Leveraging Online Reviews

In a client meeting today, we were talking about the online reviews posted for this client’s business. In this instance, the vast majority of the reviews were very positive. This happens to be a very popular local Deli. But what happens when someone writes a negative review? How should a business react? The fact is, this is an excellent opportunity to turn the situation around. The best response is to write a response to the review and right the situation. For example, one of my clients wrote a response saying as the President of the company, he was sorry that they had a bad experience. That this is out of the norm and that he personally would make it right. To give him a call (he posted his number) and he would handle the situation himself. The idea is to not just bury the problem, but to turn a bad customer experience into a positive one.

I have heard many times that companies fear reviews. I say, don’t fear them. Embrace the idea of reviews and when/if a bad review happens, write a response to it. People respond positively to this. They like that you’re hearing them, are transparent and responsive.

A well known example of this idea, but not exactly regarding reviews is the Domino’s Pizza ‘problem’ a bit back. A couple of employees videotaped some very off behavior in the pizza shop. They then posted it on YouTube. Wouldn’t you know, it went viral and very fast had over million hits. It could have been a PR nightmare for Domino’s. But their CEO Patrick Doyle posted a response and apology on YouTube that also went viral.

Below is Domino’s response as a great example of how a company can really turn a bad situation around.