In a previous post I showed you an example of responding to negative online feedback the right way.
Here is now an example of the exact OPPOSITE way to respond to a bad online review. This comes from a company’s Better Business Bureau page. I’ve removed all names to save the company any further embarrassment (though they probably deserve it).
First, the complaint. It’s massive, so I’ll post only a portion of it…
Basically, the customer wasn’t satisfied with the work. When they called the company, they got the runaround. The customer says they eventually got so frustrated that they contacted their credit card company, which refunded the cost of the project.
Now, here is how the company responded. This is 100% real…
This is not only ridiculously unprofessional… it is offensive, petty, and crosses a dozen lines in terms of acceptability. I am blown away that anyone would EVER do business with this company.
I don’t have to worry about YOU reacting like this to a bad online review. But here is my point…
When a customer leaves negative feedback about you on a review website, do NOT get defensive in your response.
It’s easy to blame the installers, the sales manager, or even the customer. It may even actually be their fault. But DON’T BLAME THEM.
If you’re the owner, take full responsibility. Acknowledge the customer’s feelings. Thank them for providing their honest feedback. Apologize for not meeting their standards (even if it’s not your fault). Then tell the customer you’ll reach out to them to try to make things right.
Here’s what will happen when you do this:
- Nine times out of ten, you’ll be able to come to a resolution with the unsatisfied customer. Studies shows customers who have a bad experience return to a company if the problem is solved quickly and satisfactorily. In many instances, customers will also amend their negative review and leave you positive feedback.
- You’ll now retain that customer for future projects and referrals.
- It will let potential prospects reading your response know that you’re professional. You do everything you can to ensure customer satisfaction.
Now, there ARE circumstances where a customer is just being an irrational jerk and writing bad stuff about you because they apparently have nothing better to do.
When responding to those types of reviews, feel free to explain your side of the situation in your reply. Just do so in a calm, rational manner. Still make sure to say something along the lines of “I’m truly sorry we weren’t able to make you happy.” Being the bigger person will build trust in any potential prospects reading your response.
Bottom line: When responding to a negative online review, it’s always best to keep on smiling… even if it’s through gritted teeth.
Elon Musk isn’t your average self-made billionaire CEO.
The man who launched Tesla Motors and SpaceX (a private-sector space exploration company—yes, really!) has a net worth of $20.7 billion. This currently puts him in 43rd place on Forbes’ wealthiest people list. He also has over 40,000 employees, runs a non-profit artificial intelligence research company, and recently founded a neurotechnology company with the goal of treating brain diseases.
Oh, and he’s 46 years old.
You’d think a guy trying to launch people into space and cure brain diseases would be too busy to respond to online reviews.
But you’d be wrong.
On August 18, 2017, a Tesla customer took to Twitter to lodge a complaint directly to Musk:
In just 24 minutes, Musk replied:
Musk’s tweet is a master class in responding to online criticism from customers. Let’s dissect the tweet, so we can see how Musk gets it right…
- He responds quickly.
- He himself responds (not some intern or lower-level employee).
- He makes the customer feel important by acknowledging the customer has a good idea.
- He offers a solution the customer will find satisfying.
- He makes zero excuses and does not shift blame.
This is the Mona Lisa of responding to negative online reviews. And it’s SO SIMPLE.
You can—and SHOULD—follow in Elon Musk’s footsteps. Respond to every online review. The good. The bad. The ugly.
This shows you actually give a hoot about your customers. It creates goodwill not only with the customer, but with the prospects who are looking at your online reviews to determine if they should choose you for THEIR projects.
It’s such an easy and startlingly effective way to build consumer trust. And it doesn’t cost you a dime. (To learn how to respond to online reviews, read this blog post.)
The only issue you may run into is actually finding all the online reviews about your company. There are dozens of online-review sites out there… some of which you’ve probably never heard of or know you were listed on. I’ve seen many clients’ jaws drop when they found out that they have a bad review on Website X. They didn’t even know their company was on there!
If you’re too busy to monitor the smorgasbord of websites in which your customers could leave a review, let MYM do it for you.
Our Online Reputation Management (ORM) is a comprehensive solution for maintaining and improving your online reviews and standing.
Here is some of what’s included…
- New Review Collection: After you complete a job for a satisfied customer, we email them and send them through an effective funnel that encourages them to leave a positive online review.
- Subpar Review Interception: If a customer leaves you a negative review using our ORM service, a pop-up appears with a message that says something like, “Hey! Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. We want to make it right. Please call us.” It will then give the customer a choice between posting the review and calling you before posting the review. This gives you a chance to turn that two- or three-star review in to a five-star review.
