There is a family-owned business in Portland that I love. The service is good. They have the best quality products. I can’t find anything like it in Maine. Not everyone agrees. Someone has a beef with them.
And this anonymous person wrote about it in a strange place on the Internet. Not in a blog. Not on Twitter. Not in Facebook. But someplace I wouldn’t have looked for any kind of customer review or opinion. Another blogger found it and featured it in their blog though.
Now it’s out there. It’s ugly. It uses the word “racist.” And that’s why I’m not identifying the business or the venue. It won’t take much time with Google to find it. Because it’s such an ugly accusation and anonymous, I’m not going to help it get around. Maybe my loyalty is misplaced. But I’m not going to take the chance that this isn’t a smear made up by a competitor or disgruntled employee. Someone doesn’t feel the same way and is willing to help it get some traction.
Whether this complaint is legitimate or not, it’s findable if you search for the business name. So what’s a business owner to do?
Start generating content:
- Address the specific reviews
- Get customers to write their reviews that counter bad reviews
- Add content to your web site that offers advice to customers
- Use social media to get your name mentioned
For now I want to touch up the first tactic. Businesses with bad reviews need to tackle the problem head on:
- Apologize in the forum the reviewer used
- Find an offline channel to communicate and find out more information about the problem.
- Fix the problem or perception of a problem privately
If done well, the reviewer might turn into a fan and publicly recant. This is the best case scenario but it w
on’t happen unless you try.
Look for me to address the other steps in later posts. I have some good stuff to share on how to lessen the impact of bad reviews.