Ever been slammed in an online review? How did you react—with calm professionalism or with angry indignation? And did you use the review as an opportunity to improve your insurance business or merely to defend your ego?
In today’s marketplace, online transparency is a requirement, period. But once you put your business out there, you must prepare yourself for negative feedback on consumer review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google Places for Business. What’s more, when a consumer gets really angry, you must steel yourself for unhinged rants on Ripoff Report and other sites. And once the criticism lands, you must learn to take it in stride.
Of course, dealing with negativity is never easy. For example, say you’re a new financial advisor with only a few consumer reviews online. Even one negative review can really ding your reputation since it’s so visible. In this case, you might be tempted to delete it or to bully the person to take it down. Be careful! Either action can backfire, causing more damage than if you’d ignored the bad feedback in the first place.
Why not just delete the comment? Because this could make matters worse. Now instead of being contained on your Yelp account or Facebook fan page, the angry customer might take his anger to the wide-open Internet—Tweeting a nasty blog post or going ballistic on Complaints.com.
Another reason not to delete: most consumers realize no business is perfect. If they see you have only positive reviews, they will wonder why. Perhaps you’re deleting negative feedback or paying people to sing your praises. You’re better off allowing comments to reflect reality. Sometimes your performance will be off, but most times it will be great. And some people will be unhappy (it’s human nature), but most will be delighted with your performance. What’s more, if a reviewer is blatantly unreasonable, chances are your loyal fans will rally to your defense. Their positive comments will more than offset the occasional bad critique.
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