Imagine my excitement when a suspect on last week’s Law & Order SVU mentions that the suspect was harassing his customers to improve his ranking in Google. He treats them poorly and then continues to call and harass them on the phone. He’s trying to get them so mad that they decide to write something about his business on the internet, eventually increasing his ranking and making him more visible.
Pathetic, right? Asking for feedback from your customers has been a pretty common practice but this is obviously going too far. Plus, with Google’s recent changes on offering incentives for reviews, you may change your mind on the way you do business. Specific guidelines on writing reviews explain the issues Google has with incentive-generated reviews; mostly weighted on being biased and untrustworthy.
Protecting your online reputation is very important since reviews are available for everyone to see. In the local space we’ve seen how reviews can help improve your ranking but more importantly, we’ve also noticed that some businesses would rather focus on improving their ranking rather than improving the quality of service. Since service quality is something that is much easier to control, focusing on that is a better business strategy.
Use the reviews written for your business as a training tool. Is the review about a customer service issue? Take the time to learn how your employees are interacting with customers and train them if necessary. Is the review about how expensive your products are? Maybe it’s time to make some price adjustments.
If you stay current by reading the reviews you’ll stay more connected to your customers and understand what they want and where they are coming from.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, Det. Benson and Det. Stabler solved the case and the sketchy business owner doesn’t turn out to be the killer.