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How to Deal with a Bad Review

If you're reading this, chances are you've gotten a bad review or are just planning for the day it happens. Heck, it happened to us - seriously, check out our results on Google maps. Clear as day, one user just wouldn't recommend us. That's fine, people are certainly entitled to their opinions (even if that one appears to be a fake account). But what if it's a genuine, real person who has a legitimate gripe? Here are a few ways to deal with it. And, you need to deal with it. Every unanswered bad review is the equivalent of someone writing "this place sucks" on your business' front door and not doing anything about it. custom essay writing Be Yourself However you respond, just make sure it reflects the rest of your brand or social voice. If you are Old Spice, it should be irreverent and probably mention something about a crazy Minotaur getting loose in the Old Spice factory and tainting that batch of body wash. If you're a boutique clothing shop, chances of you taking the same approach will be slim. Kill With Kindness... To a Point Not everyone's going to like you. The faster you realize that, the better. Even Apple, who every brand on Earth wants to be like, has millions of people out there that hate their products or services. Without question, your first response should be polite, sincere and apologetic. It should never be dismissive, argumentative or disrespectful. In many cases, a simple declaration of error and an apology will do enough to not only appease the reviewer, but also to put your best foot forward to a potential new customer looking for reviews. Give Them Something, Anything There's this old business school thing that I think someone just made up about it costing 5-6 times as much to get a new customer as it does to retain an existing one. Let's assume that's accurate and do a little equation. A person has a bad experience at your restaurant. If you were to apologize and offer them a free appetizer the next time they came in, the worst case is that you're out eight mozzarella sticks. A much worse scenario is that you lose that customer and have to try to win a new one with forty mozzarella sticks. That math may seem fuzzy and I'm not certain it's the best example, but I know two things: the first is that small gestures like this can go a long way and the second is that I kind of want some mozzarella sticks now, like forty of them. Don't Feed the Trolls Ah, this age-old internet cliché. As I mentioned in the previous point, there are some people that cannot be appeased or choose not to and you can only kill with kindness to a point. For these people, you simply have to agree to disagree and drop it. They may get the last word in, but other users will see that you made a concerted effort to try to appease them, and sometimes that's the best you can do. Or, you can just ignore all of this advice and do what this guy did. Tell us what you think. What are some ways you've dealt with bad reviews? Write some of your own tips in the comment section.

Local Search Just Got More Social with Google+ Local

On May 30th, Google officially rolled out 'Google+ Local' to replace Google Places. With the change, Google is providing a more interactive and informative way to search for local restaurants, businesses, and venues- all while taking steps to make their own social network, Google+, more relevant and powerful. This could be a smart move for Google to drive up the user base of Google+, which still trails Facebook by roughly 800 million users. By integrating local capabilities into Google+ and feeding that information into popular Google Applications (i.e. Maps, Local Search Results, etc.), Google can expose and introduce users to Google+ as they search for local information. In addition, a new user-friendly layout has been implemented, along with the ability for users to see what local establishments their friends visited, liked, and reviewed. One of the more interesting enhancements to the platform stems from the newly formed partnership between Google and Zagat, a well respected restaurant and entertainment review service. With the addition of Zagat, Google adds more credibility to their local listings while offering users an informative alternative to sites like Yelp, which only offers user reviews based on a 'star'? rating system. Below is an example of how these changes are unfolding within Google. In this example, we did a search for 'Cheers,'? a Boston bar and tourist landmark. Once a user clicks on reviews, they are taken to a Google+ Local Page. Since users and businesses are now being forced to use the Google+ interface, it is critical for businesses to embrace Google+. For those businesses who have already contributed information to Google Places, Google will be transferring these accounts over to new Google+ Local pages. Over 80 million 'Places' pages have already been converted to 'Plus Local' pages, and eventually all existing Google Places accounts will be converted. As of now, businesses can still manage their listings through Google Places for Business. If a business does not currently have an existing Google Places account, then they should establish a Google+ account and update their listings as soon as possible. Once the account has been created, businesses can enhance their listings with a wide variety of assets that will be critical to engaging their audience. Specifically, businesses should consider taking these steps: Make sure the phone number and address associated with the business are accurate Identify a business category that best fits the company's objectives Upload a profile image that has a strong connection to the brand Customize the Google+ 'About' tab to include: A keyword rich introduction, which can include a hyperlink back to the company website Hours of operation Website URL Contact information Related links (if applicable) On the 'Photo' and 'Video' tabs, photos and videos should be uploaded to showcase the brand. Promote the new Google+ page on other established social profiles such as Facebook and Twitter. This will help to build brand followers. Google+ allows businesses to group these followers into 'circles'? if they wish to segment this list. Be sure to add Google+ sharing buttons on the business website in addition to Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons. Be sure that these buttons are featured on all articles, blog posts, and press releases, as well as on the homepage. Share content on Google+ in a similar fashion as sharing content on Facebook and/or Twitter. In conclusion, while Google's intentions with this enhancement are largely driven by the need to increase the user base of Google+, there are many opportunities for smart business owners to leverage the new features, expand their presence, and drive increased engagement with their target audience.  

You Can Like Whatever You Like

I'm thinking about purchasing my mom an e-reader for Christmas. From what I've heard, the Nook and the Kindle are the top two choices. They're both small, handy devices, have cute names, and I assume will let her download more books and newspaper articles than she'll ever read. Evidently I don't know that much about these products, so I decided to do some online research. I'm not alone, 58 percent of my fellow adult American consumers research products they are considering purchasing online. I consider myself a master googler, so it's no problem locating favorable reviews for both the Kindle and the Nook. In an effort to evaluate the gadgets, I make a list of considerations: price point, content availability, and accessories. It's easy to find reviews that favor one over the other, and evaluate the two based on everything from content to ease of grip (one has a rubber back the other is metal). Many of these articles include recommendations of various lengths; from a thumbs up, to a detailed 5-page analysis. This online community of consumers and fellow prospective purchasers has been growing steadily since the dawn of the Internet. In 2010, 24 percent of Americans posted a review online, and 70 percent of Americans trusted the reviews their fellow consumers had penned. Seventy percent is a lot of trust, especially when you consider the countless ways someone can review your brand. Websites based solely on consumer reviews have gained popularity in recent years; take Yelp, and Angie's List. Yelp recently received its 11 millionth review, and Angie's list boasts over 600,000 subscribers. There is even Consumersearch, which compiles reviews about everything from diet pills to cat food.  And don't forget Facebook with over 500 million active users posting links to their walls and statuses. When a brand's popularity can be gauged by its "likes" on Facebook, how can a company ensure that it receives a favorable review? From the brands we use to the sports we play offline, what we publicly 'like'? online defines us.  For now, one of the easiest ways to gain a favorable 'review'? online is to get a consumer to 'like'? your product or brand. And in the words of T.I. you can like whatever you like (on Facebook at least). This brings me back to the decision at hand; Kindle or Nook? A couple of reviews would be great!

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