Turning A One-Star Review Into A Five-Star Opportunity

The below article was the inspiration for this post.  It covered just one aspect of online reviews.
Many business overlook their online reputation.  Yes, they review the comments on Facebook & Twitter, but what about the business reviews on sites such as Yelp, FourSquare, Google Places, Citysearch, and Yahoo reviews?
There are so many sites out there where discruntled customers can voice their opinions and a business might not even now about it.  One bad apple CAN spoil the whole bunch!  One bad review can effect the next person who looks up information on your company.  They might have came into your business, but this one bad apple spoiled it.
Business owners need to be proactive in making sure all their (past, current & prospective) customers are happy.   Never mind the time it takes to constantly review these sites.  Owners don’t always have the time to constantly visit these sites and followup with the reviewers.
That’s where Clark Virtual Business Solutions comes in.  We review your current online reputation and make sure that all your customers are happy.  If there is an issue, we let you know and advise you on what steps to take to make the customer happy.  If you’d like, we will even take care of it for you!
Once an initial review is done, Clark Virtual Business Solutions can manage your online reputation.  We will constantly review your online reputation and manage to keep your business reviews positive.
Happy customers lead to more customers and we all know that leads to SALES!

Mike Michalowicz

CEO, Provendus Group

October 17, 2013
Don’t let a negative online review scare off other customers. Instead, use these specific steps to turn that review to your advantage.  With the number of public review sites, it’s increasingly difficult to sweep customer complaints under the rug, and your very best move is to tackle the problem openly and honestly.

One-star online reviews are inevitable for active, successful businesses. Whether you operate a food truck or run a housecleaning business, someone, somewhere will find a reason to criticize your business or your staff and they’ll post about it online.

Before you decide how to address the lousy review, it’s important to understand just how potential consumers process the information they read on review sites.

The first thing consumers look for is the ratio of good reviews to bad reviews. For our purposes, we’re going to assume that one-star ratings aren’t the norm for your business and that your ratio is heavily skewed in favor of good reviews. So potential customers look at the ratio of good to bad reviews to determine if bad service is the norm for your business. Once they’ve figured out that it’s not, then they read the lousy reviews—it’s a train wreck that savvy consumers have learned to examine carefully.

What they’ll discover is one of two things: Either your one-star review is warranted—someone has a legitimate gripe—or it’s a flagrant, unwarranted attack. In either case, your response will guide the consumer’s decision to trust you with their business. Let’s look at how you should handle each of these cases.
Making Lemonade Out Of Lemons
If the one-star review is unwarranted—posted either by a jealous competitor or an unreasonable customer—your response can help potential clients see the truth of the situation. Let’s say you run a cleaning service and there’s a complaint from an anonymous user who claims you neglected to clean all of their rooms, damaged their office equipment and overcharged them for your services.

First of all, your response should never be argumentative, and you should never justify your behavior. Most times—especially when you suspect the complaint isn’t from a legitimate customer—your first step should be to professionally and clearly ask them to help you sort out the problem. Explain that you have no record of the transaction (or of them as a client) but that you’re committed to making the situation right. Give them your contact information and ask them to contact you. If a reasonable period of time elapses without contact from this “customer,” then you can post a follow-up, explaining that you have done everything in your power to locate the customer and have been unable to.

Since the complaint about your service has been made publicly, you have the opportunity to demonstrate that you work hard to ensure that your legitimate customers are more than pleased with your product. Potential customers who read online reviews know that some reviewers are impossible to please, and your reasoned, professional response will help differentiate the reasonable complaints from the unreasonable ones.

From time to time, even the very best businesses make mistakes, and occasionally you’ll have a customer with a legitimate gripe. With the number of public review sites, it’s increasingly difficult to sweep customer complaints under the rug, and your very best move is to tackle the problem openly and honestly.

Say you own a bed and breakfast and you have a legitimate customer complaint about bedbugs in one of your rooms. How you handle this complaint will have a very real effect on prospective visitors, so you need to get it right. Don’t deny the problem, but instead accept responsibility and discuss the solution you’ve implemented. Explain that a traveler did indeed introduce bedbugs to one of your rooms and that you’ve paid to completely remedy the problem.

If it’s appropriate, you can also offer to compensate a customer who’s had a bad experience; the offer of a free night’s stay may well soothe even the most irate customer. The very best outcome of one of these justified negative reviews is to show that you’re honest, thorough and respectable.

In general, the proliferation of public consumer reviews is a very good thing because it gets customers to participate in the success of businesses they support. It’s also a useful source of information about parts of your business that you might not otherwise be aware of. Repeated complaints about a surly bartender in your restaurant might warrant a little investigation, and you may actually have the chance to improve your customers’ satisfaction.

No business owner is thrilled to see a lousy review, but smart business owners use the lousy reviews as an opportunity to shine.

The Perks of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

iMysecy did a great job summing up why someone should hire a Virtual Assistant (VA).

The Perks of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Posted by: iMysecy | on September 9, 2013

You can do all the hard work all you want. I am sure you have to! Why not, every businessman and every entrepreneur needs to do so for the benefit of his thriving business or company. Surely, we don’t want our very own company or firm to get left behind in the competitive world of commerce. But then, let us face it. You also don’t want to do all the work now, do you? Especially if it involves every minute detail of the job – such as answering phone calls, arranging for appointments, and checking emails. You can’t just do every small and intricate detail in your job when you can actually focus your energy on the bigger concerns of your business such as how to increase your revenue or make your product or service marketable. Indeed, every business and organization aims for growth and development. But if you are the business owner or the entrepreneur, I am sure you would definitely need some of sort of help. If it would have been possible to have another extension of you, it would have been better. But no, you cannot. Thus, the better option would have to be hiring someone who can help you.

This someone wouldn’t just have to be a regular employee or a regular staff in your office. If you are keen enough, this option will not be convenient and cost-effective for you. Because of the innovation our technology now offers, there are better ways to avail of service that can aid your company and that is through outsourcing. Yes, the best alternative for you is to outsource a virtual assistant. He is also considered to be an independent contractor that can provide administrative, secretarial, content writing, marketing, retail and other related services to various clients from a home office setting. There are various benefits of hiring one.

Its benefits:
■They require no training at all

Normally when we hire people, we let them undergo training because it is the employer’s responsibility to enhance the skills of its employees. But in this case, you don’t need to because they are already equipped with the much needed expertise and skills for the job.

■Office Space is not required

When hiring an in-house employee, certain supplies and materials must be provided in order for him to work. This would mean an additional expense on your part. But this assistant has and uses his own personal supplies and equipment.

■They are hired on a per need basis only

This would be very cost-efficient for you because there are times that most businesses have seasons that have low to no work even and to maintain in house or office employees on such times are just but unnecessary expenses already.

■You are freed of employee fringe benefits and employee taxes

They are considered freelancers, thus they are not technically considered as full time employees. Being so, you, as an employer, are not required to file for their SSS benefits, tax forms, and other benefits being enjoyed by a regular employee.

■They are highly available

Unlike regular employees who only work strictly between 8 am to 5 pm, they have a more flexible work schedule. You can even discuss your preferred work schedule with them so both of you can come to a common agreement on what preferred time would he be working.