Mr. Marketing: Make your customers yelp

Rob Weinberg
Rob Weinberg

Ask Mr. Marking, By Rob Weinberg

…And then our hot water tank died!

Walls were soaked, carpets flooded, and furniture damaged. Around my home the mess…and the mood…got ugly.

Between insurance deductibles and new tank expenses we were stuck for $1,800. Cutting corners became paramount.

Then, with my regular handyman unavailable, we decided being the general contractor would shave our bill considerably.

The adage “You can have it good, fast, and cheap…pick any two” came to mind. We opted for good and cheap.

I turned to the web site Yelp, where I discovered Nevin Handyman — a one-man operation with dozens of five-star reviews.

And though it took several weeks to get the work finished, he was professional, fairly priced and did good work.

I’ve long believed the best kind of marketing — costing nothing and benefiting from established relationships — is word of mouth.

Now social networking has taken word-of-mouth marketing to a higher plane, sharing your thoughts about any business with the immediate world.

The immense potential and power are unbelievable.

Which explains why many companies solicit their customers to write positive online reviews.

The good news is these testimonials can provide 24/7 credibility for you to potential customers around the world. Prospects who read them are pre-sold on benefits you’ll deliver.

However, there’s a dark side to YELP. Since customers can say anything about your business, you run the risk of negative reviews.

And there’s NOTHING you can do about it!

The smartest business owners I know monitor the Web for uncomplimentary comments (a Google alert for the company name is usually sufficient).

Recognizing that only the author can change their comments, these firms immediately reach out to unhappy customers to fix any problems.

Still, some customers are unreasonable (sadly it’s true) and nothing will placate them. That’s why I look for patterns. If there’s one bad review and 30 good ones I’ll investigate further. I won’t touch anyone with significantly negative remarks.

And if you’re collecting reviews for your own business, don’t pretend to be different people writing upbeat things about yourself. YELP and their friends are way ahead of you and will blacklist your account when they discover your secret.

Remember what Mom said; honesty is the best policy.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

For 30 years Mr. Marketing has coaxed the best results from client ideas and budgets. Learn more at www.askmrmarketing.com.

   
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