Preventative Crisis Management: Halt Negative Reviews in their Tracks

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    Stop the negative sentiment before it goes public and you have a crisis management success

    Online review sites like Yelp, Tripadvisor, Urbanspoon, Google, and Yahoo Local (the list goes on and on) are being used heavily every day by your stakeholders. Doing things like reporting on a bad customer service experience or sharing a picture of the hair found in their lunch plate is second nature now, and, while you do have the opportunity to correct issues and hopefully work out a re-review or draw a retraction of a previous post, wouldn’t it be a lot better if you could catch them before they put you on blast in the public eye?

    That’s the theme of a recent post from Software Advice’s Victoria Rossi, who covered this topic which fits in perfectly with the crisis management goal of minimizing the impact negative incidents have on your organization, its reputation, and its bottom line. Here’s a quote:

    While angry customers are nothing new, the ability to vent online, where a bad experience can remain documented forever, makes negative reviews extremely risky for businesses.

    “If guests are unhappy, they go to websites like TripAdvisor, and they voice their opinions. They go on social media and they trash the place,” says Robert Irvine, chef and Food Network host of Restaurant: Impossible. “Social media has such a far-ranging touch that it can make or break a restaurant—and I’ve seen it break restaurants.”

    While it’s not always possible to prevent a frustrating experience, you can re-channel customer frustration. This is precisely what technologist Bernard Briggs had in mind when he created Humm, an on-premise feedback system that uses an Android tablet to survey guests about their experience before they leave the building.

    Rossi goes on to cover two more organizations finding success with both high, and surprisingly low, tech tactics to intercept customer’s negative sentiment before it’s permanently etched into the web. This really is a great piece, and provides valuable food for thought when it comes to the often-tricky review sites and social media platforms that are driving reputation management today. To check it out, head over to Software Advice’s CSI: Customer Service Investigator blog.

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]