It's Not Business, It's Personal - Pt.1

. Friday, January 9, 2009
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If you have not read "It's Not Business, It's Personal - Pt.0" do not pass GO! Read it first then come back to this post.

Whenever I am with a client talking about how we can open up lines of communication online, the first thing the client says is, "What about individuals who leave negative comments?" It is a valid concern. Negative comments can be harmful to a business. However negative comments can become a huge positive if dealt with correctly.

The first step is to listen. Fail to listen and negative comments can get out of control.

For example,
before one of our clients found MarketR, the first website that came up for the brands search term was "[brand x] is a complete rip off." Suddenly more posts sprang up such as, "Yeah I never go to [brand x] I go here instead." What is worse is that this forum was at the number one spot of the brand's search term for almost 3 years. Think of how many potential customers saw this forum and were swayed to go elsewhere.
[We are happy to say that our client no longer has to worry about this forum. In fact our client has some of the best real estate on Google and receives a constant flow of new clients because of it.]

So How Do You Listen To What People Are Saying?
Well where do people talk?
-Google, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Yahoo Answers, Blogs and many others. Did I mention the internet is a big place?

-Listening to what people are saying on Google, is quite simple, type in your company name and see what pops ups. Remember to check different ways of spelling your company.

-Facebook and Myspace is much harder. You have to establish your own page and dedicate lots of time in order to establish a strong network and monitor what people are talking about.

-Twitter is simple. Check out the Twitter search page and see who is talking about you. Remember to use the advanced search tool, to segment to a specific location.

-Yahoo Answers usually gets picked up by Google. However, if you would like to make sure Google didn't miss anything visit Yahoo Answers and search your company.

-Finally for Blogs you can use Google's Blog Search. It won't pick up everything but it is pretty good.
Sounds like a lot of work? Call or e-mail MarketR, we do this for a living.
How Can You Turn A Negative Comment Into A Positive.
Take our client with the Google page claiming they are a complete rip off! Imagine if they had seen the comment before anyone replied. Instead, our client replied on the forum and said,

"I am sorry to hear that you feel our prices are expensive. To clarify we charge $45-$95 for our services. These prices include x, y and z. We justify our prices because of ..., however if you visit on our training nights we charge $25 and we still guarantee our service. For more information visit our website at"

Now anyone concerned about how much our client charges has a better understanding of the price range and can make an informed decision.