Are You Engaging Your Company’s Haters?


Markets are conversations, and these days, they are often led by the crowd. Be it your customers or your employees, they are uniquely empowered to spread the good or bad word about you.  Question is, how closely are you listening?

than ever, internet users have two things going for them: Transparency and
Tools.  They know a lot about you because
of Google, their social stream, and all the review sites.  They also have publishing tools to share
their experiences their friends.  For any
business owner or manager it is imperative that you monitor the conversation
about your company. 

If you are tuned in to them, these review
sites are actually a service to your business, even when the news is bad.  You can now immediately discover when
something is broken in your service chain, because you’ll find the review,
tweet or posting on your facebook page wall.                                          

are several easy ways to monitor social media for the Tom’s and Shane’s your
company may upset.  First, be aware of
the major review sites that impact your bottom line: Yelp (consumer services, like eateries or
retailers), Angie’s List (services, like contracting or auto
repair), Trip Advisor (hotels, destinations) and Jobitorial (the top site where employees review their employers.) 

Do these reviews matter?  Does anyone read them?  According to a Harvard
research project
in 2011, a
one star (poor) review for a local or an independent, can lead to a five to
nine percent drop in sales initially, and a nagging drag on the bottom line for
months.  For users of the popular
restaurant booking site OpenTable, the reviews help them avoid bad
experiences.  It’s likely a recently
posted one star review there has even more negative impact on the restaurant
being scrutinized.

According to staffing professionals I’ve
met in my travels, Jobitorial is a must-monitor site, as the word has gotten
out to job candidates that this is the “Yelp” of the job hunting space.  Bad reviews there can undo a mountain of
recruiting efforts.

While most review sites allow anonymity, almost all of them offer users
a shortcut to the registration process: signing in via facebook or
Twitter.  That will enable you or your
staff to locate them, message them and try and resolve the issue.  You can also use Google to find a reviewer
that uses their real name.  That’s the
key to success: Interaction! 

When you
connect with the writer of a negative review, don’t arrive guns a blazing,
threatening them with legal recourse. 
Don’t bicker with them in pubic (by debating them in the comments area
of the review sites.)  Converse in a
positive way, as a business owner or leader as to express, “I want to make
things right.”  In a significant number
of cases, negative reviews have been modified or taken down by their authors
after a successful resolution of their complaint.  In some cases, these detractors were knocked
out by the responsiveness of the business, and became raving fans through the

More: 10 Ways To Deal With Upset Customers Via Social Media