Nobody is perfect, and that saying goes for businesses too. Sometimes there is just going to be unhappy people, people that like to complain, or people that just don’t believe your product or service lives up to their standards, and that’s the reality of it. So when you receive a negative comment or review online, whether on social media or on a platform like Yelp, what do you do?
Anyone running a business will occasionally come up against difficult situations that need handling. Often these situation can be resolved, when handled with a strong customer service-relationship mindset, in a way that strengthens the business-customer bond. And occasionally, people (and customers) can be nasty. But most people, when treated right (and sometimes when not treated right), aren't!
e-Marketer recently reported on a November 2014 study by YouGov which says the top reason (at 62%) US Internet users post reviews is to help others make good purchasing decisions. Another said they thought it’s “polite” to provide feedback, and a quarter or so were split between making sure the word gets out about good businesses out there and their own positive experiences.
Online reviews from sites such as Google and Yelp are really focused on the consumer – they want (actually they NEED) consumer involvement/engagement for their revenue model to work. It really doesn’t matter as much how many businesses are engaged as long as users are interacting.
Yelp has sued Revleap, a Los Angeles based company. Yelp claims it is misleading, in fact scamming, customers by asking them to pay to “guarantee” good reviews on Yelp. They mention that they are “taking a stand to protect business owners” so they don’t fall prey to misleading companies. More specifically, they mention that business owners need to know which companies are “playing by the rules” and which ones are not.
Social media’s direct, interactive communication offers your business a great opportunity to obtain feedback on products and services, allows you to build more personalized relationships and it provides the opportunity to learn more about your client base through your non business postings.
Realize you don’t have control. If you want to encourage and grow product reviews, don’t try to dictate what they do or say, where they post their reviews and other facets of your new program. Do create goals and structure around it, but remember execution completely belongs to them, not you.
Yelp, the company that relies on crowdsourcing for reviews and user recommendations, is most closely associated with diners and local eateries. It might surprise you, though, to find out that Yelp’s biggest category isn’t restaurants, it’s shopping. In fact, with over 20 categories of businesses and services, Yelp is a great platform for nearly any company to find and engage customers.
Google has introduced a new feature in Gmail that will make it easier for certain business owners to get reviews from their target audience. Just as users can respond to RSVP through Gmail, this new option will let Gmail users review restaurants and other businesses right from their inbox.