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Monday, February 21, 2011

Watch your f'n "mouth"

This is not a blog on swearing online today.  Come on - I grew up in NJ.  I use the "F" word as an adjective when tired or angry.  This is about opening your big fat trap when writing online.

Your biz uses social media online.  You tweet, you FaceBook, you tell everyone where you are on Foursquare, you even yelp!

Then you have a bad experience. Instantaneously, you can post the person's name, ask for their head, and demand that the business goes under...  You don't (or shouldn't) though.  Why?  Because every account is linked to you or your business for GOD'S SAKE! And negative energy from you will come back to your business! But that twerp who thought there should be more fries on their plate, or that you should have given them something for free while paying customers couldn't find a seat, waits two weeks and posts anonymously that you are horrid, and your staff is crap - and you have no retort. What do you do?

NOTHING. (Well sort of)
  • Do not reply to the person - no matter how much you want to.  They are insane, pissed, uneducated, vindictive or - ALL OF THESE.  You can not talk this person down and you will only stir the crazy pot - don't do it!
  • Ask a couple customers that you respect to review - don't ask a ton - most places think of this as spam, you just want a couple, and if they can talk to the issues, the better.  Sometimes this happens naturally, but it takes time.  Asking a couple people, means that you can see updates at the top faster.
  • Own the bad review - mention it on a different medium as an attack.  Show your vulnerability - it's the only thing you have - you are human, your business is all you have in some cases - this person struck your child.
  • Ask everyone you know to flag the review (we are talking off the wall reviews here, don't do this for all negative reviews - some are actually good for ya).  The more accounts flag - the more chances that the thing will get pulled.
  • For yelp! - pay for an ad through their staff, and tell  them you won't sign up until the crazy review is removed.  I have a feeling this might work.  I haven't tried.
  • Sit down with your staff and go over the review. Learn from it.
Bad reviews get easier over time - mostly if they are few and far between.  They are a good touch with reality.  You can't please everyone all of the time, but it's our job to try.

Check out my bad review on yelp! :) -> http://www.yelp.com/biz/gather-wine-bar-arroyo-grande

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