Do Customers Really Trust Your Business?

Do Customers Really Trust Your Business?

I’m sure your gut reaction says that yes, they do, but how can you prove it?

 

Let’s look at this from the customer’s point of view. If they are looking for the kind of service you provide, how does your business prove to those customers that you’re the best company for them?

 

The answer is, they look at your track record, and the quickest way for them to get a good idea is from your past clients who have already employed you to do the job that this new customer wants. So, they look at your reviews.

 

Online reviews and recommendations are now incredibly important, in fact they have contributed to the biggest shift in consumer buying in the last 100 years and few businesses are really harnessing their power.

 

Do you know how many reviews an average consumer will look up before making a decision?

It’s 10, yes that’s right, TEN.

 

If your business doesn’t have 10 reviews online then you’re giving your next potential customer their first reason not to get in touch with you (Source: Brightlocal).

 

Taking this one step further, the number of reviews that a consumer wants to see before they trust a business is actually very similar. Studies report that consumers want to see between 6 and 10 5 star reviews before they think a business is trustworthy (Source: Searchengineland).

 

The bottom line is that without those 5 Star reviews, your business isn’t trusted online. And that’s what we’re here to help you solve: How to Build Your 5 Star Reputation.

 

You might think that this sounds a little extreme, after all, how many people really read reviews?

 

Astonishingly, 97% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews to judge a local business (2015 local consumer review survey). This age group are the millennials, the next group of buyers. When 97% of them are using reviews to judge a local business before they call, or before they set an appointment, and way before they spend any money, it means improving your reputation is the most critical thing that you can do online for your marketing and to get customers.

 

If you’re sitting there feeling quite smug, knowing that millennials aren’t your target audience therefore online reviews and reputation needn’t concern you. WRONG.

 

If you widen the statistics for the whole population, that is ALL age groups, it’s 92% of consumers now read online reviews for local businesses (2015 local consumer review survey).

 

So how does increasing your positive reviews actually translate to an increase in business?

The University of California Berkeley published the results of a study of 328 businesses where they found that by increasing the rating by just half a star could increase revenues by 19% (Source: Economic Journal).

 

More importantly when we asked consumers – when you’re searching for a business online who would you call first? Only 18% said they would call a business that actually showed up at the top of the search results. 27% said they would choose the cheapest service. However, the majority of respondents said they would call the business with the best reputation.

 

The game of marketing has changed dramatically. You don’t need to be the business with the best SEO, and you shouldn’t have to offer the biggest discounts to attract peoples’ attention. What your customers are looking for is the most reputable company to do business with. Which is something we all should have been aiming for all along!

 

The next step for you to take is to implement a 5 Star Review strategy. Find out how to do this by signing up for our free report below.

click here

Tweets Appearing in Google for Brand and Personal Search.

Tweets Appearing in Google for Brand and Personal Search.

It seems that the deal that Google struck with Twitter

back in February this year, to make it easier to show Tweets on search is finally coming to fruition here in the UK.

 

On Friday search results were altered as new additions were being added. Recent tweets where being added to search for Businesses/Brands, individuals and for popular #hashtags. So now not only is your Twitter handle on display, but what you said, and how long ago you said it.

 

Business / Brand Name Search

Big_Thinking_Online

Searches for Individuals

google search for individuals

 

Search for Hastags

Latest tweets for hash tags

 

Why is this happening?

Google wants to present current search results.

Users want instant results and information about what is happening now and the integration between Google and Twitter means that Google’s search results can display up to date results.

Twitter wants more users on the platform.

From Twitters point of view this will mean that more people will sign up for the micro blogging platform as people will find links to twitter in more and more places on the web.

 

What are the benefits to businesses and brands?

Provides additional exposure to companies that have invested in building out their social platforms and developing their audience.

 

It also means that those that businesses that invest in sponsored tweets will get greater exposure. By Sponsored Tweets I mean paying Twitter for their Tweets to appear in other users timelines but also companies that pay celebrities and other power users to talk about their brand.

