How NOT to Respond to Customer Reviews: 8 DON’Ts From a Recent Case Study

screaming child
Photo by Bob Walker provided under a CC license

Anytown, USA: A customer (who also happens to be an active Yelper) is enjoying a sandwich at his regular haunt: a small local burger joint that also doubles as an arcade.

Enter a gleefully screaming child, whose behavior continues uncorrected by parent nor staff for the length of our customer’s meal, souring his dining experience. He takes to Yelp to complain.

The kicker? He likes the place. His two-star review first mentions the many positives of the restaurant’s food and service – things that have kept him coming back – before launching into a lengthy grievance about the screaming child. It just goes to show that the most vocal critics of a business can also be its loyal customers.

But business owners have to steel themselves up to deal with unhappy reviewers the right way. Continue reading

Posted in Customer Behavior, Customer Reviews, Negative Reviews, Reputation Management, Yelp | Leave a comment

New “Review Stream” WordPress Plugin Being Alpha-tested With Grade.us Customers

Grade.us has always made it easy to amplify your latest and greatest reviews from around the web with our “Review Stream” widget, a copy/paste Web widget that automatically streams your 4- and 5-star reviews to your website or Facebook page.

Now, we’ve gone one step further and introduced this functionality as a WordPress plugin, “Review Stream”. Continue reading

Posted in Product Features, Review Monitoring, SEO | Leave a comment

6 Reasons Why Your Business Needs an Email List

You’ve probably heard it over and over again: “you need to build a list!” But maybe you’re still skeptical.

After all, hasn’t email’s functionality been replaced over the years by social media and mobile technology, among other things? And aren’t my customers too riveted to Facebook or Snapchat or Meerkat or whatever’s next to pry their eyes away long enough to read my email?

Maybe. But for leveraging your existing customers for sales and business growth, email still reigns supreme over other channels. Continue reading

Posted in Email Marketing, Marketing, Review Funnel | Leave a comment

5 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy Fake Reviews

Savvy marketers and business owners know how valuable customer reviews are. It’s tempting, then, that for a few bucks on Elance, Craigslist or Fiverr, you can recruit an invisible army of ‘customers’ to populate your profiles on Yelp and Google+ with 4- and 5-star reviews.

It’s quick, it’s easy, and it makes your business look good, right? What could possibly go wrong?

To be blunt, everything.

Sure, you may experience some temporary benefit in the form of a burst of new business and the confidence that comes with your new five-star status. But over time, a wall of fake reviews will not only destroy your reputation, but possibly the business itself.

Here are five reasons why you should never buy or solicit fake reviews. Continue reading

Posted in Customer Reviews, Fake Reviews, Reputation Management, Review Fraud | Leave a comment

The 3 Reputation Management Tips Every Business Can’t Do Without

So much of a small business’s success is dependent upon its reputation among customers. It has been said time and time again that word-of-mouth is the best marketing tool. The trick is to keep that word-of-mouth positive and contagious. So how do you keep your reputation in check? Continue reading

Posted in Reputation Management, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, Word-of-mouth | Leave a comment

Get Weird: One Simple Trick to Getting More Online Reviews

How do you get more of your happy customers to participate in online reviews? You’ve probably come across our sober and straightforward advice: ask, guide and remind customers to write reviews–that’s why our “review funnel” service exists, after all.

But what if you’re just not getting any traction? What if you work in a “boring” industry vertical (sorry, HVAC folks ;) ) and can’t motivate customers to share their pleasantly boring experiences with others? Or what if you simply want Yelp reviews but don’t want to so much as mention the words “Yelp” and “review” in the same sentence for fear of inciting Yelp’s wrath?

Well, then you have to start thinking creatively. Continue reading

Posted in Customer Behavior, Customer Psychology, Customer Reviews, Remarkability, Yelp | Leave a comment

Why You Need to Establish a Review Strategy Today

Importance of a review funnel for a small business

Reviews can be one of the best sources of marketing a small business can get. But why exactly is that? Thanks to the internet, and a larger variety of information sources, consumers now spend much more time getting information before they buy. According to one study, on average, 10.4 information sources are checked before making a decision. Continue reading

Posted in Customer Reviews, Review Monitoring, Small Business Marketing | Leave a comment

The Cost of Unhappy Customers

The good folks at Vision Critical have put together this eye-opening infographic showing the potential costs of letting your customers go unhappy, unserved, frustrated. Nobody wins! Continue reading

Posted in Customer Service, Negative Reviews, Public Relations | Tagged , | Leave a comment

This Company Lost $300k Trying to Bully Customers Who Wrote Bad Reviews

The now infamous case of KlearGear.com’s corporate bullying tactics has been settled in a U.S. District Court in Utah, with Judge Dee Benson awarding John and Jen Palmer $306,750 ($102,250 in compensatory damages and $204,500 in punitive damages) against the online retailer. Continue reading

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Social Media Mobs Are Scary As Hell: You Won’t Believe What One Did to This Business Owner

Do you think mob behavior affects only those unsophisticated inhabitants of the world’s premodern backwaters? Think again.

This week saw another example of what’s becoming a common Internet phenomenon: an unrelenting, morally- or politically-charged online mob beatdown directed at a business or individual who posted something offensive on social media. (Remember #HasJustineLandedYet?) Continue reading

Posted in Customer Reviews, Negative Reviews, Public Relations, Review Bombing | Leave a comment

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