Jay Meattle

cs_crossword I came across an interesting article about Yelp.com (a community review website) in Inc. Magazine today. They talk about how small business owners are waking up to the reality that online reviews can have a major impact on their businesses, especially in a tight economy. According to some small business owners, >10% of their new customers are being driven by sites like Yelp. That is hard to ignore!

In the article they also give some tips on how businesses of any size can deal with negative feedback, which I thought the readers of this blog may find handy. Most of it distills down to using common sense and dealing with the situation calmly, with a positive and constructive attitude. Paraphrased and with my own views added:

1. Embrace the medium. Register for an account at the places your customers are talking about you. In most cases registering for an account is free. An account will generally allow you to receive alerts and give you a chance to respond to reviews and engage your customers.

2. Breathe. Just because you can respond doesn’t mean you should right away. Try to collect your thoughts calmly, and respond in a thoughtful constructive way. Also remember – anything you say, even in a private message, can end up on the internet.

3. Be Gracious. Remember, the customer is always right. Apologize for whatever they didn’t like, and offer to correct it. Better still, correct it quickly if you can, and pleasantly surprise them! Small proactive gestures go a long long way in converting your critics to your best customers and most vocal advocates.

4. Learn and Correct. All said and done, just remember that at the end of the day, you can’t fight the future, and online reviews & feedback only help us get better — faster. Talking to and engaging customers in a meaningful way is a very good thing :)

  • If you were a hot indian girl I might love you. Have you seen that hot to trot one on that TV Show Royal pains. It is on itunes and dear gosh she is the hottest Indian girl you will see. Do they really teach Kamasutra? I can’t spell. Screw Yelp cause I say go social or go home. How do you do it? Keep your sanity with how stupid, dumb, retarded they are when it comes to social. They are locked in my ass could make diamonds with how tight they are..

    Why would you ever fire someone that was able to get you such free publicity. You almost want to fake firing someone for being social. The thing about youtube, facebook, twitter is you can say what you want through satire. make fun of yourself, laugh at how dumbass you are… but always show how you learned from it. In a social world people can be brands. Instead of one single logo, powering one single feed you can have one feed for everystore.

    I want you to close your eyes, I want you see ijustine who has 1.2 million users dancing in an apple store, all the top tubers doing their apple store videos.. who can’t do that and offer a savings if you tweet, fb or youtube…. thing of that free advertising.. it seems like a simple business proposal and I have to give it away free cause businesses are such dumbasses listing to these I will buy you views, make your video viral..

    Who couldn’t, I would just match the social ads in each network plus google to focus on the preferred demographic I am trying to market. wow that was hard. Give me the remote and I will charge you $5000 and give you a high view number to make you smile. lol I get so mad.

    You ever watch the shark or dragons den. All these idiots need to get to partner program in Youtube which is the most underused revenue stream in the world. A long tale that with just some satire. Dance like idiots. Where you live. Funny things that happen in your office. link it all together with posterous. Add the right firefox apps.. hire someone like me who can do very quick improv views on just the world around them using Buzz the sharaholic firefox twitter trends.. and something else..

    People want to yell at you, you could do a satire where you have this person come in and yelp at you. Make your guy look tired. So we sent him to the Starbucks and look good as new. You likely could do that.. actually you want to do something really cool.

    Do a wifi promotion.. go social with you guys and Starbucks. Buy a coffee and share a chat with a friend..

    People are brands.. you can work from a starbucks.. from a beach if the dumbass engineers went outside to see it does not work on a sandy beach. I want a computer I can carry in my beach bag, that won’t get sand in its keyboard. I want to see it on a sunny day and a cloudy one. A little water won’t hurt. The screen is easy enough to see. I want a built in wifi and even a satellite option. I hate all the extra dam stuff you have to do to go mobile. Send me a computer that is already linked to dropbox, mozy and charge me the built in cost for each. It needs to be light. Have a built in high def webcam or video cam link it that will work with imovie, final cut. yes this is a mac dream.. build me this dream jobs cause we know microsoft has no game. Who wants to watch videos on a laptop as much as work from one. Glossy screens suck in the work place or presentations. It is like they never went to an old powerplant.. with bad lighting, doing a demo in a shop, from a projector..

    you know the problem witht he web.. nobody bothers to talk to their clients and figure out contextual. You need how to teach people to use these social tools effectively.. they call me igebadia.. and this is my chaos.. buzz rocks.

  • Jay, this is the quite the comment you have here. The one preceding mine, @igebadia a.k.a as FB’s cybersweetness, per the site not being hidden.

    At first I thought you had neglected to read through your comments, and had terribly remiss in not paying closer attention to your work communiques with customers via blog such as this. I am still a bit confused and do wonder the wisdom of leavinge that line in the first paragraph by @igebadia, “They are locked in my ass could make diamonds with how tight they are…” I can’t fathom what that is supposed to mean.

    But then I went on to read his glib but flowing little pitch-of-sorts:
    “I want you to close your eyes, I want you see ijustine who has 1.2 million users dancing in an apple store, all the top tubers doing their apple store videos.. who can’t do that and offer a savings if you tweet, fb or youtube…. I will buy you views, make your video viral…

    I would just match the social ads in each network plus google to focus on the preferred demographic I am trying to market. wow that was hard. Give me the remote and I will charge you $5000 and give you a high view number to make you smile.

    All these idiots need to get to partner program in Youtube which is the most underused revenue stream in the world. A long tale that with just some satire. Dance like idiots. Where you live. Funny things that happen in your office. link it all together with posterous. Add the right firefox apps.. hire someone like me who can do very quick improv views on just the world around them using Buzz the sharaholic firefox twitter trends.. and something else…”

    Is cybersweetness playing the Devil to your Dr. Faustus? It’s more evocative of Goethe than a cold-call by the end.

    I thought this was rather insightful of @igebadia. “The thing about youtube, facebook, twitter is you can say what you want through satire. make fun of yourself, laugh at how dumbass you are… but always show how you learned from it.”

    By the end I decided that it was probably quite sensible of you to retain this comment, and that you should be pleased that it deposited here, to grace your blog. But perhaps @igebadia knew this, as the comment remains, uneditted, over five months later. Your have some measure of wisdom, Jay. Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised, as you are a graduate of Tufts University, and are already an accomplished developer with offices in Cambridge, MA. I wish you much success.

    So I jumped over to Facebook, which I personally loathe, possibly because I haven’t managed to acquire more than 25 friends in over 3 years. And that already includes my brother, cousin, half-brother, his wife, the Facebook Data Team and the DARPA fan page. And here is a post from cybersweetness, from April 29, 2010:

    “studies show we are addicted to social networks.. which makes sense because we are all desperate to connect..but afraid to do it in person.. trust has been stolen for us leading to this unhappy existence online.. I am part of this evil.. and I so long to not be.. the problem is I don’t know who I would want to be..how …about you.. what would you do if anything was possible?” See More… April 29 at 11:09am · Comment · Like

    No more need be said. Thank you Jay, for your toolbar add-on, and even more so, for your article, “How to Manage Your Community Gracefully”.

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