 

This update also has reputation management implications for brands businesses and business leaders as everyone knows how important it is to stay on top of social media. Now your latest twitter conversations are on display if anyone searches for you.

 

What should you do about it?

In order for this to benefit you the it would be important to keep your social profiles up to date. If the last information that was posted was 12 months ago then it might cause the potential client to ask the question why are they not keeping their information up to date. Can they be trusted to stay on top of my business?

 

Of course there is also the fact that negative opinion from current users of your brand can be highlighted to anyone that searches for you.

 

From an online reputation management point of view the new twitter box takes up a larger amount of space on the search results page meaning that if it can be kept up to date and positive it could be used to great effect to displace any other negative listings that are displayed in search results.

For more great tips on Social Media, download our free ebook, 49 Exclusive Social Media Tips For Business, or check out our Social Media PackagesSocial Media For Business Free Download

5 Ways To Add Social Proof To Your Website

5 Ways To Add Social Proof To Your Website

5 Ways To Add Social Proof To Your Website

Social ProofThe term Social Proof seems to be popping up more and more in relation to brands and marketing, although the concept itself is far from new. For those of you who haven’t come across it, Social Proof is the positive influence created when someone finds out that others are doing something.

According to Wikipedia, “Social proof is a type of conformity. When a person is in a situation where they are unsure of the correct way to behave, they will often look to others for cues concerning the correct behaviour. When “we conform because we believe that other’s interpretation of an ambiguous situation is more accurate than ours and will help us choose an appropriate course of action,” it is informational social influence.”

So how does this relate to your business? Put simply, people want to see that others have worked with you, or bought from you, or would recommend you. They want to know that they are not a guinea pig for your services, and if they can see that other people have been there and done that, it makes it an easier decision for them to go ahead and do it too.

Leveraging Social Proof on your website is a great way to help you influence buyers, improve your conversion rates and enhance your reputation at the same time. There are plenty of ways you can achieve this, here are my top 5.

  1. Reviews

Product reviews are something we’re all really familiar with. They’ve become part and parcel of the way we buy. Think about some of the biggest sites on the internet: Amazon, Trip Advisor, eBay; they are all well known for promoting products via other peoples’ reviews. Whether you’re buying a holiday, a car or a blender the chances are you will look that product up online and see what has been said about it.

If your business sells products, then you need to make sure there are some reviews of those products for your other customers to read

  1. Testimonials

A testimonial from someone can have incredible power over other potential buyers. They show that you can be trusted and that you are approachable because other people who are independent of your business are telling them to choose you. Video testimonials can be particularly persuasive as the person watching the video can get a real sense of how genuine your business is. Well placed, well worded testimonials on your website can leave a lasting impression over and above any other words you’ve written.

  1. Case Studies

Case studies take testimonials to a whole other level, offering a more in depth look at a particular relationship. Buyers, especially those considering a more expensive purchase, or those thinking about embarking on a longer term working relationship with you want to be able to envision the entire process from start to finish. Case studies that take people on a journey of what to expect, perhaps even including a few bumps in the road, can prove to potential partners that you are in it for the long haul. By showing that you have established good long term relationships with existing customers from a similar background to your prospect’s  you are enabling those prospects to picture themselves working with you too.

  1. Endorsements

In certain situations finding someone to endorse your brand can work wonders for attracting new customers by positively impacting your brand. A local Celebrity, business leader or other well known figure who is happy to lend their name and a few comments to your website or marketing collateral can mean that they also bring their fans and followers to your brand too. By having a big name associated with your business you will be seen as a leader, which is the kind of powerful social proof that many brands aspire to. If an endorsement sounds like something you’d like to do, think carefully about who your ideal customer is and choose a figurehead that represents both you and them. An endorsement from an inappropriate name will only confuse your customers and may even turn some people off.

