web pages or business listings that could drive people through your door or to your website? One good example is my page on the Elgin Area Chamber website.
While you may not have a storefront location that is open to the public, you still want to put your location on the maps. Grab your real estate! Add any links that go back to your website or social media. If you offer promotions, add them to your profile. If images are included in the platform, upload your limit. Make sure that all sections of a profile are complete using as many keywords as you can. You may not want to pay for an upgraded listing in the directories like Yellow pages or Dex, but at least make sure that your listing is correct. AND check frequently in case someone has written a review on your business. Since you don’t deal directly with consumers, this will be unlikely, but an unanswered review can be bad for business.
Location sites are great for consumer based businesses. Reward people who “check-in” to your business. Use a contest format for people who write a review. Offer coupons and post images. Google Maps now offers an option of a 360 view of your establishment. Here is a link done by my friend and Google Certified photographer – Keith French. If you need one of these done for your Google Maps listing, tell Keith I sent you!!
The advantage in this situation goes to the B2C business. That does not mean you should not take advantage of the listings even if you don’t entertain customers at your offices.
Why | Blogs | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Video
Google | Image | Pinterest | Location Sites | E-news
I encourage my clients to create a place page on many of the popular “location based sites”. Yelp, Google Places, Foursquare and Bing or Yahoo Local are some of the more popular ones. Facebook allows check-ins if you have entered your business address in your profile.
By encouraging your walk-in customers to “check-in” you win. Not only is it a way to tally people that have been here, but the people to whom you are connected see that you are at a location and could decide to check the place out.
One thing about having a profile on some of the location sites is the fact that people can write a review. A bad thing is if someone has written a review about your business on a site like Yelp and you don’t see it because Yelp isn’t in your radar. What is even worse is if you aren’t monitoring sites like Yelp and the only review out there is a negative one. How do think that will affect your business?
This article from Crain’s Chicago Business offers suggestions about handling those negative reviews. Ultimately, no one wins if you engage in an on-line “argument”. I don’t suggest trying to remove the comments, but, instead offer to resolve any concerns by phone or “off-line”. By monitoring sites regularly, you will be able to address client concerns rapidly showing potential customers that you care and are responsive. Often, your loyal customers will come to your defense without you having to say a word.