Posts

A Lesson In Reputation Management

This has to be one of the more creative ways to leverage a negative slanted social media post in your favor.  What Smart USA did was nothing short of brilliant.

What makes this such a great teaching tool, though, isn’t what they received as a result of how they handled the Tweet.  It’s about the very fact that they found the post in the first place.  It’s about…

Social Listening and Reputation Management

If you look at the Tweet that started the poop flying…

Saw a bird had crapped on a Smart Car. Totaled it. Why social listening tools are vital to your reputation management strategy.

Smart Car USA was never mentioned. That meant no notification from Twitter.  (If the Tweet was about your brand, would you have caught it?)  Smart Car USA was clearly using social listening tools like Mention (my favorite) or Google Alerts (not really a fan anymore) to monitor for brand mentions and keywords (in this case Smart Car). Reputation management is about maintaining your brand image. That doesn’t happen if you don’t know what others are saying and where and when they’re saying it.

Smart Car USA’s response was possible only as a direct result of social listening. While this post wasn’t an outright negative about the brand or business, it did play on a stereotype with negative connotations.  It could have easily been a direct attack and something that needed a response.

Brand reputation management is critical for even the smallest brands and solopreneurs. It can take a single negative post left unanswered to undo years of reputation building. 

A well thought out response in a timely manner can minimize the damage, or completely spin it in your favor. (I have seen and helped clients handle posts questioning their integrity, quality of their service and levels of competence – one initial poster not only thanking the client in the end for a job well done, but baking cookies for the staff!)

Make the time to develop a good reputation management strategy (and don’t forget about online reviews).  If you’re not sure what to monitor or what tools you should be using, ask me!

If you’re not listening, you have no idea what you’re missing – and it can hurt you.

Content Monitoring vs Brand Monitoring

A few weeks back I published an article on LinkedIn (updated here last week) asking people to stop monitoring for brand mentions.  Clearly, I don’t want you to stop.  You need to pay attention to what others are saying about you, when they’re saying it and where.  More importantly, you need to be aware that conversations are taking place about you and your brand yet many of them never mention your name.  Brand monitoring is only one aspect of your brand reputation management efforts.  If you aren’t monitoring for content mentions, you’re missing a critical component.

In my LinkedIn post, I pointed out the need for monitoring your content as a tool to catch theft and plagiarism.  I routinely monitor for phrases, keywords and article titles as well as my name, ‘Tactical Social Media’ and my branded hashtag #BeTactical. As a result, I caught an outright case of unauthorized use of my content and was able to take down the blog post and shares on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.  Since neither I nor my brand was mentioned in the post, content monitoring was the ONLY way I could have found it.

Content monitoring goes a step further, however than just catching theft.

Why You Should Be Monitoring For Content in Social Media

Content Monitoring – Insights and Opportunities

Insights:  If you’re content monitoring, you gain valuable insights into what content is being shared. Content monitoring, combined with Google Analytics and social sharing metrics, provides a very clear picture of what content is best received, where it’s shared from (I contribute to a number of sites), where it’s being shared to, what’s driving viewers back and what other’s are saying about it.

With content monitoring, I know exactly what content to write on for future articles (though I still like to write as much on what I feel is important), what points to explore further and even if I need to rethink some of my ideas.  Insights gained help me tailor what I write based on the audience of a particular site or social channel.

Opportunities:  As I said earlier, not everyone will mention or tag you or your brand when sharing your articles.  Content monitoring prevents lost opportunities.  The fact that someone is shared your content is important.  They read it and liked what you had to say enough to pass it into their audience.  You want to leverage that fact.  You already have their attention.  You want to keep it. One of the best ways to do that is simply acknowledging them.  That’s hard to do if you don’t know they’ve shared or interacted with it in the first place.