  1. User Generated Content

User generated content is any content that is posted by your customers. It might be your Dental patients posting pictures of their new smile to Facebook, or someone mentioning your Estate agency in a picture of them getting their new house keys. User generated content, particularly image and video is fantastic as it shows real interaction with your brand. One way to encourage this is to ask people make a short video and post it to YouTube, or to ask people who visit to check in on Facebook. If you run any kind of event then make sure to let people know that you have a hashtag for it.

It’s not always easy to get people to interact with your business, but if you persevere you’ll find that the more people who join in, then the easier it will get. Few people want to be seen as the only one liking something, or to be the only one with their name on your website. Flip that around, and if you have photographs of 20 happy customers who have all left great reviews of you online, then more people will want to join in with that.

Social Proof is all about people and relationships, and if you invest in your customers with a great service then they will be happy to share your business with their friends and family. Every single person you interact with has the potential to tell others. What will they say about you?

Build Your Reputation then Grow Your Reach

Build Your Reputation then Grow Your Reach

Build Your Reputation then Grow Your Reach.

reputation managementLetting more people know about your business today than yesterday is part and parcel of being in business, growing a business and ultimately making a success of business. Without a continued drive to reach more targeted clients with an attractive and relevant proposition, customer acquisition will grind to a halt.

But what if the product and service that you are driving people’s attention back to is below par? Are you wasting your advertising money? Are you simply glossing over the bigger problem?

In Forresters Customer Experience Index 2013*, top ten customer experience leaders have a three year growth pattern better than twice that of the top ten U.S. advertisers. So does it not make sense that rather than working hard to get a million people to know about your business, would it not be better to focus on the product and service to:

  • make a product that is worth shouting about!
  • provide an experience that is second to none!
  • build a brand that is synonymous with excellence!

In an age where the customer has so much buying power thanks to the internet, businesses are no longer competing with the 1 or maybe 2 other firms in the same location. They are dealing with every firm across the country and beyond, many of whom share similar if not the same advertising messages.

The internet means that barriers to entry in some niches are greatly reduced, companies like Amazon and Google shopping mean that you can have a virtual shop open in a matter of hours, trade from your back bedroom and have next day delivery to clients.

Look at the legal sector, a market that was for so long dominated by long time established local firms who would quite literally handle all legal matters; family, business, wills and probate for an entire family is now challenged by internet companies that can offer the advice online for a fraction of the cost. Even Google has got into the legal game by backing Rocket Lawyer in the UK which will closely be followed by Legal Zoom who are partnering with the Quality Solicitors franchise to offer traditional legal services via the internet.

The main thing that happens through increased competition is commoditisation, lowering of costs and ultimately reduced profits. However, if your reputation is second to none, if you are associated with delivering great service, on time and on budget then why should you lower your cost? Your USP is the fact that you are great at what you do, you are experienced, you are trustworthy and more importantly other people think so and publically endorse you too.

When firms go after increasing brand awareness and targeting greater numbers this can be a complete waste of time if you don’t have that USP in the first place. All the advertising investment in the world cannot make up for the fact that when people search for your business in Google, once they have seen your advert they are met with a torrent of negative comments and testimonials from past clients of your business. The vast majority of those clients will NOT deal with you, they WILL find the next service provider who has a good reputation and choose them, even if it costs a little more because they will have more confidence in the fact that they can deliver over you.

So, before you go and invest thousands on your online marketing take a long look at what people are saying about you online and ask yourself honestly if you were a potential customer would you work with yourself?

If the answer is yes then put together a campaign based around your offer and get it out in front of targeted potential clients and track the results. If the answer is No, then forget advertising until you can honestly and truthfully answer, “Yes I would work with this firm”.

*Source: Forresters Customer Experience Index 2013

Google+ is Growing and Will Continue to Grow!

Google+ is Growing and Will Continue to Grow!

Google+ is Growing and Will Continue to Grow!

Globalwebindex have compiled results that show that Google+ is now the second largest social media platform behind Facebook with 343m users, representing a growth of 27% from the previous year and despite all the negativity that the press have published about it being a ghost town.

