Ask The Experts 5/6: Dealing with Negative Reviews, Creating Content for “Boring” Niches
Q: What should I do about a bad review of my business that’s true?
A: First, remind yourself that this as an opportunity for your brand, not a disaster. Getting negative reviews feels bad, especially if they’re deserved. But no matter how scathing the review is, you can turn this situation to your advantage.
So how can such a bad thing actually be a good thing? It gives you the chance to show the world how your brand tackles obstacles and learns from mistakes. Most importantly, it allows you to show that you take your customers’ input to heart and may even use it to implement positive changes at your company—even if that change is something as simple as updating a contact phone number on your website.
Time is of the essence. Don’t keep an already upset customer waiting for your response. But remember that you can’t just dash off a quick response and post it—you want to respond with something professional and helpful. Yelp and Google both offer support and suggestions for responding to negative reviews, but you don’t have to craft a lengthy masterpiece. Sometimes the best response is simply providing the customer with a phone number or email where they can directly get in touch with the person who can best help with their complaint. Show anyone who sees that review that your company takes customers and their opinions seriously, responds to them promptly, and follows through to make it right.
Q: My business is in a niche industry that’s not very glamorous. How do I create engaging content that will interest potential customers?
A: The more niche your product or service, the better you need to know your audience, and how they behave online.
No matter how “niche” or “boring” you think your content would be, potential customers will read it if it addresses a need or offers a solution to a problem they have. If you know where your audience is looking for information related to what you sell, craft content that fits in those spaces and directs them to the resources they’re looking for.
For example, if your company sells tarps, probably no one is going to pin photos of tarps on Pinterest. But what might get pinned are photos of a cozy campsite protected from rain in a pinch by one of your tarps, or the flowerbed a homeowner was able to finish after using one of your tarps to haul mulch or soil. Maybe it turns out that people looking online for a good tarp aren’t using Pinterest to do their research—maybe they’re in gardening and camping and DIY forums, looking for info there.
The point is that no matter how specialized your product or service is, someone is probably looking for it online, and tailoring your content to that persona and its search habits will help you drive the engagement you’re looking for.