social-review-sites-yelp-trip-advisor-google-localI know most people are skeptical about Yelp, Google Local, TripAdvisor and other review sites, and none more skeptical than a business owner with a bad review posted there. “It’s probably one of my competitors, posting a false review.” Whether it is your evil competitor trying to take you down or your newest fan raving about you, these sites cannot be ignored.

With over 138 monthly users on Yelp, 260 million users posting reviews on TripAdvisor and over 300 million people with Google+ accounts, all itching to have their voices heard, companies have to monitor their brands and make time to engage and reply to these reviewers.   With a little attention to these reviews, you can turn around a bad experience and build loyalty, and on good reviews you can boost the love and create a viral spread.

  1. Reply to comments and social reviews 

    When someone takes the time to write a nice complement about your business, thank them for their business and let them know you appreciate their willingness to share their feedback with you and the world. As I learned early on raising 4 kids, recognize and reward what you want to see more of.  

  2. Apologize…SINCERELY!

    Again, something I learned from my kids during those teenaged years; an apology that starts with SOR-RY and includes BUT… is not an apology. It is an excuse. I had the opportunity to sit with a woman in a cable company call center, Mary Delgado, who was the escalation desk for the most vile of customers. She took call after call from people who were cussing at her, screaming into their phones (over cable TV, no less).  Mary would listen without interrupting and then her first response would be, “Oh my goodness. I am so sorry you have had to go through this. This should NOT have happended.  I am going to get this taken care of.” It was so classic. You could almost see the person on the end of the line squirming as they tried to come up with another comeback. Their anger couldn’t compete with her willingness to own the problem and seek a resolution.  Sometimes all a wronged customer wants is to hear a sincere apology.

  3. Don't delete the comment

    Show, in public, how you are going to make things right or at least ensure it doesn't happen again.  Most review sites don’t allow you to delete a review, but Facebook does and I have seen it happen, (even after I warned a client not to do it). If you delete an angry comment on your site, the customer will take it to a public space where you have no control and it WILL get ugly. I am appalled to see review sites where a company either denies that the problem happened, basically calling the customer a lier (Most classic is the Blue Sky Hostel owner in Glasgow who calls the customer a blind, fat, retard and the firestorm of comments back and forth between the owner, the angry customer and everyone else who chimed in for entertainment that wasn’t available on any television network, check out this post on Buzzfeed) So what can you do about it? If it is something you need to investigate to find out if it is true, you can HIDE a comment on Facebook, but on any site, you should contact the person who posted the review and ask them to contact you via private message to resolve the issue. When they don't respond, you can assume the person isn't looking for a resolution.

    Whether it’s a negative review, an old embarrassing photo of yourself, or anything that shows up on the web that you wish would just go away, the one thing you CAN do is put out lots of good content that is attached to your brand, to push those old reviews down.

  4. Ask for reviews and recommendations on your social media sites.

    When a delighted customer tells you they had great service or loves your product, immediately ask if they would mind writing a review for you on one of your social sites.  Let them know how it helps your business and then thank them.  Talk to your team and remind them to think digital first and get those recommendations in video, on social sites or anywhere else that the world can see.

I'd love to hear from you. Have you left reviews on a social review site? Do you expect a response? How do you feel if you get one?

If you need help keeping up with all of the responses and connecting with your social audience, contact us today.…it's what we do!

Contact me on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn

social media marketing small business, hotels, social business
 

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