While I would have caught shares of my article this morning even if I wasn’t content monitoring.  (It did hit for my brand as well as the blog title (‘Leveraging Facebook Authorship‘), the only reason for that happening was due to an anomaly.  For this article, I included the brand name as part of the title for SEO purposes.  I normally do not as character length is limited.  What I would have lost missing this?

My article was initially shared twice on Twitter, once by Jose Javier Garde and once by Personal Branding, then reshared 5 more times.   In the end, the first share by Jose Javier Garde was favorited 12 times and ReTweeted 6 times.  That’s great exposure for my content.

#BeTactical: Start content monitoring! Not everyone will mention or tag you when sharing content.

I was able to favorite each of the initial shares and Tweet out a couple of ‘thank yous’.  While not saying ‘thank you’ isn’t necessarily being unsocial or unappreciative – the fact is most don’t – doing so makes you stand out.  Jose knows I appreciated his sharing my content.  That makes him more likely to follow my blog, get on my mailing list, follow my social profiles and share my content in the future.  That’s a huge relationship building opportunity as well as future visibility.

That simple thank you to Jose, however, actually generated some great exposure of its own.  It was favorited 9 times and ReTweeted 4 times!  Content monitoring generated some phenomenal visibility and huge relationship building opportunities.

#BeTactical: Start content monitoring! Not everyone will mention or tag you when sharing content. Without content monitoring, you'll miss valuable opportunities.

The Take-Away

In this case, and in several others I catch daily, while there is a huge upside to knowing my content had been reshared, not knowing wouldn’t have hurt me…at least financially. But what if the content shared was preceded by something negative? What if someone had tweeted a link to my content and stated the ‘author clearly doesn’t get social media’?

While I firmly believe you should respond to all interactions on your content (if they took the time to interact, the least you can do is acknowledge it), not responding to negative posts/reviews leaves your reputation at risk.

If you’re not content monitoring, why not?  

 

Too Focused On Brand Mentions?

We’re so consumed with monitoring for brand mentions we forget it to focus on the bigger picture.

Monitoring your brand for mentions is important.  Your brand reputation depends on it.  You need to know what others are saying about you and you need to know when others are saying it.  It’s not just about catching comments or posts in a timely manner.  It’s more than just being available for customer service.

One major area often overlooked – monitoring for unauthorized uses of your images and content.

Are You Content Monitoring?

I monitor for brand mentions and content in a number of ways so, when an article I wrote for Social Media Today on the April 2015 Facebook algorithm change went viral a few months back, I caught an outright case of theft very quickly.  Someone had plagiarized my article in its entirety and posted it to their blog giving credit to the site’s owner for writing it!

Of course their website wasn’t the only place it appeared.  I found links on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.  It was actually Google+ where I first found it and traced it back to the source.

It took me heading to social media to get the ‘author’ and business to remove links (on Twitter and Google+) to it.  A few posts and discussions resulted in a quick removal of the posts and the original on the web.  I’ve seen several issues like this get messy, but I’d been through this before, knew how to handle it publicly (those posts and discussions of mine were carefully worded) and I had some additional leverage if needed.

Facebook was a different story.  For all of the grief Facebook receives from business owners, one area they win big – protecting copyrights and trademarks.  Simply head to their IP Help Center.  The quick link to their reporting form – file a copyright or trademark violation on Facebook.

How well does Facebook handle copyright and trademark infringement issues? I filled out the form and within an hour had the automated email response below.

For all of the grief Facebook receives from business owners, one area they win big - protecting copyrights and trademarks. Simply head to their IP Help Center. The quick to their reporting form - file a copyright or trademark violation on Facebook. Brand reputation management; Content monitoring & brand mentions @RNissenbaum, Tactical Social Media

It took less than 24 hours to remove the content.  Kudos to Facebook.  I mentioned I’d been through this before so I’ll add I was previously able to remove entire pages and groups for trademark violations.

