This is the struggle for businesses and it is real – get a bad online review and how do you deal with it and move beyond it.
First, you should not ignore a bad online review. That does not mean that you have to respond to each and every one, but you definitely want to think about your strategy and what to do if and when you get one.
Consider the following…
1. Review the legitimacy. Should you change something you are doing?
2. Decide if you should respond. Not every comment about your business deserves and needs a response.
3. If you do respond, don’t respond in anger. Craft your response and sit on it for several days, read and re-read your response. Make sure you are not venting.
4. If you know who left the review, try to fix the problem and then ask for an update to the review they have posted.
Negative reviews can be very damaging to your business but sometimes your own response can make it even worse. You should be regularly monitoring your business reputation online and looking at what others are saying about you. Especially as Google and Bing are now highlighting reviews that they find around the web and meshing them with location specific results in the Knowledge Graph side bar on their search pages in the four pack of location specific businesses.
As a Google Local Guide, I review every place I visit and every place I eat. With over 300 reviews and photos uploaded to Google, I am just one of many who are helping Google index local businesses, build reviews and improve the accuracy of Google Maps.
Google does not pay me for these services, but I do receive special Google branded products and other perks for being a Google Local Guide.
Here’s what I’ve found out as I travel my local area.
Reviews really do matter.
People actually look at the photos I post for about a business.
Negative reviews mean I probably won’t visit.
I am constantly evaluating my store or restaurant experience.
If I receive poor service, I will write about it.
Even for lower end restaurants food presentation is important.
People actually read what I post about a business.
I do not tell business owners I am reviewing them.
I myself select who I trade with based on online reviews.
Reviews are more important than a nice website.
The bottom-line is that you are on display and being rated with every phone call, every visit, every plate that is served. You may have the best website, but if your visitors do not receive the royal treatment when they call or visit, you’ll set yourself up for a negative review. Get several and they can damage your business and sales!
Here are a few tips on how to communicate and keep staff on track and accountable as well as focused.
Use Technology to Communicate
Most of our staff is under the age of 30. I have found that assuring that they have mobile access to tasking is key. We use TeamUp for our online tasking and scheduling app. Each staff member has a smartphone with enough data monthly to access work. I require that when projects are completed that they mark the item done or drag that item to the day they will work on it.
Use Video to Show How
When I have complicated tasks, I do a video explanation followed up by an email. Some of my staff like to closely follow the steps in the email and others get the gist of what to do by watching the video. As a good boss I know which of my staff members needs what and I try to supply the information in the way that I know will be the easiest for them to get and understand. My videos are typically 4 to 10 minutes long and show as a hands on what to do. The emails are detailed so staff can print it out and follow step by step.
Although work gets done, assuring that they note that something has been completed in TeamUp or doing the required follow-up email or text can be a challenge. I use SMS Scheduler to send out reminder text messages on an automated schedule to keep staff on notice that they need to do the final step which is to let me know what they have done. I have found that text is the best way to get the attention of younger staff and email the best way to get the attention of older staff. The automation of the text messages allows me to set the reminders up once but to send out on a repeating schedule.
Working with remote staff does have its own special challenges. We do try to get together periodically face to face to celebrate and train on more intensive subjects, but I have found that these several tactics have really helped my business to be effective and grow.
The digital age has complicated what to review before buying a business. I have one entrepreneur client who bought a business and found out later that the website had no valid logins and is infected with malware.
Additionally, the webmaster was trying to sell the business without the real business owner’s knowledge. Contracts for domain transfer and hosting had already been signed with the webmaster before the real owner stepped in.
A review of statistics, source code, and logins for social media, the web server, and the website should all be validated before a final price is negotiated. If you know that the website has malware, has been banned on Google, and that there is no way to login or transfer the domain to you will definitely impact the price you decide to offer for an online business.
Make sure that you know before you buy! My firm does offer expert review services by the hour at a rate of $90 per hour to review these important items before you make a purchase. Contact us for more information.
Since I last wrote about the privacy updates that are mandated by the EU to cover website traffic on American websites by EU nationals, much has happened.
Several clients have shared their thoughts with us on why the sudden change. Some are listed below.
“I do feel lucky about not getting caught, but also want to be safe.”
“I’ve just had a lawyer call me and I feel like I need immediate action on the privacy updates as I don’t want to end up in court on a new matter.”
As for me, my perspective is that it is not expensive or hard to do the implementation to be in compliance with the GDPR. I am risk adverse and feel that eventually the US will institute some controls so we will be ahead of the game by changing our own websites now.