- Brand Monitoring: You are alerted every time a new review is published about your company on the internet. This is not limited to reviews we generate through the reviews process, but any review at any time. This allows you to quickly respond to all online reviews you receive.
For more information about MYM ORM—and to generate an instant online reputation report about your company—visit our official ORM page: https://www.mymonline.com/working-with-mym/services/online-reputation-management.
After that, get in touch with us by phone or through the online chat function on our website.
If you’ve enjoyed my other posts (here and here) about how I despise Yelp’s business practices and lack of ethics, here’s another one for you.
I’ve told you about Service Champions, a company that used to have over 750 five-star reviews on Yelp that “mysteriously” vanished once the company stopped paying Yelp for advertising.
Service Champions is now down to a measly 81 five-star reviews and a 3.5-star average overall.
What’s happening is Yelp is burying Service Champions’ five-star reviews in the ultra-small, inconspicuous “Not Recommended Reviews” section at the bottom of Service Champions’ Yelp page.
Reviews that are not recommended by Yelp don’t show up in a company’s overall score or review-score breakdown. And the average person will never notice the 1,000-plus great reviews hiding on Service Champions’ Yelp page.
The other day, my curiosity got the best of me—I just had to know how much the “Not Recommended” reviews were impacting Service Champions’ score.
So I paid a guy on Craigslist $40 to tally the “Not Recommended” reviews and calculate the overall rating.
(Gotta loves Craigslist.)
Here are the results (remember, their average for “Recommended” reviews is 3.5 stars) …
Number of “Not Recommended” reviews: 1,302
“Not Recommended” reviews score breakdown:
1 Star – 35 (2.69%)
2 Star – 4 (0.31%)
3 Star – 3 (0.23%)
4 Star – 40 (3.07%)
5 Star – 1,217 (93.47%)
Average of “Not Recommended” reviews score: 4.84 stars!
If we add the “Recommended” reviews to these, the totals become:
1 Star – 86 (5.85%)
2 Star – 16 (1.09%)
3 Star – 16 (1.09%)
4 Star – 51 (3.47%)
5 Star – 1,300 (88.50%)
Grand total average for ALL reviews: 4.68 stars!
The difference between a 3.5-star average (what Yelp says Service Champions has) versus a 4.68-star average (what Service Champions should actually have) is night and day.
Studies show a huge drop-off in prospect interest when companies dip below a four-star rating. That’s not just for Yelp, but also every other online review website.
Ninety-four percent of consumers said they would use a company with a four-star average, while only 57 percent of consumers said they would use a company in the three-star range.
What a difference one little star makes, huh?
This is why it’s important to constantly monitor your online reviews and generate new ones from satisfied customers. The amount of business you’ll lose out on with even an average online reputation is off the charts.
But how do you monitor your online reputation across 100-plus review websites AND generate a steady stream of new positive reviews… WHILE dealing with the 294 other aspects of running a business?
By having hired professionals manage your online reputation for you.
MYM’s Online Reputation Management (ORM) does everything you need to have a stellar online reputation that makes prospects want to contact you:
- New Review Soliciting – We shrewdly and respectfully email your customer list that you provide us and direct them to leave you a review.
- Subpar Review Interception – If a customer leaves you less than a three-star review (this number is customizable), it gives them a quick pop up that says, “Hey! Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. We want to make it right. Please call us.” This gives you the chance to take that poor review and turn it into a positive review.
- Brand Monitoring – You’ll be alerted every time a new review is published about your company. This is not limited to reviews we generate through the reviews process, but any review across review websites. This makes it easy for you to respond to negative and positive reviews quickly. (Which is something you should be doing—here’s how.)
Click here to find out more about MYM’s Online Reputation Management. Also be sure to use the free Review Scanner at the top of the page to generate an instant reputation report of your business.
P.S. I haven’t shown you a new client website in a hot second. That’ll change next week, as we’re rolling out a bunch of awesome new projects over the next few weeks. Stay tuned.
Let’s talk about Kim Kardashian.
I mean, what’s a more relatable topic for an email-subscriber list mostly made up of contractors?
But hear me out.
Because while she seems dumb—and a person you probably have ZERO in common with—Kim Kardashian is actually a covert marketing genius who knows 100x more about effective branding than just about anyone.
And she may well be one of your best resources to model your marketing efforts after.
