No one is immune to a negative review. That's right, no one. Not even when you do the right thing, run a tight ship and treat your clients like gold. And let's face it, we're human, and we all make mistakes. But it's how you address those mistakes that shows others what type of business you run and more importantly, what type of person you are.
We periodically see negative reviews on client pages. Formal reviews and ratings happen all over the place. Google, Facebook, Yelp, FourSquare, Angie's List, Yahoo, BBB, LinkedIn, Twitter, an open blog and even on your website.
Negative Reviews Are An Opportunity
I had a very long conversation with a client recently and they tried to convince me that they didn't need social media because it was only a place where their competition could slam them and defame their business.
So we looked at the places where reviews already existed. Most were positive. One was negative. It was put there in 2011 and remained unanswered. And that's where the problem lies.
When you find a negative review of your company, act on it. Here are a few tips for what to do...
First assess whether or not the negative review has merit. If you find it to be unfounded, contact the site to work to have it removed.
If possible, contact the reviewer to discuss opportunities for a resolution.
Respond with a cool and level head. Inflammatory language or lashing out will show people that you might not be very diplomatic with them either.
Keep your response to the facts and don't add superfluous storyline that is irrelevant.
Respond as expeditiously as possible so that people who read it will see that you're not running from an uncomfortable situation.
Write out your response elsewhere and review it before posting it. Although most sites allow you to edit a post, a screen shot will live forever.
Be the bigger person and bite your tongue.
Do not write a negative review of them out of spite.
In your response, make it a point to clearly state that you want to resolve the problem and leave direct contact information either with an office phone number and/or email address.
Do your fact checking internally with all potential parties who might have been involved prior to responding.
If you are at fault, own it.
Always keep in mind, this is an opportunity for you to show clients, or more importantly potential clients, how you handle conflict, address a problem, believe in your company and that you're a credible and trustworthy business owner who anyone can feel comfortable doing business with.
"Well, if you're true to yourself you're going to be true to everyone else."
It sounds easy, but is it?
Everyday we make conscious choices. We choose to get out of bed. We choose to get our 'to do' list done. We choose to be good to others.
But are you choosing the right things for your business? Have you made a conscious effort to look at your brand and see what you're telling people?
Let's take a look at Colgate. They thought, for some unknown reason, that they could branch out into the lucrative prepared food market - under the same Colgate brand. Hhhmmmmm, yummy and cleans out your mouth? Who knows.....
What it did was result in lower toothpaste sales.
When your brand has value, realize that it's tied directly to your product. For many people who are solo-preneurs, that product is you. SO if your brand and company name is synonymous with a great hairdresser, you might not want to share that brand with your wig company.
Build your brand. Then keep building it. Stay the course. If it's working, don't mess with it.