Can You Benefit From Negative Reviews?

Today I read a post by Matt McGee5 Ways Negative Reviews Are Good For Business – I just want to expand on one of them here, but hat tip to Matt for posting this.  It really is worth a read!

The point I want to take a closer look at here is: They help you make better business decisions.

You don’t set up a business hoping it receives tons of negative reviews.  My guess is most (legitimate) business owners that have a ton of negative reviews are truly sad about them, and didn’t set up their business planning on getting them.

Where I think businesses do fail:

Lets say you’re checking out your online listings and are “Googling” yourself and you see a ton of negative reviews.  Most business owners first thoughts are: “How do I get rid of theses negative results” or the might not even know where to begin to even think that.  Here is what they need to be doing – Take the time and read the reviews, ALL of them and make a plan of action to do better as a business owner.  This is the most important step – listening to your customers and accepting the feedback.

My biggest piece of advice?

Start monitoring your reputation better.  If you are low budget, the very first thing you need to be setting up is Google Alerts for everything related to your business and name.  It is really simple to do.

Let me show you:

Just go to the Google Alerts page and you will see this:

Setting Up Google Alerts
Setting Up Google Alerts

You will have several options to fill out.  Most important is the Search Terms, and I would suggest setting up a couple of alerts for your business name and URL (anyway anyone could type it)  Dream Systems Media, dreamsystemsmedia,, etc (any and all variations possible).  You just include those terms for each alert you set up.  Then you are asked other questions like the Type of Alert you want, and How Often.  You will then start getting the Alerts sent right to your email.  It really is that easy.

Setting up Google Alerts
Setting up Google Alerts

Once businesses do a better job of monitoring their reputation and listening to what the customers are saying, eventually the positive results (reviews) will start coming in and help push the negative reviews down and away.  Just remember to listen and fix the problem – rather then do nothing at all.

Thanks again Matt for making me (think about and) want to share this reputation management tip!  This is a simple step (I know), but as I know Andy Beal would agree – people are not doing a good job monitoring their reputation.  If you work hard enough at taking the “cus” out of customer service your business reviews will be thanking you!

Can You Be Bought?

Can You Be Bought?
Can You Be Bought?

I am talking about reviews, and review sites.  This is just something I was wondering if other people struggled with too, especially after an experience I had over the weekend that involved some really hard thinking about the subject. I am a huge fan of reviews and people giving their honest opinions, but I am also a huge fan of businesses doing everything they can to eliminate negative results and trying to remedy a problem.

I just don’t feel right about naming the business here (I am sure if you dug deep enough you could figure it out), but lets just put it this way – I did a pretty bad review (but 100% honest) because of an experience I had that was not good at all. It was a food place, and the actual owner of the place contacted me about the review and asked me if I would be willing to give his place a second chance? I want to make this clear – he never once asked me to take the review down, just to give his place a second chance.  Here is the kicker though, he offered me a gift card that would cover the cost of my meal to try them again.

I went ahead and accepted the gift card, and felt if he was willing to monitor his brand name and online reputation, that I would be willing to give him and his business a second chance. This is where it got me thinking though. There is a side of me that preaches reputation monitoring and wants me to sing praises to this guy, but what if the experience is no good again? Am I obligated to offer a good review? Am I obligated to take down the negative review that I already wrote about them? If so – does that mean I was bought?

I went to this place over the weekend and gave it a second chance and the experience was much better then the first time, but I still felt the food was not worth the money they charge for it. Besides that, you have to serve yourself and I have kids – taking them through a cafeteria style place is not easy.  My point is that for the same amount of money I could go to another place that serves better food, and THEY will serve me!

I went ahead and updated my review and was honest in my review and it can be taken either way.  Part of me felt I needed to take the other review down because of this businesses owners great reputation monitoring (which I did) but the other part of me wanted to continue to be honest so I wrote another honest review, and it wasn’t all that great.  I did offer suggestions to what I feel would remedy the problem and we will see what happens?

My question to you is have you ever found yourself in similar situations and what did you do?  Do you feel I did the right thing?  I appreciate in advance any feedback I get!