Facebook copyright and trademarket infringement report follow up letting us know within 24 hours the content was removed! Brand reputation management; Content monitoring & brand mentions @RNissenbaum, Tactical Social Media

No, I don’t want you to stop monitoring for brand mentions.  I want you to start content monitoring as well.

If you’ve had your own experiences, I’d love to hear them.

Are You Leaving That Positive Review to Chance?

#BeTactical: Having a number of positive reviews won’t prevent a negative one, but it will minimize their impact.  

In The Negative Review Reaction we suggested requesting a positive review from satisfied customers and clients.

#BeTactical: The Positive Review Request: Are you asking your customers to leave positive reviews?

When we work with a client on reputation management we always perform a simple evaluation.  We’re looking for two things: reviews received and responses.  Both tell us plenty. The latter – We look to see IF you responded and HOW you responded.  EVERY review needs to be addressed.  Negative ones to work toward a resolution (again, see The Negative Review Reaction) and for positive reviews – if your client took the time to write one, the least you can do is take the time to acknowledge it!  The former – if you’re not getting reviews, you’re missing an important reputation building and marketing piece.

#BeTactical: EVERY review received requires a response. Negative ones to resolve, positive reviews to acknowledge & say ‘Thank You’.   

Most business owners understand they need to ask for reviews and do ask for them.  The issue for many – even though they ask they do not receive them.  Why?  It’s comes down to HOW they ask.

Asking For That Positive Review

While many will take it upon themselves to write reviews after a purchase, people are more apt to write negative ones before positive ones.

Why you need to ask for a positive review: Americans tell an average of 9 people about good experiences, and tell 16 (nearly two times more) people about poor experiences.

So how do you get those positive reviews?

  • Make it easy.  This is a big one.  It’s another reason you need to ask more than once, especially if the first time is as they’re leaving your store.  Assuming they remember to write the review, they now have to ‘work’; get online, find your site, figure out where to leave the review and still write it.  We’re sure at one point or another you’ve had the best intentions to express your love for that awesome shop then realize you had no desire to go ‘through the trouble’ of doing it.
    • Send that follow-up email with links to a few of your reviews sites.  Just be sure to embed the link.  Long URL strings, even shortened ones in our opinion, just look unprofessional.
    • Add a QR code or two on the customer’s receipt or the follow-up card.
    • Excellent use of a QR code on a purchase receipt asking for a positive review; #BeTactical
    • Add written directions to walk your client through placing the review.

#BeTactical: The Positive Reviews Request - South Tacoma Honda does a great job using this postcard. They ask for reviews, provide choices and directions; Tactical Social Media in the Greater Seattle Area

  • Provide Options.  This is up there with making it easy.  Some love Yelp and use it to find everything.  Others prefer Google.  If you ask for a recommendation on Yelp and your client doesn’t use it, chances are you won’t get their review.  Providing choices means a greater likelihood your receive reviews.  It also increases the odds reviews will be spread out across several sites.  While five positive reviews on Facebook would be great, someone searching for you on Google or Yelp won’t see them.  Better to spread the wealth.
  • Ask more than once and in more than one way.  It’s great that you asked for the review at the end of the sale, even before the customer left your shop (and you’d better be doing this!) but you know as well as I do that by the time your client got home, they’ve forgotten!  They had stops to make, dinner to prepare – something came up and they just plain forgot.  Been there, done that!
    • Send a follow-up email.  Make it sincere, make it personal.  Provide some helpful advice if appropriate and offer your support if it should ever be need.  Add your request for their review with links.    Make sure the email is timed properly.  Too soon can be seen as annoying and waiting too long means the client may be too far removed from the buying experience.
    • Send a personalized card using snail mail.  Emails get overlooked and deleted.  A card has several advantages.  It’s personal.  It takes time to address, write and mail a card.  It gets noticed.  These days a thank you card is unique.  When was the last time you received one?  It’s tangible.  People have a much harder time ‘deleting’ something physical.  Done right, cards get noticed AND saved!

