Turning Negative Online Reviews into a Positive

  • By Jackie Petre
  • 25 May, 2017

When Customers Hand You Lemons

Most businesses, no matter the industry, will see at least one bad customer review in their lifetime. Companies can fall into this category, too, often without major fault on your part. With a home remodeling company, for example, an appliance could have been incorrectly ordered, or the client may be unhappy that their remodel took slightly longer than expected. Although these things happen and are quite normal when dealing with a service-based business, customers often forget that and take out their frustration on the only outlet they know: The Internet.

The reactions many business owners have when they see a negative online review involve getting upset, finding someone (either the client or an employee) to blame for the situation and hoping potential customers don’t see the review. But rather than let a bad review get to you, there’s an easy—and smart—way to turn that negative online review into a marketing asset for your business.

All Review Matters

Without a doubt, online reviews are one of the single most important tools you can utilize for your remodeling business. With review sites like Yelp, Google and Facebook within everyone’s fingertips, consumers often use these to share their personal experience with a company. And although anyone can leave a review about his or her experience, people typically write reviews if they had either a really great experience or a horrible one.

The bottom line is that all reviews, good and bad, matter to your business. Even one or two bad-to-ok reviews aren’t horrible because they make other online reviews seem more credible (as opposed to having all 5-star reviews, which many people find suspicious). But when it comes to negative reviews, the most important thing you can do is turn them into a public customer service experience. If done correctly, this can drastically change how potential clients view your kitchen and bath business.

Respond to the Complaint

The key to changing the effect of a negative review is communication. Whether the problem was a mistake in the order, sub-par service or just overall customer dissatisfaction, immediately respond with an apology for their unhappiness. Many people just want their voice to be heard by someone, so reaching out to them online to apologize for the poor experience can immediately change their opinion of your business. It shows that you care.

When a negative review of your business pops up online, don’t panic. Instead, remember that you can use this review to your advantage. As soon as you see a less than positive review, you should respond to the client as quickly as possible. That’s why it’s important to closely monitor your online reviews, so that you can reach out to the reviewer shortly after they post.

Offer a Solution

Depending on the situation, offer to do what you can to fix the problem. That might mean going out of your way to follow up on the service or simply telling them you will work to fix the problem in the future. Alternatively, offer an explanation as to why something happened the way it did, making sure you keep an understanding and respectful tone. Even if you are not able to change something, offering to make up for it goes a long way in customer service.

The goal of offering a solution is to try to win them back as a customer, whether that means they will personally use your service again or recommend you to a friend. If you can get back into your customer’s good graces after a negative review, you’ve provided excellent customer service.

Make it Public

Another key to responding to online reviews is to have that conversation on the platform the original post is on. Whether it’s Yelp, Google or Facebook, it’s important to post your response under their review rather than emailing or messaging them separately. This way, people will see that you made an effort to resolve the issue, something they can’t see if the comment is not public.

Don’t Let the Haters get you Down

In the end, there is only so much you can do to change someone’s perception of your business. In many cases, people who believe that their complaint was eventually resolved, or at least attempted to be resolved, will change their original review. If they don’t, you still have the advantage of potential clients seeing that you care enough to take time out of your busy day to solve the problem.

Negative online reviews can be frustrating. But as long as you know how to handle the situation and learn from customer feedback, your business will have the upper hand.

The Science Behind Digital Marketing

By Jackie Petre 16 Aug, 2017

Everywhere you look nowadays, people have their eyes glued to their cell phones. Between text messaging, taking photos and browsing social media, it’s hard to keep the attention of anyone under the age of 50 for more than a few minutes if their phone is nearby. That’s exactly why marketers started jumping at the opportunity to be right where they wanted to be: a few inches away from their target’s face on a cell phone screen.

In recent years, many small businesses--especially those that use a scheduling system of some sort—have started utilizing SMS (short message service, aka text messaging) as a form of marketing and communication with clients. SMS marketing is an immediate form of communication that has the capability of reaching a largescale audience within seconds, something that emails and phone calls can’t compare to anymore. And with 75% of millennials in a recent survey choosing texting over talking, it makes sense that SMS marketing is a tool small businesses need to start utilizing.

