Angie’s List, yelp, etc.

The explosion of user generated content on the web has created an entirely new way to market a service. Sites like Angies List and yelp allow joe or jane public to post their experience for virtually any service they have utilized. Laundromat, contractor, doctor, restaurant, dog walker, etc. If the service exists, its probably been rated by everyday customers like yours on one of these sites.

So how can you leverage this? A few ways.

The first step is to check to see if your company already appears on any of these sites. There is a good chance someone has already written something about you. If so, respond to it. And do it in writing on the site if allowed. Thank those that say good things about you and see what you can do to make those that criticize you happy. Customers don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do expect you to fix something that isn’t right.

Second, encourage happy customers to go to these sites and post their experience with your service. And make sure you thank them if they do. Also, if there are customers that made negative comments about you and you in turn did something to make them happy customers again, ask them to post their experience so other customers can see how you respond to problems. This is invaluable.

Third, once your reviews on these sites are under control (you’ve thanked those that like your service and fixed problems for those that don’t), encourage potential customers to look at what has been said about you. Mention it somewhere on your website, maybe mention it in a conversation.

One last thing, never argue with someone on one of these sites. It will only get ugly. Approach it like you are having a conversation in front of a million potential customers. Which you are. Stay professional and fair no matter what is posted about you.

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