Part of this growth can be explained by the fact that Google are, some would say, forcing, others would say, gently persuading, users of its other services to connect their Google+ profiles in order to use certain features.

google + local growing

For starters every time someone opens a new Gmail account they are automatically given a Google+ page. If users want to leave comments in the Google Play store they have to be signed in with their Google+ account, if a user wants to leave a comment in Google+ local for business using the Zagat rating system then they have to be signed in to their Google+ local account, if the user wants to have their real name displayed on their YouTube account they have to be signed into their Google+ account and then there is Authorship. If a user who produces content online wants to make sure that Google knows who wrote that content so spammers can’t scrape and copy the content and out rank you then, you have guessed it, you have to claim your Google+ profile. You want to claim your business listing which incidentally already exists (oops did nobody tell you?). Google created over 80 million business pages in Google+ local for business that are sitting on that are out there on the internet right now, with no images, no videos and possibly negative reviews!? Well, now you know!

Google has made it very clear that Google+ is not just the future but the present of Google.

“Google+ is Google,” says Vice President Bradley Horowitz. “The entry points to Google+ are many, and the integrations are more every day.”

We all know the social layer is important to Google and Google+ is their way to access the bountiful advertising revenue that Facebook is currently enjoying by accessing the personal information of its users. What apps people like, what shops or business services people use, where they are, the people they know. The amount of information that Google can monetise in terms of advertising through personalised search is incredible and that is why they will continue to encourage web users to embrace Google+.

As a business owner the main benefit of Google+ is that, unlike Facebook, Google+ is not ring fenced, it is not a closed community. If you share something on Google+ then it is available in search. And that for me is the monumental difference.

Google is ultimately a search engine, arguably the best search engine, some would go as far to say the only search engine, and so everything they do will be tied to search.

So, if an individual likes an Italian restaurant and on Google+ they leave a positive comment saying how great the meal was and the service was fantastic then when one of their friend types “Italian restaurant” into Google a picture of their friend will appear along with the review that they left. In other words there will be recommendations from people you know, like and trust mixed within the search results in Google.

google+ local

Flip that the other way around. What if your closest friend, someone whose opinion you trust has a bad experience with a local property solicitors, they leave a bad review using Google+. 6 months down the line when you type into Google “solicitor for buying a house” and in the results you see a review from your trusted friend reminding you how poor a certain solicitor is, would you then go on to use that solicitor?

Google+ will integrate into more and more products and searches, meaning that the search results that people get back will be more personalised and tailored, including the thoughts, experiences and opinions of your friends. This will have a HUGE influence over the business and services that an individual uses.

Google+ is not just a social media platform, it is a means for Google to incorporate social into all of their other products and when all of these other products are part of our daily working lives then at some point or other Google+ will be part of what you do, how you do it and more importantly what your customers do.

To find out more about how you can leverage Google+ local to rapidly increase leads and sales for your business contact us today.

Sources

http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/technology/19091-google-pushing-google-through-service-integration

http://globalwebindex.net/thinking/social-platforms-gwi-8-update-decline-of-local-social-media-platforms/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324731304578193781852024980.html

Protect Your Online Assets – Even if You Don’t Think You Have Any!

Protect Your Online Assets – Even if You Don’t Think You Have Any!

Protect your online Assets – Even if You Don’t Think You Have Any!

protect your online assets - life ringWe’ve said it many times before, but a website really is a non-negotiable part of doing business. I spoke to a prospect earlier today who said that he doesn’t do any marketing, online or otherwise. Yet this same prospect had a website, has local directory listings and has clients leaving opinions of his services online, Google even brought up a newspaper article from last month that mentions his name and business directly. All of this was (except for his basic website that has been in place and unchanged for years) was without his knowledge and out of his control.

It’s never been easier for potential customers to find out what others think of your business. Likewise, it’s never been easier for existing customers to leave their opinions of you, good or bad, very publically and without contacting you to let you know.