Author’s note:  I’ll always recommend sending handwritten thank you notes.  Services like Send Out Cards are great for bulk campaigns – holiday cards and routine follow ups – and even for individual cards to stay connected, but they’re still computer generated.   While they can be personalized with respect to content and signatures, a hand addressed and stamped envelope carries more ‘punch’ and less likely to be mistaken for junk mail.  For that initial ‘Thank you’, take the time to build / grow that relationship.

One final note.  We highly recommend against using any site for syndicating reviews.  We were approached about this practice recently as a way to get review visible on several sites when the reviewer only writes one.  While tempting, we find the practice unethical.  The reviewer didn’t chose to add their comment on those sites and re-posting without permission is not a good practice.  From a consumer standpoint, if we do some research and read reviews on several sites having duplicate copy, it will come across as spam, not an authentic review.  Beyond this, syndication is duplication of content.  It will catch Google’s eye and your site is likely to take a big SEO hit.

The Takeaway

#BeTactical: Ask for reviews more than once, provide choices & make it easy to leave them.  Have a plan in place to monitor for reviews, responding when they’re received. 

Your Turn

Are you leaving positive reviews to chance?  Do you have a plan to request them?

I’d love your hear your thoughts.  You can comment below or you can find this discussion and comment on Google+Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!

If you need help creating a plan to request positive reviews, monitoring for online reviews, or how to respond to reviews,  contact us today to schedule a consultation.  If you’re in the Tacoma or South Sound Area, we’d love to buy you a good cup of coffee.

If you like what you’ve read, share it and get yourself on our mailing list for more valuable content.

Customer Service Via Social Media

We came across a very good article by +Brandwatch on this very topic we wanted to share (and highly recommend you give it a read:

How to Provide Great Customer Service Via Social Media

#BeTactical: Why you need and how to to provide great customer service via social mediaWhy you should be offering social care

Response time expectations:  Customers want answers right.   They don’t want to wait 24 hours for their email to be read.  Nor do they want to wait on hold for 30 minutes.  Social Media has the ability to provide real-time and faster response rates.

Like it or not, people talk about you:  It’s where your customers are mentioning you and discussing, complimenting or criticizing your brand.  They’ll also likely attempt to contact you through social sites which leads to……

Avoid unpleasant actions:  “….most customers (74%) believe that if they take to social media to criticize a brand, this leads to better customer service.”

#BeTactical: Your customers are using social sites for customer service.  Shouldn’t you be there to address those comments?

Loyal customers spend more:  “But just as social media gives dissatisfied customers a bigger voice, so too does it give retailers an opportunity to not just diminish problems, but turn a disgruntled customer into an even more loyal one.”

A perfect, real world example of this can be found in the article by Robert Nissenbaum on Social Media Today: Handling the Negative Social Media Post

Best practices for great customer service via social media

Humanize your brand:  Great point.  “….the key to delivering great customer service on social media is to be speedy, personal and empathetic in your response.”

Respond in a timely manner:  This goes back customer response time expectations mentioned above.  Failing to respond quickly means more negative publicity and a more irate customer.  At the very least, delayed responses mean less chance of turning that negative review into a positive result.

#BeTactical: Have a monitoring plan in place to catch mentions and reviews as they occur.*

Choose the right avenue of communication:  #BeTactical: Addressing customer service via social media is great as a tool for others to see how you  issues when they arise but…. “there are occasions where a conversation should remain private.”  You need to know when the conversation should remain or be shifted off social sites.

This also involves knowing WHEN to shift the avenue of communication.  Nothing is worse than making a bad situation worse and doing so publicly.   For the real world example in the article on Social Media today, the customer was addressed on her public post, handled privately (via the polite request to call her), then resumed publicly for the thank you.

Respond appropriately:  How you respond (and you should respond to EVERY mention and review good or bad) can say more about your brand than the initial posting.

