Essentially, the answer is yes. No matter what your business is – restaurant, retail, salon services, handyman services, tech support, etc. – you are susceptible to a bad online review. Consumer reliance on social networks and online resources for information has created a dangerous environment for businesses. On the contrary, as long as your business is doing things right – providing quality goods and services, and top-notch customer service – then you have nothing to worry about.
One defaming online review can have catastrophic effects. This sounds over the top and dramatic but it’s the truth. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a solid positive review can be just as powerful but in a much more desirable way. The bottom line is that social media is not a force to be reckoned with.
Social is a Super Strength
The way in which consumers obtain news and information has completely changed ever since social media landed on the scene. It is the superpower of online marketing and advertising. Consumers take advantage of its capabilities and strength be connecting with family and friends, sharing photos, and following celebrity activities. In addition, social media allows users to obtain information about a brand or company, that otherwise would be “hidden”. In other words, social media allows consumers to see everything – what products and services you offer, how they are made, what others have to say about your brand, and how you respond.
Don’t be a Victim of Venting
If you’ve ever had a bad experience with a particular company, you most likely felt angry, frustrated, ripped off, or taken advantage of. Social media outlets allow disgruntled consumers to act on those feelings immediately. Not to mention, most consumers can do this on their mobile devices, which means with just a few finger movements, the bad review is online for all to see. Just like that.
In order to avoid becoming a victim of a bad online review, a nasty tweet, or a negatively passionate Facebook status update, you must provide 100% customer satisfaction 100% of the time. It is possible, but not likely. The best thing you can do for your business is be proactive and do an impeccable job at damage control. A bad review pushed through the social media platforms is certainly not desirable, but it will not destroy your name, especially if you handle the matter properly. Consider these tips:
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• Respond in a timely manner – Consumers appreciate when their gripes are at least recognized
• Address the issue at hand – Do not simply apologize. Fix the problem.
• Learn a lesson – Avoid similar situations in the future by identifying the root cause.
• Play offense – Do your best to promote positive reviews online, especially via social media venues.
It is possible to bounce back from a bad review, so you can’t live in fear that any and all negative comments online are going to destroy your brand. As long as you address the situation with care, professionalism, and a personable approach, you will not suffer. In some cases, the formerly irate customer may end up rewarding you with their loyalty, which in the business world is priceless.