Even if you are like the prospect that I spoke to earlier and don’t wish to actively market your business online there are steps you should be taking to protect your online interests that shouldn’t take you too much time, but will ensure that you are protecting your assets to a certain extent.

Claim your Google+ Local Listing.

Every business in the world has a Google + Local page or they can claim one. The vast majority of businesses haven’t done anything with theirs as they haven’t even realised it’s there to be claimed. If you claim your Google + Local page you can give yourself an advantage when potential clients are searching for businesses like yours in your local area because Google wants to offer its own results over and above anything else. An optimised Google + Local page will also help when people search directly on your business name, because Google will recognise this as another citation of your business being valid.

Claim your local directory sites.

customer reviews - yellSites such as Yell, Thomsonlocal and Yelp are like the evolved version of the old phonebooks. They list business contact details, addresses and usually a brief description. This information will most likely have been auto filled from your website, but won’t necessarily have been refreshed even if your website information has been. These local directory sites hold a large amount of credibility with search engines who recognise them as a valid source of information. Many local directory sites have been online since the early days of the internet, which adds into their trust factor as far as the search engines are concerned. If you claim your business listing in an online directory you are given the opportunity to add additional information, for example pictures, offers, or even just give more accurate detail about what you do.

Set up Social Media sites in your business name.

You may have no desire to represent your business on Social Media, but the fact is that millions of people do use it, and you may have customers or potential customers looking for you on there. The worst thing that could happen is that someone else could set up a page using your business name and pretending to be you. Ensure this doesn’t happen by setting yourself up, and if you don’t want to use the sites leave a message clearly stating the best ways to get in touch with you. Once you’ve set the sites up, set up email notifications for if anyone does write on your wall or send you a tweet just so nothing slips through the cracks.

Make sure your Business Name, Address and Postcode are correct.

Each business has a unique Name, Address and postcode (NAP) and Search Engines use this information to ensure that information they return is about the same business, not another business with the same name. If you have moved premises you’re likely to remember to update your stationary and forward your post, but you also need to make sure that you update your address details with all local directories, Google and on your own website so that online searchers can find you too. It’s also important to keep all citations of your name and address the same, for example if your building number is 24-26 High Street, some people may just list it as 24, or 26. Whilst a postman would hopefully understand and deliver your mail, a search engine would see these as different things and therefore not give you the same credibility in the search results.

Encourage Positive Reviews

local seo - excellent customer service

It’s an unfortunate fact that people are more likely to complain than they are to praise. Your business may have had hundreds of satisfied clients over the years, and you may even have a box full of glowing testimonials, but it only takes one dissatisfied client to vent their frustration publically online to ruin your online reputation. Whilst the obvious solution is to always provide excellent customer care, there’s always going to be an occasional slip. If you already have dozens of happy customers talking about you online then one bad review will be a drop in the ocean. If you have no positive reviews then the bad one is all that anyone can see. Take pre-emptive action by encouraging everyone you deal with to leave a positive review of your business online. If you’ve followed the advice above and claimed your local directory listings then you can even ask people to go to a specific site to leave their reviews. We set up private review portals for our clients to make sure reviews can be captured and posted as easily as possible.

Not every business wants to actively manage their online profile, but it is important to have some kind of system or process in place as even if you aren’t interested in being online, I can guarantee people will already be talking about you and your business on the internet.

To find out how you could make it easier for clients to share their great reviews about your business online click here!

Take Ownership For Your Online Reputation

Take Ownership For Your Online Reputation

Take Responsibility For Your Online Reputation

When it comes to the positioning of your brand online, it might be easy to assume that the brand reputation you have spent years cultivating in the business world will come with it. After all, you’ve worked hard to build up your business, build a positive online reputation and position your brand as an expert over the years – surely that level of expertise and trust will be reflected in the online world?

Unfortunately that is not always the case because if the search engines don’t know about all this great work then how can they present it to potential clients when they search for your business?

