Have a small business? Then I know you want to avoid negative online reviews that can be costly! Here’s a few approaches that you can take to prevent some of them from happening.
If you run a small business, it’s not a matter of if you get a negative online review, it’s typically when. Or maybe not. Hi this is Dean Mercado of Online Marketing Muscle and what I’ve got for you here today is a little ditty about how to avoid those costly negative online reviews. The big key here folks is you’ve got to head them off at the pass. You’ve got to and I hate to use a cliché on you but you know, you’ve got to head them off at the pass. You’ve got to get to that client before they get to the point of being upset with what you’ve delivered. Now how do you do that? Now I’m going to hit you here real quick with three, kind of maybe not so thought of approaches to doing this. And yes, there will be some parts to each of them, but here it goes.
The first, is positioning, positioning. How do your position your company as the expert, as the authority so to speak is critical to how you are perceived. To your clients, perception is reality. So if before you even start they perceive you as the expert their reality is going to be more aligned with an expert experience. So unless you completely blow it, chances are they’re going to feel better about what you are doing for them. Positioning yourself long before you get on site, or long before you get to that interaction with that client and have to deliver on your product or service is critical to what happens there.
Now, the second big component that I’d like to throw at you here is beyond positioning, the next piece is systematizing what you do. Systematizing the delivery of your product or service as much as possible. And when I say delivering I mean what happens pre-event, before you actually deliver, what happens during the event and then what happens post-event. If you could systematize as much of that process as possible, especially a lot of the communications that need to go on around that. For example, setting expectations. One of the biggest breakdowns on why we see a lot of negative online reviews is expectations were not properly set with that client. They had in their mind what they expected to receive and that wasn’t necessarily in your mind what you expected to deliver or what you believed you promised you would deliver. So by using systems and making sure that proper expectations are being set, alright, using systems when you’re on-site. Checklists to make sure that you’re doing the job the way you are supposed to do the job. Having checkpoints in place to make sure that things are getting done the way they are supposed to. Having quality checks in place for somebody to follow through and make sure that everything is being done to the way you need them and want them to be done. To the way your systems dictate they be done. Making sure your teams are trained on those systems. Having that all in place makes a huge difference because it allows and empowers you to create a more consistent result.
Beyond the actual positioning and the systematizing is the, is what we call automating. You want to automate as much of this as possible. I’m not talking about having robots working in your job. What I’m talking about is automating as much of the communication process as you possibly can. Automating as much of the marketing process as much as the sales process, because this helps create consistency. And it gives you the ability to really pinpoint what you want to say and how you want to say it and carefully craft things so that you come across in the best light possible. Yes, you can automate things like those expectations. Yes you can automate the post-event stuff like follow up and follow through. Yeah some people like to follow up over the phone personally and that’s all fun and great, however having a system that stimulates or enhances that even better. I want you to imagine having a system in place that allows you to send an email to your clients saying “hey how did we do?”. One star for not so good, two stars for okay, and three stars for you were great. Something along those lines. And imagine you having an action item immediately and automatically created if anybody clicks on one star to follow up and try and head it off at the pass. Get to that client before they get online before they get to the Yelps and the Google Reviews sites and Merchant Circles and SuperPages. Head them off at the pass. So automation will help you ensure that things don’t fall through the cracks. As good as we are, we are human and human beings make mistakes. Things are going to get crazy at work. They typically do. Things are going to get busy. That’s when things go bad. So we want to make sure again, by using things like we’re talking about here where we are positioning ourselves as the expert, we’re we systematizing as much as we can systematize in our business and having those documented. It could be as simple as checklists. And then going ahead and automating as much of that process as we possibly can. A combination of those three things is really going to help you avoid those costly negative online reviews.