*Set up alerts, listen and speak their language:  If responding timely is critical to handle customer service issues on social sites, you MUST have a monitoring plan in place.  Without it you may never realize you have an issue or could far too late to help.  Failure to acknowledge the issue at all further creates a bigger issue – not only didn’t you resolve the problem, you didn’t care to respond to it.

Make helpful suggestions & point back to your brand:  We love this!!

  • “If you can’t provide a 24 hour customer service, make sure your social media profiles state your operating hours clearly.
  • List your company’s other contact channels and link back to the different social accounts for different regions where possible.
  • Where possible and relevant, you can also include links to your website, research and other content to provide more detailed information.”

Social media channels offer small businesses a means to gain exposure they simply couldn’t afford through traditional avenues.  It’s the customer service role social media plays, however, that may just be the best source of ROI.  From providing support to resolving issues creating happy, loyal customers to just being available when needed, social care can have a significant impact in the bottom line.

Your Turn

Are you handling your customer service via social media?  Have you found it effective?  Do you have a monitoring plan in place to keep up with mentions and posted reviews?

I’d love your hear your thoughts.  You can comment below or you can find this discussion and comment on Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!

If you like what you’ve read, share it and get yourself on our mailing list for more valuable content.

If you don’t have a monitoring plan in place,  aren’t monitoring your customer service via social media or if you need help crafting responses to issues, we need to talk.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation.  If you’re in the Greater Seattle or South Sound Areas, we’d love to buy you a good cup of coffee.

Protecting Your Brand’s Reputation

Before you ReTweet, repin or share that content – READ IT!

We should all aware by now that what we post online, especially public content, will live forever.  What you post can have profound, long-term effects on your brand reputation.  Even a single post, tweet or comment can take on a life of its own.

Where am I going with this?

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]While it’s generally sunk in that we need to be careful WHAT we post, it seems that isn’t necessarily the case with what we REPOST. [/perfectpullquote]

 

TBefore you ReTweet, repin or share that content – READ IT!  We should all aware by now that what we post online, especially public content, will live forever.  What you post can have profound, long term effects on your brand reputation.

I was dumbfounded recently when I read an article that was heavily repinned and RT’d.  The content discussed how to drive more reach for your Facebook Fan Page and ultimately your website or blog.  Catchy headline, catchy image.  The issue was the actual content.  The author was advocating click baiting – something in itself I find unethical – but more importantly, something Facebook discussed in August: ‘Facebook is announcing the pursuit and war against attempts to entice clicks through headlines that are misleading.’


I couldn’t believe so many people were sharing content that would actually HURT others in their social media efforts and was exactly what Facebook was working to stop!  Regardless of why the content was shared, it was obvious it wasn’t read first (though I will concede that some share may have been from those that did read it and agreed with the Black Hat practice).

 

Since our brand reputation is affected by what we post, both our own and curated content, it’s imperative that we read everything we intend to put our name and stamp of approval on, even if that takes time, regardless of the source.

 

When discussing this topic with a colleague it was mentioned that content from a trusted source may need less scrutiny and maybe none.  It may be true that the source may will be far less likely to share or post such content, even the experts make mistakes.

 

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#123517″ class=”” size=””]It’s not just about whether the content is true, the link legit or the image authentic, it’s as much about what is said.[/perfectpullquote]

 

Sharing great content (even from a trusted source) doesn’t mean your brand reputation won’t come under fire.  Sharing content counter to your beliefs, what you advocate, what your followers / fan base expect can be just as damaging.  I have generally have no desire to share the content of even the best known / trusted social media or marketing experts (or experts in any field) if I do not agree with their position.  Would you give someone who’s views are counter to yours access to your audience?  Unless you’re looking for a debate, no.  Yet sharing their content on your social media profiles is doing just that.

 

Four Simple Takeaways:

 

  • Read first, then share, regardless of the source (& do it every time).

 

  • Don’t Share, re-post or ReTweet without following all links.

 

  • Don’t repin without tracing the image back to its source.