Think of it this way, in the traditional business world, the world before websites, search engines and social media, company reputations were built, marketed and maintained through word of mouth and strategic advertising tactics. The result of such business methodologies meant that it could take months if not years for a business to be positioned as a market leader in their field.

online reputation

However the internet has radically altered the way in which businesses position themselves online. Thanks to social media, local business directories, blogs and mobile internet access, your online reputation can be investigated and changed in a matter of seconds with your competition, who do market their reputation online, becoming the main benefactor.

Now that you know that it is as important to market your reputation online as it is offline, here are a few tips that will help you become a market leader online.

Be Proactive in Commanding Your Online Reputation

In order to build a great reputation you need to do great things that add real value to people and then tell other people about them. If you are the best employment solicitor in the North West then keeping this fact quiet is not going to help your cause. Instead be proactive and strategically submit articles, press releases and blog entries that share this fact with targeted clients that are looking for it.

The more positive internet real estate that you own, the better. If people continually see the same message then they will be more likely to remember you when they are in need of your services.

Be Proactive in Providing a Great Service.

online reputationThis may sound a little stupid, as nobody goes out of their way to provide bad service, do they? But providing a great service offline can affect how people perceive your business online.

Any consumers search for a business online in their local area before committing to working with them offline. Therefore when delivering on the service make sure that your customer service is excellent, that you can be contacted easily, that emails and telephone calls get responded to, and complaints get investigated.

There are many cases were clients who have been ignored or received poor service from a company go straight online and share their views with everyone to see. This could severely tarnish the hard earned and positive reputation of your business as once a negative comment is placed online it is very, very difficult to remove.

Be Proactive in Marketing Your Great Reputation

Prospective clients are looking for reassurance before they commit to a major buying decision. So rather than giving those prospects the opportunity to dwell on the decision provide them with proof that your business delivers on what it says it will deliver.

Provide those prospects with glowing testimonials from previous clients who share exactly how your business helped them achieve the results they were looking for. It’s one thing for you to list your credentials, affiliations and expertise, it is another thing altogether for someone who has no relation to your business sharing them for you.

Put in place a process of requesting reviews from clients, good or bad, the positive reviews can help market your business and the negative reviews can be used to identify areas within your business that need improvement. Ultimately resulting in a better service for future clients.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. The more you can do to present your business online as transparent, trustworthy and efficient, the more clients you will successfully satisfy and the more positive sentiment you will create about your brand online, which will result in an increased online real estate, more people finding you and eventually more people selecting you as the partner of choice moving forward.

How Do I Remove a Page From Google?

How Do I Remove a Page From Google?

How Do I Remove a Page From Google?

As a business owner, when somebody publishes something online about your business which casts your business in a negative light for everyone to see it can be quite distressing. Especially if that page talks about an unhappy experience received by a past client. For most people, the first thing that comes to mind is, “I want this page removed from Google!” and that leads to the question, “How can we get this page removed from Google?”

Contrary to popular belief Google does not own the internet, so when you search using Google you are not searching the whole internet you are searching Google’s stored version of the internet. Therefore even if Google does remove the page from its index then it will still be publically available from other search engines, social media sites or other links that people may have saved elsewhere.

3 Tips on Removing a Web page From Google!

1. Contact the person who wrote the negative piece and ask them to remove it.

If the negative comment is in the form of a review on a local business directory site or a review site then you could reach out to the person who left the review and try understanding exactly what their issue is and more importantly what you, as a business can do to make it better. Quite often people leave negative comments and reviews out of sheer frustration. If you or someone from within your business can reach out to that person and take ownership of the situation then work toward a resolution, that person may be willing to remove their review. You may even get the reviewer to edit the review to reflect the way the situation was handled, how they are now a satisfied client and they would recommend you.

In some cases this may not be possible, the reviewer may have chosen to remain anonymous or there may be action for recourse. If this is the case then you may want to look at the next option.

