“I just had an irrational person leave a bad Facebook review for something we couldn’t control. Can we remove it?”
Technically yes, there are a few things you could do to remove the review. You could remove reviews altogether from your page. You could ban the user from your page. Or, if it was offensive with crude language you could report them to Facebook. But, you don’t want to remove a bad review just because it’s bad.
Let’s dig into the situation a bit more:
You’ve built a wonderful business. You pride yourself on providing an exceptional experience to your customers. Your staff is trained on the right way to treat customers and resolve any issues.
Even the best get yelled at.
Unfortunately, we live in a society where people love to complain, even if your team bends over backwards to help them. The worst part is that these disgruntled trolls will go out of the way to tell the world how horrible your company is…how your service is terrible…you don’t care about people…you’re unresponsive…and how you are not even nice to your own children. You know they type!
For most people, the first instinct is to get defensive–there’s no way someone is going to say untrue things about your company and you’re people! You may even want to address the situation head-on and explain why this person is unfair, untrue and lying. But going into attack mode like this will only make you look petty.
What should you do with a bad Facebook review?
Don’t immediatly attack the person in the hopes of defending your honor. Don’t delete it or hide it. Instead, address it in a proactive and helpful way.
Step 1: Address complaints directly on Facebook, then look to move the conversation offline:
Here’s an example:
[This is you]: Hi [Customer Name], thank you for the feedback, I’m very sorry to hear that you didn’t have a great experience. We pride ourselves on doing everything we can to meet our customer’s expecations. Whenever we hear that someone didn’t have an exceptional experience, we want to know about it so that we can fix things. If you could call our offices at XXX-XXX-XXXX, and our management team would be happy to speak with you and help in any way we can. Again, thank you for sharing your feedback, and we look forward to turning things around for you.
Even if the person’s complaint was entirely unfounded, this shows everyone else that you truly do care and you are always looking for ways to improve. Approaching it this way can show potential prospects that you’re honest and will go out of your way to help. It turns the negative, into a positive.
Step 2: Don’t engage in a he-said, she-said argument online–you won’t win.
If the person that left the bad review gets combative and won’t listen to reason, don’t try to go back and forth to convince them! These people are so upset (or irrational) that nothing you say or do will help. Engaging in the back and forth will only lead to a petty argument and you won’t win. Just like Elsa in Frozen, you need to “Let it go!” If you find the person continues to pester you and leave rude comments, you want to consider banning them from your page. Here are Facebook directions on how to ban someone from your page.
Step 3: Put a proactive plan in place to build more positive reviews.
No matter how amazing your customer service is at some point you’re going to deal with a bad review. The best way to combat bad reviews is to overwhelm them with the positives. Think about your own take on reviews. If you were looking for a hotel and there were 203 four and five star reviews and just two people that left bad reviews, you probably wouldn’t blink an eye at those bad reviews. On the other hand, if those two bad reviews were alongside only a few positive reviews, you would have a much different impression.
So, instead of focusing on the negative, drown them out with positives. Put a plan in place to encourage your happy customers and clients to share their great experience on Google, Yelp, Facebook and other review sites. The more four and five star reviews you get, the better.
We recently had a client in the Kansas City area who had a 1.5 star rating on Yelp—and a few nasty comments from their own trolls. With a proactive strategy to build positive reviews (and a really cost effective reputation management tool to build more positive reviews), we increased their average review to 3.5 stars in just 3 days! And we collected 36 positive candidate testimonials in just three weeks. Fast forward a year later and they have 426 testimonials with a 4.8/5 average rating!
With a proactive plan to build positive reviews, your best clients will share the truth about your great service and drown out the trolls that just want to complain.
When it comes to branding your company online, some good first steps are to establish your unique personality, crowd-source content from your fans and followers, capitalize on trends on social media, and jump in to start conversations. Not sure where to start? Main Street Hub is here to help.
Check out these tips to utilize the digital marketing landscape and establish your brand.
Decide who you are and stick to it.
When it comes to your brand’s unique voice and personality, being consistent with who you are is how you will gain and retain followers. But, before you can be consistently you, you’ll need to establish you who are as a brand.
Start with 4 or 5 adjectives that represent your business.
For example, some adjectives that describe Main Street Hub are:
Use that to inform your content, whether you’re trying to attract new candidates or customers. Just keep in mind who you’re talking to on each platform to make sure your messaging makes sense to your key demographic.
Make your online presence consistent online.
Now that you have figured out how to describe your brand, it’s time to solidify the answer to the question, “what does your business do?” so you can tell your fans and followers and anyone who visits your pages.
Main Street Hub is the marketing platform for local businesses. Serving thousands of customers in all 50 states, we offer an integrated social, web, and email marketing solution to help small business owners get more customers and keep them coming back.
So, how do we translate that to our social media descriptions?
Our Facebook page expands that description a bit to say, “Trusted by 10,000 local businesses across the country, we bring together a mix of writers, designers, and tech experts to drive growth and take social media off your plate — for good.”