By Jackie Petre 09 Aug, 2017

When was the last time you pulled out your phone to find a nearby restaurant or coffee shop? Probably pretty recently. And when you did, what phrases did you type into the search engine? Probably something along the lines of ‘Mexican restaurant near me,’ or ‘nearby coffee shop.’ With more and more people using their mobile devices to perform Internet searches on-the-go, there has been an increase in usage of the phrase ‘near me.’

And this doesn’t just apply to food searches.

People are searching for specific services using the terms ‘near me’ in industries of all kinds. This simple change in search terms can give users better search results, and can market your business in a wider area. However, this isn’t something Google can do on its own; first, you need to make sure your company’s website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches.

By Jackie Petre 03 Aug, 2017

Google’s latest technological asset for businesses has recently launched, and it’s a game-changer for small businesses that are just starting out. It’s called Google Sites.

For those who have a business but are just figuring out the best way to establish an online presence, Google Sites might be the tool for you. This feature, provided by the search engine, allows business owners to build and manage a mini website on their own, all without the help of a programming professional. It’s not a high-tech website, but for those looking to make basic information about their company and services available to the public, Sites can get the job done.

Anyone who runs a Google My Business account —which should be all business owners—can access this feature and create a mini site in as little as ten minutes. Plus, everything is done through Google, so when you make a change to your local listing, such as updating business hours, the changes will automatically be updated on your website, too. For a small business owner, saving valuable time like this adds up.

Sounds pretty great, huh?

By Jackie Petre 27 Jul, 2017

When you look at your business’s website, are you proud of the way your company is represented? Do you feel like your level of work is accurately portrayed through your photos, web design and site optimization? If you can’t stand using your own site, chances are that your customers won’t either. But before you give up on your company’s online presence, consider the difference your business could see when your website is gaining you new clients rather than repelling them.

When it comes to your company’s online presence, your website can go one of two ways: either it can help your business, or it can hurt your business.
By Jackie Petre 26 Jul, 2017
While it’s obviously important to have quality images of your products or service jobs on your website, you don’t want to overlook the content portion of your site , particularly in the form of descriptions. Providing the visitor with detailed product and service descriptions gives a better idea of what to expect when working with you.
By Jackie Petre 20 Jul, 2017

The purpose of a call-to-action (CTA) is, first and foremost, to provide an instruction to website visitors to contact you immediately, as well as a reason why. It tells them what they will gain from working with you and motivates them to take action to make that happen. Therefore, a good CTA will invoke the customer to contact you on the spot. 

Here's how you can create the perfect call-to-action that will have consumers off your site and in your office. 

By Jackie Petre 17 Jul, 2017

SEO. There it is, that daunting acronym. If you’ve done any research whatsoever about having a successful website, you know that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the foundation of an effective site. It means that your website does a good job of incorporating a bunch of elements, like specific keywords, location and load time, making it easy for people to find your site when they’re searching for local services like yours.

For the sake of keeping this at a basic level, we won’t delve too deep into SEO and how it works . But there are a few parts of it that you can easily incorporate into your website that can help immensely.
By Jackie Petre 11 Jul, 2017

One of the quickest ways you can drive people off of your site is by having an unresponsive website. You might be wondering what makes a website responsive or unresponsive, and what you can do to change that. This all starts with the most important part of your website: your web design.

There are so many elements that factor into website design, and if you don’t utilize your site’s design, your online presence has the ability to hurt your business.

By Jackie Petre 06 Jul, 2017

When it comes to marketing your business online, making your business’s website reflect your brand is an absolute must in any service-based industry. It’s what sets you apart from your competition, establishes your credibility and shows people why you are the best choice for them.

Metric Marketing’s “ Guide to The Importance of Branding in Your Marketing ” breaks branding down to a simple definition:

By Jackie Petre 28 Jun, 2017

Online reviews have been around a while. But in the past few years, they’ve increasingly become more important than ever, and the statistics to support its relevancy are overwhelming. Think about it: when you are considering buying a product on Amazon or searching for a restaurant to go to, do you ever look at the reviews to help make your decision? The answer, most likely, is yes.

Today, you can find just about anything online, whether that’s a product or a service, and everyone out there is in the business of marketing. Oftentimes, it’s hard to tell if the images and descriptions are really what you’re getting, or if you’re being scammed. But when we see online reviews from real people just like ourselves who are willing to testify for this brand, it gives us peace of mind that we’re making the right decision.

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