And that includes good AND bad. Mistakes are bound to happen in any business, but when they do it’s quite possible that the story will wind up on the internet where anyone searching for your business can find it.
If you’re not maintaining an effective presence on the web, you’re going to have two problems if this happens.
- The negative review could wind up ranking high in the search results, so whenever somebody searches for your business, this could be one of the first things they see. The review might be accurate if a mistake really was made, or it might be completely inaccurate, but that potential customer has no way of knowing for sure (and is more than likely going to accept it as fact).
- You won’t have a chance to explain the situation and fix it.
The solution here is to be a part of the conversation. In other words, engage your customers where these kinds of things might appear so you can try to correct any mistakes that were actually made, or explain your side if it’s completely inaccurate.
We’ve already discussed two of the places that these kinds of discussions can happen – Facebook and Twitter. It’s important that you have a presence on both, if only as a point of contact for your customers who are already in those places.
Imagine this scenario…
One of your employees has been dealing with a customer, and the customer is unhappy with the service they received. But instead of coming to you and giving you the opportunity to fix the problem, they go to these websites and post about the problem and how unhappy they were with your company.
If you don’t have a presence on Twitter or Facebook, you might never know about it. But people who are looking for information about your company online could quite likely find that information whenever they search for you.
Now think about this…
If you are active on those sites, on the other hand, you can jump in and try to correct the situation. This is not only going to give you a chance to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one (who might also become one of your biggest supporters at that point) it’s also going to add your side of things to the “record” of the situation on the internet.
Now when someone searching for you finds that review/complaint, they’re also going to see your response, and the fact that you tried to correct the situation for that unhappy customer.
Which scenario would you prefer?
Excerpt from Online Marketing Simplified: A Beginner’s Guide to Using the Internet to Market Your Local Business.
Photo credit by Iguanasan