On Twitter, our description is: “Trusted by 10,000 #smallbusiness owners across the U.S. We’re a #marketing company with a passion for storytelling & a big heart for local.”
Note: Being consistent doesn’t necessarily mean that every description has to be the same on each platform. Keep in mind who your audience is and be sure that your description will resonate with them.
Focus on your biggest fans and influencers — and share their content.
Right now, your employees, customers, and loyal fans are posting about you on various social platforms — this is user-generated content. Let them know that you’re paying attention! Take advantage of this user-generated content by resharing a Facebook post from a fan, reposting a customer’s Instagram post, or retweeting a customer who had a good experience with you. You can quote or thank that user when you post on your pages.
Here is an example of user-generated content — we shared an employee’s Instagram post to our Facebook page.:
You can also cross-promote your greatest reviews by taking a screenshot from Yelp or Google, sharing it on your Facebook and Twitter pages, and saying thank you to the reviewer for the kind words.
Giving your customers and followers a shoutout on your pages has more of an impact than just sharing your own content — it shows that you are a brand that is engaged and listening to its customers. Plus, this is a great way to vary your feed and make it look more interesting to new visitors to your page.
In addition to posting and resharing content from your customers and fans, you can also use your online profiles to interact with new and potential customers. After all, It’s called social media for a reason! In today’s digital marketing landscape, consumers expect a two-way conversation, especially when it comes to customer service. Responding to their questions and comments and starting new conversations will help you build relationships with potential customers and bring them to your door.
A good place to start is to monitor your pages to ensure you’re being responsive.
For example, in this LinkedIn post, we shared an article from Built in Austin that featured two of our team members, and when we received a comment from the user above, we responded to Kurt to let him know that we appreciated his interaction.
Note: It’s important to keep your voice and your business’ brand in mind and respond to each user in a personalized way. Use their names in your responses, and point out details they mentioned to let them know you’re listening.
If you want to know more about using social media to extend your customer service online, don’t miss this blog post — click here.
There you have it! As a company, we at Main Street Hub have worked hard to shape our own digital presence, but what we’re most proud of is helping 10,000 local businesses tell their stories online.
Think Main Street Hub can help you tell your story? Get started here.
Kayla Moses joined Main Street Hub three years ago and is currently one of our Marketing Specialists. The love for local runs deep in her family — her parents opened a yarn shop in her hometown two years ago. Every other Saturday, Kayla works at her parents’ shop, deepening her appreciation for local business and love for bringing communities together.
My mom and dad have always been fiends for hobbies. Their first project as a married couple was to learn to deep sea scuba dive. When I was a kid, my mom made stained glass windows and turned our garage into a home studio; my dad learned to build old British racing cars from scratch. In college, when she and my dad picked up motorcycle riding, they took a trip across the country “just to practice.” You get the idea. They really believe in hobbies.
So, that said, when my mom picked up knitting a few years ago, I probably should have known we’d end up running a yarn store.
My parents opened A Sheep at the Wheel Yarn Co. in my hometown of Georgetown, Texas in June of 2015. My mom had only been knitting for about six months when she decided that this was “The Next Big Thing” that she and my dad were going to do together. In a matter of weeks, she memorized basically everything there is to know about all kinds of yarn, fibers, stitches, needles, and patterns. (My dad followed shortly thereafter). My mom knitted dozens — literally dozens — of samples. We opened shop and the rodeo truly began: our quest to become the Yarn Barons of Central Texas. At least, that’s the family joke we’re running with for now.
I work at the shop every other Saturday to give my mom a day off, and two years in, I feel like I’ve finally settled into the culture of my family’s business. It’s so much more than just running the cash register for the day. There’s a richness to being surrounded by raw craft materials. We play folky country music, sometimes jazz, and people stop in for a cup of coffee to chat and knit for hours.
I’ve gotten to witness incredible stories from all generations: cheery grandmothers, knitting up booties for their grandchildren; little girls, picking out pink and purple yarns for their first winter hat; our class teachers, spinning out scarves and socks for charity causes all across the country.
We’re a yarn store, but the people are really what make what we do worth it. Every time I hear my mom answer the phone, I think how much like she sounds like my grandmother. There’s so much love in it. People drive in from all over Central Texas just to see my mom and to ask for her help on their projects. I can’t count the number of times that someone’s popped in and said: “I drove in all the way from San Antonio just to say hi to your mother!” There’s also nothing sweeter than my dad helping our elderly customers by taking their bags to their car in the parking lot.
People always laugh when I tell them my parents own a yarn shop. They chuckle and say, “I had no idea that sort of thing even existed!” Something about that makes it even more special for me, because to our regulars, we’re a second home. We’re the place they make new friends. The place they come to relax. The place they come to be creative. To share stories. It’s a lot of heart, all wound up in a dream my mom and dad had together. And that’s a yarn worth spinning.
As a reputation management pioneer, Nick has the inside scoop on all things Reputation Management. This blog will focus on Reputation, practices, technologies, providers and re-shared content from some of the preeminent players in the industry. We hope you enjoy!