How Does A Bad Review Make You Feel?
If you’re like most people a bad review can make you feel pretty powerless! You can’t have them removed (been there, tried that), so you slowly watch your overall rating go down on these third party sites. Since many people just don’t know what to do or say…..what they do is nothing. While I understand this is the common choice among business owners, it is absolutely the worst thing to do!
Responding to a bad review online in a professional, courteous, and apologetic manner really has nothing to do with appeasing your angry customer as much as it has to do with the faces we can’t see. We have to remember that the response written is really designed for the hundreds (if not thousands) of potential customers who read these reviews without ever saying a word. However, as quiet and undetected as they may seem, the reality is these reviews determine whether or not they visit your establishment. (or buy your product, stay at your Hotel, utilize your services, etc….)
I have always believed in the theory that engaging with your customers through these reviews can and will be financially beneficial, my experience with Darbi’s Cafe has proved it far beyond my own expectations.
The short version of my journey with Darbi is that in the last year and a half I have done this for her, we have consistently broken sales records, and her site and all of her “review sites” cover the first page of Google. It is very common for a new guest to mention “we found you online!”
Now if you’re thinking “I don’t need this, my review average is already 4 1/2 stars.” Honestly you should be congratulated for that, it is not an easy status to achieve and/or maintain….but I urge you to re-think this decision. You are actually in the best position to start managing your reviews. In a perfect world business owners should start engaging with customers when things are good (or when they first open the doors), this speaks multitudes and provides even more incentive for others to “Yelp” their positive experience, everyone wants to feel as if they are appreciated. Also this has you at an advantage for when “that review” comes in and catches you off guard, it will not seem as if you only started caring about your customers experience simply because of this “negative comment.” And please DO NOT underestimate the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) value this kind of “engaging” offers your website position on Google!
What about the newer business, or the one who has only a few reviews??? In my opinion you have the most to gain from this as there is just no reason for you to wait and see how things play out for your new establishment. You have the opportunity to be active with your customers from the very beginning and develop your online presence right away. Your business is in the unique position of increasing at warp speed provided you don’t neglect the importance of the internet. Remember this, no one uses phone books anymore. Society lives by smartphones, Ipads, and laptops, they use these tools to find out where they want to go by what they find online, then they want to know what others are saying about it. This is simply the reality of living with today’s technology!
“You can have a business with no website…..but you cannot keep your business from going online! Will you let their opinions take you down or build you up???”
To your left is a typical response to one of our “mediocre/poor reviews”, and as you can see we actually thanked them for the feedback! (click the image to enlarge) Did we agree with his comment? Not at all, and neither does 90% of our customers; but its not about being right or wrong, it is about “public accountability” which people respect! This does come with a level of humility I am afraid, but if you’re in it for the success and not your pride, no other marketing effort will benefit you more!
I will manage your online presence and business reputation for 300 a month. This is what Darbi (and a several others) pays, and it is a cost I believe is more than fair considering what I know it will do for your business financially.
For this I will catch up on all your reviews as I feel it’s imperative that we respond even to the old ones. We don’t want to give your customers the idea that their voice doesn’t matter because it was so long ago, but we can discuss that further. We can also discuss your social media activities or lack thereof. In short, it is your overall presence online and your reputation that you will no longer need to concern yourself with.
I am certain that having me on your team at this minimal expense will far exceed your financial return, and I look forward to proving this to you as you watch your business increase in a short amount of time.
I look forward to speaking with you, but please understand that I do still work at the restaurant Saturday through Tuesday, therefore email is the best way to reach me. We can setup a time to talk on the phone or meet in person, I am off Wednesday through Friday and always welcome a trip to the city. 🙂 When I build up my customer base to where I am only managing businesses online I do hope to relocate to the Valley and be much more “local” to all of my clients.
Truly my goal is to see everyone succeed and prosper as much as my clients here in the White Mountains.