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Social Media Room - Part 1: Leveraging the Pros and Cons of Consumer Review Websites

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By Mary Lou Denny, Executive Vice President
Walt Denny Inc. http://www.waltdenny.com


Customers who don’t know about your furniture store can still find you in a number of ways. They can ask friends and family members for referrals, visit the Yellow Pages or check the BBB. However, an increasingly popular approach is to consult online review sites.

As review website use has grown, so too have strategies for companies to leverage good reviews on such sites, and diplomatically deal with bad ones.

Good reviews clearly will be a boon to your company a quick web search will reveal consumer review sites such as Yelp and many others including websites devoted to posting consumer complaints.

Here are the key considerations in leveraging positive feedback about your company and dealing with negative reviews:

  1. Encourage reviews. When customers appear particularly happy with your work, encourage them to post reviews on these sites.

  2. Respond with gratitude. Thank those who review your company.

  3. Join the conversation. Angie’s List and Yelp both allow companies to monitor what’s being said about them and join in the conversation.

  4. Leverage other opportunities. Only those with grades of “B” or higher on Angie’s List are permitted to advertise or offer discounts on the site. In this way, your good ratings lead to more opportunities.

  5. Maintain a strategy. Your company should have a strategy and business process for responding to feedback on consumer review sites. Many companies pay dearly for consumer satisfaction surveys providing much the same feedback obtained for free by monitoring review sites.

  6. Create short, private responses. When faced with a negative review, don’t wait to respond, because Internet reviews travel fast. Attempt to resolve the issue with short, private responses to the reviewer. For instance, Edmonton wedding photographer R.J. Hidson defused a potentially damaging review with a thoughtful, upbeat email.

  7. Be a leader. Position your company as among the leaders in its industry in monitoring good and bad feedback on review sites and incorporating it into a continual business improvement process.


About  Mary Lou Denny: Mary Lou Denny, co-founder and executive vice president, heads the public relation division of Walt Denny Inc., an advertising, public relations and social media agency in Hinsdale, IL known as The Home Products AgencyTM. She and her husband Walt, started the agency twenty four years ago based on the credo to provide creative marketing solutions, combined with a high value on personal relationships and accountability

About Walt Denny Inc.: For more on dealing with rating site reviews, contact Walt Denny Inc. at 630-323-0555, email walt@waltdenny.com or visit www.waltdenny.com.

Since its founding in 1989, Walt Denny Inc., a full service public relations and advertising agency, has been The Home Products AgencyÔ£™, working with a national client base and building each organization’s positive brand awareness through bold results and individualized strategies.

Client experience includes industry-leading organizations such as Whirlpool, KitchenAid, HomeCrest Cabinetry, Knauf Insulation, The Tapco Group, Johnson Hardware, Amerock, a division of Newell-Rubbermaid and Leaders Bank. Join Walt Denny Inc. on LinkedIn or Like us on Facebook.com/WaltDennyInc.

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