Your company’s rockin’ along and enjoying success. Sales are up. The feedback has been great. Your customers seem to be loving everything that you do. And then it happens: Your company gets a bad review. How do you manage your online reputation?
First and foremost: Don’t panic. It’s a review, not a death sentence.
How you respond to the review makes or breaks the moment.
There are three ways you can respond to a bad online review:
- Ignore it and move on.
- Have a knee-jerk response and scream that the bad review needs to be taken down. NOW!
- Plan a strong defense and work it, baby.
We advise clients to set up a campaign that will negate poor reviews.
It’s easy to do, but it takes manpower and time. That’s why reputation management firms are literally cleaning up these days. It’s popular to have a company take care of those pesky, bad reviews. When you hire professionals to do this job, you’re sending out a special army to ferret and weed out the negativity.
Most companies don’t have time to chase down all that’s said, the damage that’s been done, and fix it properly.
When you set up a campaign to avenge your company and rid it of poor reviews, look at the strategies you’ll implement.
Where did the bad review come from? Twitter? Facebook? Your blog? An online review site? Somewhere else?
How will you respond to the bad review? Will you write a response? Ignore the bad review? Have your happy customers write positive reviews?
How will you keep your finger on the pulse of future reviews? Your company should be aware of everything that’s said about your brand as it happens.
Your strategy will be based around where the reviews are coming from, and why they are happening. For example, if you’re producing a product that sucks, you’ll want to fix that immediately. Maybe these negative reviews are a sign that you’re not the bees knees after all.
If you’ve got a hot-headed customer who’s fond of complaining, it’s time to listen to what she’s saying, even if you think she’s wrong. And it may be time to give her something. Sometimes the squeaky wheel needs a bit of grease. Many customers who openly complain can be satisfied. All they want is to be heard.
When the entire crowd, or a significant percentage, is writing bad reviews, it’s time to look at your business model. One or two complaints is a given in any industry. More than that, and on a regular basis? Time for you to head back to the drawing board to determine what you’re doing wrong.
We help businesses overcome poor reviews by attacking the problem. Rallying your customer base with surveys is a great way to start. Implementing a strong plan to respond directly to angry and dissatisfied customers is a given. Changing what’s wrong is imperative.
One more thing about less-than-stellar reviews. Your customers are your company’s most precious resource. Remember that. It’s not your product, it’s who buys it.
Repeat that one more time. It’s a big one.
Your customers are your company’s most precious resource.
If your customers aren’t digging what you’re doing, it’s a wake up call. Instead of seeing the feedback as negative and something to erase (and forget once it’s gone), listen to what’s said. Your brand is not so special that it’s been singled out. Every brand on the planet’s received feedback that asked for change.
Maybe that dirty shop you work in needs to be cleaned up. Why would you assume your customers enjoy standing around in filth? Get a duster, mop, and cleaning supplies. Throw in a few rags get busy. It’s not your customers fault that you kept a nasty environment. Change it!
Perhaps your product does suck. If it doesn’t work, breaks, or isn’t what the customer ordered, fix it. Do it with a smile and a sincere apology. Thank your customer for giving you valuable feedback. Start delivering a product that works.
Feedback is good. No one wants to hear scathing, profane responses, and I’ll be the first to say that’s a bit over the top. But if someone is telling you that your business needs to be fine-tuned, bless your lucky stars that someone had the balls to tell you how your brand appears to the world.
‘Nuff said. Happy holidays!
Does your brand need a quick fix? While we can’t promise an overnight change (beware those that do), we guarantee we’ll clean up a bad rep. Hire us!
Images courtesy of HubSpot.