 

  • If you’re unsure of the content or it’s source – DON’T SHARE IT!

 

It may take longer, but a few minutes now can save your brand reputation (and the time to repair it later).

 

Guilty Of A Gut Reaction To A Negative Review?

I’m going out on a ledge here, even willing to stand on the edge on one foot to say; every business makes a mistake once in a while. From minor to major offense, from customers to ex-friends and family, you might have some bad reviews out there.  The point is, like it or not, either you have them or you will.

Once you accept that, as I’d hope once you decided to hang out the shingle you knew you would, you can move on from worrying less about how  receiving a negative review  and focus on how to minimize the chances of getting on and to how to deal with a negative review when it happens.  It’s all about brand reputation management (related article: The Brand Reputation Discreditation).

The Negative Review Reaction: How to handle a negative review and protect your brand's reputation, Brand Reputation Management

Handling The Negative Review – The Wrong Way

The usual responses I’ve heard from business owners (not to mention countless blog posts) on how to deal with negative reviews (including posts and comments) are either to bury it or to delete it.  The idea being that apparently if they’re not seen, they’re not really there.  Neither is a professional approach to managing your reputation.

Bury It

Reviews left on Google, Yelp, Angie’s List (and no, I am NOT a fan of Angie’s List) as well as other sites there leave no option to remove the post, The ‘Bury It’ approach seems sound.  You usually don’t want that negative review at the top when potential clients are looking for your product or services.  While it may be one in a handful of good reviews, if it’s the most recent, it could mean trouble.

When looking at a restaurant last week to grab a bite for dinner I didn’t focus on the rating but rather the reviews.  A 4-5 star rating means nothing if all of the positive reviews are years old and the few bad ones are weeks old, the rating is somewhat pointless.  I can expect to experience the service pointed out in the recent ratings more than those older ones. – Robert Nissenbaum, Tactical Social Media

The idea then, that having a number of positive reviews posted to ‘combat’ a negative review would seem to be a good idea.  Not so; I’m smart.  If all of the reviews are staggered in terms of when they are posted and suddenly after a few negative reviews there are several positive in quick succession (while it’s possible that it is a coincidence) it’s not what I’ll be thinking.  Now I see the bad reviews and a desperate attempt to deceive me.

In the case of Yelp, those ‘positive’ reviews can and do get filtered.  Other sites are employing software to catch these as well, especially if they truly are false positive reviews.  The end result is far worse than a few complaints.

#BeTactical: Don’t bury a negative review with fake positive ones.

Delete It

On one level, it works.  If there are no poor reviews – all is good.  Quite honestly there are plenty of businesses with nothing but stellar reviews and ratings. Not having a negative review isn’t bad – unless someone saw it BEFORE you had a chance to delete it!  The same goes for a post on your page and especially a comment in a thread with others (those who previously commented have definitely been notified).  Again, you are faced with trying to cover it up.

Handling a negative review; online reputation management, monitoring and response; The cover up is usually worse than the crime. image credit: http://www.shelburnenovascotia.com/CARTOONS/Worse yet, if the reviewer sees the post removed, there’s a good chance it will be reposted and probably with the added admonishment of having it removed.  Users are also more likely to post the new review in more locations including private profiles on social networks where the visibility will be greater with no chance to respond.

#BeTactical: Don’t delete a negative review. The cover up is usually worse than the crime itself.

Handling The Negative Review – The Right Way

Be Proactive

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.  Since we know, at some time, you will get a poor review, it’s a well-known fact people are more apt to report the negative than to heap on the praise, ASK FOR GOOD REVIEWS.  This is the positive and ethical way to Bury It.

It’s also a great opportunity to follow-up with your customers.  I love this postcard I recently received from South Tacoma Honda after we had the airbag recall performed.  They not only followed up but asked for a review AND gave us directions to make it easy! (And yes, we did return for additional services.)

