Posts tagged with ‘tripadvisor’

Beware the Streisand Effect

For the uninitiated, the Streisand Effect is a phrase coined by Techdirt blogger Mike Masnick. It refers to a situation that arose when Barbara Streisand sued a photographer who was shooting the California coastline. He happened to shoot her home, and she felt this was an invasion of her privacy. However, once news of the lawsuit hit, the photo of her home got much more attention.

I’ve talked about the hotel in England that regularly trashes it’s guests on TripAdvisor.com, and there is the story of the towing company in Michigan that is suing a college student for $750,000. These two businesses, in an effort to protect their reputations, actually brought more negative attention on themselves. Rather than address customer concerns, they brought attention to the complaints. In the internet age, businesses must never forget that even a small matter can blow up in very short order.

The moral of the story? Don’t sue or try to intimidate in any way people who say negative things about your business. Even if you win, you’ll lose. Releasing a reasoned and matter-of-fact response, while offering to help rectify the situation, will help you diffuse the criticism. Plus, you’ll gain the reputation of a business that takes care of it’s customers. That’s a win for everyone!

This Is How Not To Respond To Reviews of Your Business

I’ve been talking a lot about the positive aspects of promoting your business on websites like Yelp, Citysearch and Facebook. As I’ve said before, it really helps you engage your customers. However, I’ve got an example of how not to respond to negative reviews.

Essentially, a couple was kicked out of a hotel because the manager accused them of writing a bad review on tripadvisor.com. The manager even went so far as to call the police. Naturally the police declined to arrest them as it was clearly a civil matter. However, the real question to ask is why the manager thought his business would be helped by persecuting someone who may or may not have written a bad review. These sites, including tripadvisor.com, offer the chance to respond to criticism. In many cases a problem can be diffused simply by engaging the customer proactively. The manager of that hotel decided to respond to criticism in an adversarial way. Again, not the way to go.

By and large, your customers are going to be reasonable. You never know what is going on in their life that day. Maybe they’re just having a bad day. Being defensive about criticism will only exacerbate the problem. You’d be better served by responding in a positive tone with an offer to help. You’ll be amazed at how much goodwill this will generate.