2. Contact the website owner

If the reviewer refuses to remove or edit their comments then your next step will be to contact the website owner and ask them if they will remove the content.

If the contact details of the website owner are not available then you can use the whois utility. to look up information on domain names.  This includes contact information as well as some technical information such as the domain’s name servers (DNS), to try to uncover details such as the web host and contact them putting forward the reasons why you would like the content removed.

Again this might prove tricky as many website owners are reluctant to move content, especially if the content is true and is supported.

Another reason why this approach may prove counterproductive is that the website owner may publish your request to remove the content. This will mean something that could have been years old will now get fresh content added to it which will increase the relevancy of the content in the eyes of the search engines.

3. Be proactive with your reputation.

Clients and consumers have more and more ways to publish their experiences about your business online. Whether you agree with that or support that it doesn’t matter because that is fact. It is not difficult for a consumer to open a web browser on their phone, sign on to Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and tell everyone they know and the entire internet about your business. It happens each and every day to businesses up and down the country. So rather than sitting back, thinking that everything is hunky dory and waiting for a disgruntled client to talk about your business online and then go into fire fighting mode – “How can I get this page removed from Google?” “Can I sue this person?” – be proactive about your online presence.

The more information you provide the search engines that is relevant about your business the better. Why? Because when someone says something negative then the searching public, your prospective customers and your existing business partners know that the comment is out of character and will simply dismiss it as a one off, especially when they can see all the great work that you do.

Testimonials for satisfied customers, news about the charity work you are doing, stories about new employees, business growth, accreditations; all of this information can be provided to the search engines and if other searchers find it relevant they will like it, comment on it and share it so the search engines will pick up on the relevance and include the results when people search on your business name.

One negative comment, review or web page among 10, 20 or 50 positive stories won’t be something to worry about; it will simply show your business for who you really are. The sooner you start to think proactively about your online reputation and less from a defensive stand point the greater position you will be in when the negative review turns up and the question “How do I remove this page from Google?” may not even need to cross your lips!

Customer Complaints in the Age of Google

Customer Complaints in the Age of Google

Customer Complaints in the Age of Google

customer complaints

In the book “How to win customers and keep them for life”, Michael LeBouef shares the following: A typical business hears from only 4 percent of its dissatisfied customers. The other 96 percent just quietly go away and 91 percent will never come back.

That represents a serious financial loss for companies who don’t deal with disgruntled customers, and a tremendous gain to those that do.

In the past, the 4 percent who are not willing to simply walk away when they feel they have not received the service they experienced may have asked to speak to the manager, filled out a complaint form, gone to the customer service desk or sent a letter to the managing director or owner of the business.

If you have ever left a complaint before you will know that not every business gets back to you. There are also those businesses that instead of trying to understand the cause of the problem look to defend through attacking you and the reason for the complaint, leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.

Now there are far easier ways for disgruntled customers to leave their opinions about businesses and how poorly they have performed, putting pressure on said businesses to view and act up on these complaints because they are made in a public forum.

Sure, you have probably all witnessed complaints and negative comments on social media sites where somebody sends a tweet, or writes a post saying how poorly they have been treated or how the service they received by no means reached their level of expectations.

Well during the release of Google’s latest smartphone, the Google Nexus 4, there have been problems with delivery and this has caused more than one complaint and some severe negative criticism globally across the internet. Rather than bombarding help lines, one savvy user took to the internet and leveraged Google products: Goole docs, Google sites, Gmail and Google+, to highlight the growing concern about communication from the company around the internet.

In short, a basic website was setup, including a register where customers who purchased the Google Nexus phone and were awaiting delivery could leave their details and outline their own problem. The site also included a chronological list of communications sent to and from the MD of Google in the UK, Dan Cobley. Communications begin on the 14/12/12 and are updated when new information is posted. The site also posts updates from the various news outlets that have picked up the story such as: Thenextweb, Gizmodo, the Guardian, techcrunch and businessinsider to name a few.

