You can’t miss with good material

With sites like Yelp and Glassdoor out there, it’s easier than ever to review your experiences with a business. Yelp allows customers to review their experiences with a business while Glassdoor allows employees or former employees to review the places they’ve worked.

If you’re a business that’s getting saddled with poor reviews, there are a few choices on how to deal with that.

One choice is to ignore it, keep doing what you’re doing and let the reviews pile up. The only argument I can see for this is if you are doing business the way you intend to and you’re not going to change it because of a few reviews.

Another choice is to dedicate time and resources (and perhaps a public relations agency or review improvement service) toward answering each review with your side of the story and trying to bury the reviews with various online tricks or manufacturing good reviews to push the negative ones down. This doesn’t address any of the issues surfaced in the review, but if done well, it can suppress what people are saying.

The choice I would pursue is reading the reviews, taking them seriously and considering what’s being said. If you have 50 reviews that all touch on the same theme or problem, there may be an issue there.

One step is to assess how much these negative reviews are hurting your business (your customer traffic, your ability to attract talent, or both). Assuming they are, then it’s time to be brutally honest with yourself and your organization about the issues that continue to come up in the reviews. Are you really doing business the way the reviews say you are? If so, why? What are you doing to create that perception? And, most importantly, what steps are you going to take to correct the situation.

If you’re willing to be introspective and honest with yourself, then you can start addressing the reviews by owning the criticism, showing awareness of it and perhaps addressing the changes you’ve made and why someone should give you another shot.

You can’t fake this. If you say you’re doing it, you really have to make an effort. You’ll find out soon enough whether or not your efforts are working.

Good marketing can get people to try something once, but if they have a bad experience or the product or service isn’t any good, the best and most expensive marketing in the world will have a huge challenge getting people to try a second time.

If you give people good material to work with, they’ll write you good reviews.

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