This week I went searching the web for a local photographer that a friend said was great at sports photography. I wanted to see his website and my friend didn’t have his phone number, so I figured I could get it from his website. I couldn’t find him. So then I started to think, maybe this guy is so good that he doesn’t need to advertise or he isn’t that great and I don’t know if I want to waste more time trying to find him. I called another business that recently had worked with him and they had his website and phone number.
Do you think he had any idea how much business he is losing? That was way too much effort to try to reach him. Once I found his website, I was able to see he had nice photos and he would be a good connection for my client.
I called him, just to find out why he was hard to find on the web. Was he so good he didn’t need business or was fear leading his marketing team? The answer is one that comes up a lot. “I hear at the classes I go to at conventions that it’s just a waste of time, it’s almost impossible to get near the top in SEO and what if I get a bad review?”
Let me answer that for you. SO WHAT, DEAL WITH IT! and here is why.
#1 You are losing more business from being hard to locate on the web than you can imagine.
#2 People are smarter than you think. A bad review is not the death of you, it can be handled and used as a tool.
#3 You have been given bad information from people that are not professionals in SEO. I will tell you a findable presence on the web is better than none.
Here are the top recommended ways to deal with reviews.
#1 Encourage Positive Reviews – if you are worried about negative reviews, start NOW asking clients for positive reviews every chance you get. That is the best way to be proactive. People can review your business and place you in most major review sites without your participation. Keep in mind that they don’t usually do it because they are happy. Be proactive.
#2 Join the Conversation – If someone leaves you a bad review you need to respond quickly in a very professional manner and address their statement.
Do not take the comments personally and respond with great emotion like this. Here is part of an example. “All in all it seems like you are real unhappy person with poor time management skills
that is on the computer slandering small businesses on…”
State you are sorry to hear they feel that way. Understand the personality profile of someone who could leave a negative review, they want to be heard.
Let them know as a company you value your relationship with customers.
If you have made a mistake, own it and explain why and what you are doing to correct it.
You can offer to make it up to the customer either in the comment you are writing or by sending a message directly to them (if you can).
If you have not made a mistake and this is a person who honestly just feels this way, keep it short and sweet and point out how your business handles situations and something must have gone wrong for them to have had that experience.
#3 Contact the review site to see if there is anything they can do to assist you.
Example – if you can prove your competition is leaving the bad reviews, you can have those removed typically. Not always on Facebook.
#4 Develop a strategic for dealing with Threats.
This is very rare. There are people out there who will use “bad review extortion” to have you do things for free for them.
Know what you are willing to do to mitigate that situation.
Google this if you want to know more about how to handle it. There are some legal actions and ways to avoid this.
#5 Use google alerts to monitor you and your business. It will help you know when someone has posted reviews and any mentions on the internet.
If you are running a good company and customer service matters to you then you are going to have more good reviews than bad. Stop avoiding and pretending like it is not happening and get engaged. One of the simplest things you can do is ask for good reviews from happy customers. They will be more than happy to support you on the web and to let others know about their experience.
All the Best, JoyGenea
PS- also read a couple of stories about people that left negative reviews and were charged by the review site to have them removed. Think twice about where you leave a bad review.
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