When it comes to Google business reviews or social media comments, sometimes people have a genuine concern or complaint, while others just behave like bullies.
Either way, the key is to actively manage your social media and Google business reviews and take swift action when comments and reviews take a negative turn. Keeping a cool head and acting quickly is vital.
The simple fact of the matter is we’re all human and sometimes things just don’t go to plan. For business owners who genuinely strive to do the right thing, honest mistakes can become a trauma or a triumph, depending on how it’s handled.
Our first example involves our client who owns a hair dressing and beauty salon.
In our opinion, this talented and genuinely passionate business owner goes out of her way to deliver fantastic hair and beauty experiences for her clients. Then along comes Bruce.
We believe Bruce turned up at the counter one day and decided the salon wasn’t his cup of tea. Even though he never actually used the salon’s services, Bruce decided to leave a one-star Google business review, which astonishingly admitted he had never used the salon.
Naturally, prospective clients read reviews and they would have zero-ed in on this one, but just as quickly rejected it. However, no business wants a one-star review, particularly an unfounded one that brings down your stellar star ratings. This is how we advised our client to respond to the Google review:
Hi Bruce as you have not used our service, the one-star review that you gave our business was not within Google’s business review guidelines and it is false and misleading. I will be reporting it immediately. If you would like to engage our services, we would be more than happy to make an appointment for you so you can review us fairly. Regards …
On our client’s behalf we reported it to Google and they agreed the poor rating was unfair and removed it.
Of course, when you offer personal services that affect a person’s appearance, some people are always going to be extra sensitive and sometimes unrealistic about how they think they should be transformed.
Here’s how we advised our client to respond in this situation:
Hi Debbie, thank you for taking the time to write your review and let us know about your experience. We take this matter very seriously and would love the opportunity to discuss it further with you. Please give us a call or come into the salon at your earliest convenience as we would love to turn your two-star experience into five!
When it comes to protecting your good name, vigilance is the key. Make it a habit to respond to every review. It’s good manners to say thank you for all reviews (yes, even the negative ones), invite discussion to solve any problems (real or perceived) and challenge those who leave down-right nasty and unjustified reviews.
As for social media, the first step is to ensure your security settings are properly set up as there’s no place for profanity or other unsavoury language on your social media pages. And if you receive a negative or unjustified comment, ensure you respond to it quickly.
A couple of years ago, we helped a client who’s email account had been compromised by a hacker who sent out demands for payment for a fake infringement notice. Those who received the email quickly found the client’s Facebook page and vented accordingly. Our social media manager was quick to respond. Promptly advising the police of the fraud, she then posted a very clear explanation on social media as well as on the client’s website.
While the client’s email security was the source of the problem, it soon became a social media matter that was quickly controlled by decisive action.
Once the social media mitigation actions were in place, things moved quickly as those who posted negative comments realised the real victim was the business owner and took their angry comments down. In fact, having also realised the business owner was a good guy and a reputable business person who actively supported his local community, many liked the page and left very favourable comments.
As you’ve read here it’s important to be proactive when it comes to your online reputation. Addressing genuine complaints is important and so is standing up to online bullies who attack your integrity. However, once you’ve made an initial response, take the discussion offline and speak privately to the person if you can. When you reach a resolution, don’t be surprised to see negative comments or reviews removed or even turned into positives.
At Bold! we help professionals and business owners use marketing to grow and be successful. We offer a Do-It-For-Me Marketing framework that takes the heavy lifting out of marketing communication that includes email marketing, social media, copywriting, graphic design, and website design and management.