Business owners, we know the number one thing that can make or break our business isn’t in our hands, but the hands of our customers. That’s right—reviews. Reviews can define your business before you get a chance to, and making sure that you’re tapped into the conversation that happens around your services, your staff, and the experiences that people have working with you is important as you progress as a business owner, and marketer. However, running a business is a hard job already, leaving you minimal free time to keep yourself in the know in regards to things like this. How do we make sure that we’ve got our eyes on the prize, while also maintaining a business we know we can be proud of?
That’s where Jennifer Crawford comes in! The founder of Social Media Rescue—an agency that handles social media management, social media strategies, and online customer services—Jennifer is all knowing in the ways of maintaining a strong presence online, and monitoring reviews for your business—good and bad—that’ll help keep your online reputation at a happy place for everyone! Today, Jennifer and I talk about how her agency came about, what she can do for small businesses, and how reviews can affect your business in the long run. Let’s get started!
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- How this business came to be! Jennifer explains that previously, she gave advice to friends over cups of coffee who ran businesses on things like social media, and how to maintain an online presence. After doing it for so long, her friends encouraged her to start her own agency, stating that they’d pay her to handle their social media for their business instead of doing it themselves. From there, the agency was born, and now Jennifer helps small and medium-sized business owners with their social media management!
- Jennifer also explains where the name of her agency comes from, and why she chose the word “rescue”. She knows that small businesses need social media accounts to get the word out about their amazing products, but small business owners don’t work a normal schedule. They often have long days and long shifts, and their free time doesn’t accommodate learning how to control various social media accounts. Therefore, she feels like she’s “rescuing” people from their social media stress, and giving them the attention they cannot to things that still matter!
- Jennifer talks to us about what online customer service entails, explaining that it’s important to pay attention to what people are saying about your business online—not only on social media but on review sites as well. Being responsive to it helps you engage with your customer base, considering that reviews often lie on either side of the extreme—people will either praise your business for a job well done, or they’ll leave a negative review that’s intended for your eyes, as the business owner. They want to get your attention for you to realize something, and in the replies of a review, it’s rare that you see the business in question involved. According to Jennifer, that’s a missed opportunity to connect with your happy customers and to also remedy a situation that’s caused a customer to be unhappy, as well.
- Jennifer explains what good customer service can mean, explaining that even the most unhappy clients have the potential to become your biggest cheerleaders! If you’re quick to address and correct the problems that people might be having, you’re giving them a chance to do their experience over, and in the end, those people could end up being your most loyal customers based on how well they were treated, and the fact that their complaints were taken seriously and fixed quickly!
- Jennifer explains to us how she tracks all this information, explaining where the social media management part of her company comes in handy. There’s a number of tools you can use to keep track of things like mentions, hashtags, and company names, and Jennifer often uses things like Google Alerts, and BrandWatch interfaced with HootSuite. This, of course, depends on the size of your company, and how often you’re going to be mentioned, but social media management tools make it easy to align your information in one place!
- Jennifer talks to us about what you should do when faced with a bad review. More often than not, bad reviews are given by people who are willing to say something, and are giving you something to learn from—they’re giving you a chance to make it better for others in the future. The number one rule, here, is to not get defensive. Things tend to be combative when you go down that road—instead, you need to acknowledge what happened, tell them that you care and appreciate their feedback, and assure them that you’re going to fix it going forward. Then, it helps to invite them to give you another chance, so maybe you can change their mind! Some review sites let you amend your review after you’ve posted it, and it’s a good chance to take in order to make customers happy.
- On the other hand, Jennifer encourages us to let it go sometimes. It’s not always worth it to reply to every bad review you get, especially the reviews from people who are argumentative for the sake of starting a fight. Don’t get into a battle of words online, because if you lose, it’s going to be bad, and it’s out there for everyone to see. Jennifer has a rule she abides by to make things easier—you only reply to a negative review or comment twice, and after that, it’s over. Replying 3 times or more starts a fight, and you can’t really squash those feelings when the person doesn’t want to change. Learn to let it go, and know that you tried.
- Overall, what’s more, worrying that bad reviews are businesses with pages that have bad reviews with no replies to them. According to Jennifer, it shows that the business has checked out, and doesn’t really care about their reputation online, and within their customer base. You should reply to reasonable negative reviews, engage to try and problem solve, and even offer them the incentive to visit again and rectify the situation. Also, Jennifer suggests using emojis when replying to bad reviews—there’s something about a friendly reply to a negative comment that lightens the situation, and Jennifer states that even the most upset customer can be brought down to a calmer level with a kind tone, and a smiley face!
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Did Jennifer not get to answer a burning question on your mind? No problem! You can get ahold of her here or through any of the social media listed above. Reviews are an integral part of being a business owner, and Jennifer has some of the best advice and tips on how to manage that important aspect of your job as a marketer! Staying cool, getting involved, and being kind goes a long way in the world of digital marketing, and Jennifer proves it!