World wide word-of-mouth

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As the Internet evolves into the most powerful purchasing

tool ever created, so does its impact in facilitating the growth of online conversation to influence buying decisions

August 01, 2012

Don’t fear bad reviews

Research has shown that only about four percent of the reviews about any given company are negative. That means that 96 percent of all reviews are positive. Many remodelers and contractors are of the opinion that the best policy is to ignore those bad reviews and to let them stand. But social marketing experts do not agree. Instead, negative online reviews should be embraced as an opportunity to turn a negative situation into a positive one, to make it right with the prospective client or customer, whatever their complaint happens to be. The important thing, says Dayn Wilberding, who leads digital creative and digital advertising for Grady Britton, is to make sure that when you do make it right with the consumer or client that it is documented in the same ‘thread’ or conversation. That way people can see that you turned a negative into a positive.

“If you can manage to say, ‘We understand that you are upset,’” says Wilberding, “that has to be your first step. You have everybody looking at that review and you need to take the first step and respond. Then, if you end up turning around that situation into a positive, that, in and of itself, the bad review acknowledges that you are listening, and then turning around and making it right – that is way better than any advertising you would think about buying right now.”

“This opens some doors for the entrepreneur because playing in the Zero Moment of Truth area levels the playing field,” Wilberding explains. “Not all of us can afford a $100,000 TV commercial and play at that level. But a lot of us, if we know what we are talking about, can manage a blog and be an authority in that space. And that is the same level of playing field as your better-funded competition. If you can have those conversations, you can absolutely be a player in this space.” PR


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