Think about it. Not many people are as wealthy, successful, and well-known as good ol’ Kim K. Her brand is famous throughout the world. And according to Forbes, she has a net worth of $149 million.
How do you think that happened?
Yeah, she’s essentially famous for being famous. But to maintain that reputation and stay in the limelight, she’s had to flex some major marketing muscle.
Here are Kim Kardashian’s four ultra-effective marketing secrets… Secrets you can crib and utilize in your contractor marketing.
1 – She Knows Her Audience
A lot of people loathe Kim Kardashian. And she is A-OK with that.
She understands that to be successful, you can’t please everyone.
You have to focus on YOUR market… even if that means alienating other groups of people.
And you know what?
Who cares if you’re alienating a segment of the population? These are the people who would never buy from you anyway.
No harm, no foul.
If you’re a high-end home builder who won’t accept a project under $100K, you don’t want someone contacting you about a $30K kitchen remodel.
If you’re a contractor who likes to take his time to ensure everything is perfect, you don’t want people calling who need a project, like, yesterday.
Yeah, Kim Kardashian’s book comprised completely of selfies might seem like the world’s biggest waste of trees… to YOU. But her audience ate it up, and the “book” made millions of dollars.
So don’t be afraid to craft a marketing message that may filter out a segment of the population you don’t want anyway.
Kim K’s Marketing Lesson: Having an ultra-specific message geared toward a specific group of people is how you get that specific group of people to buy from you. So market to YOUR target audience.
2 – She Gets Attention
Kim Kardashian is virtuoso at getting attention. She’s made it an art form.
Whether she’s marrying Kanye West or “breaking the internet” with her butt, she knows how to make people sit up and take notice.
Let’s be clear. I’m not telling you to pose scantily clad for a photo and put it online. (Please, don’t.)
But home improvement marketing is like Attack Of The Contractor Clones…
Every contractor says the same things. Every contractor loads their marketing with platitudes. And not one of these contractors stands out.
That’s why a powerful, passionate, attention-grabbing identity is THE key to marketing success.
Kim K’s Marketing Lesson: Getting noticed is 90% of the battle. Create marketing that stops people in their tracks and forces them to pay attention to you. (For more info on how to do that, watch my webinar, Identity: How To Really Stand Out From The Crowd.)
3- She Markets Herself Constantly
Kim Kardashian treats social media like its own full-time job. Name any social media app, and you can bet she is on it.
Twitter. Instagram. Facebook. Snapchat. And probably 17 other social media apps you and I have never heard of.
This is because her target market (mostly girls and young women) are on these social media services.
As such, Kim Kardashian is constantly posting on social media, engaging with her fans and posting statuses and pictures of her life. She intersperses these types of posts with subtle sales pitches that her audience eats up.
The following three pictures are three consecutive posts by Kim Kardashian on her Instagram account:
Do you see the clever, understated marketing going on in these photos?
She creates a bond with her audience (the picture with her baby) and turns them into “warm prospects.” Then she sends out a subtle-yet-effective sales pitches that sound more like “your longtime friend Kim,” rather than “impersonal spokeswoman Kim.”
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Kim K’s Marketing Lesson: Make yourself known and create “top of mind awareness” for your company through regular advertising that REACHES your target market. Kim Kardashian’s main marketing channel is social media; yours may be something else. Whether it’s direct mail, social media, PPC, SEO, or a blend of all of these, keep hammering away to ensure your prospects know you’re out there.
4- Some Of Her Products Are Surprisingly Good
Book of selfies aside, Kim Kardashian sells some surprisingly solid merch.
She has an affordable perfume line with very good reviews. And in 2009, she co-founded a successful online shoe store that currently has an A+ with the BBB.
If you’re going to run a marketing campaign that grabs attention, puts all eyes on you, and gets people to buy from you, you have to produce quality. Period.
If you sell windows, you better install the most efficient, durable, and beautiful windows on the market. If you remodel kitchens, you better produce projects that dazzle every single one of your customers. And so on.
Otherwise, you’ll rapidly get chewed up, spit out, and hauled away with the trash in the court of public opinion.
Kim K’s Marketing Lesson: If you’re going to talk the talk, you better be sure your services walk the walk.
Get Paid Like Kim K Today…
Follow Kim Kardashian’s marketing master plan (there’s something I never thought I’d say), and watch the riches roll in.
Have MYM create stunningly effective, profit-producing marketing FOR you. We provide turnkey marketing solutions for contractors who crave results.
Reach out to us by calling 817-416-4333, or visit our website and use the Live Chat box.