The original letter to Google can be found here

The majority of people are not going to have the same level of skills as Andy, the man responsible for setting up the register, or the acumen to put together what comes across as a structured and well thought out campaign to get Google, one of the largest organisations on the planet, to take notice and respond.

That being said it is not that difficult to set up, Google has provided everyone the tools to do it. Ironically if you don’t know how to use them then you can simply go to another member of the Google product family, YouTube, search on how to set up a Google website and you will find dozens upon dozens of videos that walk you through exactly how to do it. Then you can use Google tools to share the website across the internet so it has the potential to go viral, as is the case with this!

Credit where credit is due

Not only is credit due to Andy for the campaign but also to Dan Cobley – MD of Google UK for the way in which he personally has taken the time to respond and manage the situation. And if you look into the timings of the responses these also land over the weekend ratifying the fact that Google are working evenings and weekends to rectify the situation.

“We are all working through the nights and weekends to resolve this issue, including the seven points you raise. I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process. I am optimistic that we will be able to share some positive news shortly, but I do not want to cause any more disappointment by making a commitment until we are 100% sure we can deliver on it. “

We all know words count for very little and it is the action of fulfilling the orders that will rectify the situation but by being upfront and setting expectations that there is no immediate fix, Google are managing the situation well and showing that they do care and that they do function to serve their users. They have admitted to failing the customer and are desperately trying to set it right.

Any Business can be Publicly Criticised

If Google can get called out from behind the ivory towers there is no reason why any business, no matter how big or how small, can receive the same treatment.

So if you can’t or don’t deliver on what you say you are going to deliver, be prepared for the repercussions – Google style!

SEO Reputation Management – Proactively Protecting What’s Great About Your Business

SEO Reputation Management – Proactively Protecting What’s Great About Your Business

SEO Reputation Management – Proactively Protecting What’s Great About Your Business

 

No matter how good your business is the majority of businesses will find themselves under fire from negative press at some point. You can run the best of businesses for decades, surviving by word of mouth referrals resulting in thousands of happy customers but it only takes one disgruntled patron to write a blog post, leave a couple of negative business reviews or shout about their feeling of discord on social media for years of hard work building a brand to come tumbling down. seo reputation management To top it all off, many of the blogs, review sites, forums that people post on and social media platforms are very well respected by Google and therefore rank highly in the search engine results. When people next search on the name of your business or the products and services you offer, these will often show right on the first page. Right under your main website, quite often as part of your listing thanks to Google’s local business directory, Google Plus Local.

How Does Seo Reputation Management Work?

Negative, inaccurate or misleading content appearing in your top Google results makes a bad impression on people searching for you. And while no one can delete that content (except the person who posted it), effective seo reputation management can make it go away. Whether it is a business name, product, service or person within a business that is receiving negative attention online, by employing seo reputation management strategies you can make it go away. This could involve;

  • Performing an audit of online reviews, discussions and articles about your brand
  • Collating all negative mentions and assessing the best way to address them
  • Creating new positive pieces, such as press releases, advice articles or videos to outrank the negative mentions
  • Regularly monitoring the market for new unfavourable mentions
  • Using other web properties that you have to appear more relevant to the search engines.

By being proactive and taking control about what is being said about your business and what prospective clients can see when they search for you, you can help influence their decision about working with you. To put this into context if at your reception or outside your office were posters, posted by former customers advising people to avoid your business like the plague do you think it would impact the number of people that followed through and become a client?

A 2012 survey of internet users in Britain by reevoo found that 88 per cent of consumers consult reviews when making a purchase, and 60 per cent said they were more likely to purchase from a site that has customer reviews. reevoo’s research shows that shoppers trust independently collected reviews more than twice as much as reviews collected by the business being reviewed. This approach also prevents future negative content from appearing where people will see it. So don’t wait — the longer people see the personal attacks, police reports, bankruptcy filings or other negative content in your top search results, the more damage it does. Take back control of your search results before it is too late. Click on the following link to get 4 great tips on how to repair your online reputation.