The Negative Review Reaction: Avoiding a negative review: Brand Reputation Management: I love this postcard I recently received from South Tacoma Honda after we had the airbag recall performed. They not only followed up but asked for a review AND gave us directions to make it easy! #BeTactical

The value in asking for positive reviews – when you do get that pummeling, it will be one in a bunch of positive remarks.  They’ll also be staggered so they won’t look contrived (not to mention the posts themselves will read well.  Hastily posted ones in an effort to bury negative ones will almost always sound rushed and lack authenticity).

#BeTactical: Ask for positive reviews. When there is a negative one, the impact will be minimized.

Helpful Tip: One great idea is to get the review BEFORE your customer leaves.  Technology is your friend.  Add a QR code to the bottom of the receipt or have them login to any social site on their phone, offering a cookie or coupon for their next visit when they do.

Respond 

If (when) bad reviews appear, they need to be dealt with immediately and professionally.

  • Make a mistake? Acknowledge it!  

Own up to it and work out the most courteous solution possible, PUBLICLY.  Sending a personal response is still recommended where possible but while handled offline, not doing so publicly means others do not see how you handled it.

Since I know there is a chance something can go wrong in the sales process as a customer, knowing it will be handled professionally, fairly and in a timely manner is a big plus. It provides me insight into how your business operates and adds an element of trust and respect.  – MJ Jensen, IdeaMagic Visionary Marketing

Consider the case of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, AZ.  A proper reply to the negative review on Yelp (in 2010) could have been leveraged to create a positive spin helping her business.  Instead Amy’s rant turned into a complete meltdown.  While the business is still open, their reputation will always precede them.

We can garner much more about a business based on the way they handle a negative comment, post or review than we can from a positive one.

Excellent advice on handling a negative review from @Kim Garst: Own your mistakes and your community will LOVE you for it! #BeYou http://bit.ly/realyoubook

Amazing advice from Kim Garst

 

  • The Unfounded Rant

So, what if the post is just a rant?  You handle it the same way – with class and professionalism.

While class and professionalism are a must, keep in mind, not every complaint, negative review or rant is valid or worthy of amends.  Plenty of people will use the threat of a bad review to get something free or give a bad review when a business owner doesn’t play their game. It’s common practice amongst a certain demographic. I consider them a low-grade reputation terrorist.

“While looking at my reviews on Facebook I noticed a one star review. It was from a person who continually sent me things to review and respond with suggestions. He wasn’t a client and never was a client. When not getting free services, there was a temper tantrum and this person was removed from contacting me again, then the bad review. I have worse stories of angry leeches and reputation terrorists, but I’ll save those for another time.” – Tamara Lee Taylor, Show Up StrongThe Restless Successful 

As business owners, we cannot be distracted by the reputation terrorist.  While a response is still required, a simple “Thank you for your feedback.” Is sufficient.  Experience has taught me customers will see past the unfounded rant (especially if you were proactive in acquiring positive reviews).

The Advice

As a business owner and consumer, I highly recommend doing your very best to deliver the highest quality product/service possible. Never over promise and under deliver; if you do, your customer/client deserves a humble and gracious remedy in a timely manner.

Hire quality people and train them well.  The best way to handle bad reviews is to not get them.

A Final Thought

The mark of a good business is one that responds to ALL reviews, not just the negative ones.  #BeTactical: If someone takes the time to write a review, the least you can do is take the time to acknowledge it.

Your Turn

As a consumer, how much value do you place on a negative review or testimonial?

You can comment below or you can find The Negative Review Reaction on Google+Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook or simply Tweet your thoughts!  

If you like what you’ve read, share it and get yourself on our mailing list for more valuable content!

Do you need help with your brand’s reputation management or monitoring?  Do you even know if you do?  If you’re not sure, you do!  Contact us today to see how we can help.  If you’re in the Greater Seattle or South Sound Area, we’d love to buy you a good cup of coffee.