Hard at work, day in and day out you write articles, customize your website for your business, put out good content and finally you finish writing a book and hope to boost your authority in your niche.
Good for you!
It was a lot of work to write, edit, and publish but it’s out there now and slowly the book sales start to roll in. Then you get your first review. How exciting – the person who writes it is very complimentary and positive.
You know you poured your sweat into this book but now you are feeling validated, appreciated even.
A positive review bumps your sales and you get another review. Again very positive. And sales continue to climb.
Then one day you notice a drastic decline in your sales. What happened?
You check out your sales page and someone new has reviewed your book.
One star review. The reason why they gave you one star makes absolutely no sense but your sales have been negatively affected.
Now what do you do?
First order of business is to be very careful about a negative review, especially if it is foolish and undeserved.
If a person has given you a negative review of 3 or 4 with a valid reason why, its a good idea to address their comment by replying to it. Be genuine and be helpful. Treat them like the customer they are.
When someone take the time to offer feedback its a good opportunity for you to make a positive impression that can result in a lifetime of sales.
WARNING – if you get a 1 or 2 star review on something you know is a good product – tread lightly.
First thing to check is this reviewers other reviews. Do they have many? Are they all severely negative?
If it looks like all they do is go around and say nasty things about products that aren’t at all constructive, then you are probably dealing with the Internet Troll.
If you haven’t met this dark little minded creature yet – you will!
These mean spirited little mongrels live in the dark corners of the internet just looking for places to plant seeds of hate words.
They have nothing of value to add to any community or conversation, and yet they thrive.
They are the passive bullies.
They can exhibit classic predator behaviours.
They have been classified by some as having sociopathic traits and tendency's.
They roam freely in your internet, tracing their snot laden finger tips over their keyboards looking for someone like you to attack with their foul words.
The internet troll is probably the same type of person who:
- will complain to no end about everything to anyone, but does nothing to change things.
- will let the door close in your face by ‘pretending’ they didn’t see you.
- parks their empty grocery cart in a parking space instead of returning it to the cart stall ten feet away.
- puts garbage in the recycle bins
- leaves every TV and radio blaring, and every light on when they leave a hotel room.
When they are home, they get on the computer and feel the power they possess when lording over the internet. They are invisible and they prowl in the dark setting out to scatter their verbal halitosis all over the place.
They spend the evening going from forum to forum with useless comments or snarky slanders. Then visiting websites saying they have seen something better someplace else or generally picking name-calling fights with other commenters.
And then, just for the fun of it, they pull out their tar wands and smash your top star ratings with one stroke of an enter key.
How trolls affect your business
In the local business communities the troll can be found spreading their venom on Google+ Local by leaving their one star reviews. This troll feces can cost you future clients, potential income, and some believe it can affect your rankings too.
Trolls are even being quite entrepreneurial about their craft. Some of the braver ones are blackmailing business’s – threatening negative reviews unless they get some payoff not to.
You can even hire trolls to trash your competitor!
People do make decisions on what they read so it’s up to you to be pro-active about getting your positive reviews and dealing effectively with the negative ones.
The best way to get good reviews is to ask and make it easy for your customer to give you one.
If you have a blog, invite people to comment. Or you can help direct a comment by asking a specific question like “have you had a similar experience?”
If you have a brick & mortar local business, have an ipad available at the cash for your customer to write up their testimonial right away. You can also post your happy customers photograph on your G+ page too (with their permission of course).
If someone has said something nice, say thank you publicly and followup with them privately to give them a reason to buy from you again. For example you can mail them a coupon or gift certificate.
What do you do when a troll has darkened your doorstep?
It might be your first reaction to lash out and tell them a thing or two. No doubt they deserve it. But bullies like that sort of thing. If you react in a way that enables them to cry as your victim, you have played right into their game.
They are thinking “Sucker!”
Getting defensive and publicly throwing insults in a forum or review site will most likely not have a positive result for you. Even though it might feel good for a few moments.
Maybe you just want to ignore them. You can do that but people who are on the fence about deciding whether or not to become your customer are reading your reviews.
You might want to consider some other alternatives.
Call them out – Invite them to contact you directly. Make a point of being clear that their satisfaction is important to you.
Make sure your customer is happy before they leave. If the customer didn’t bring this to your attention directly, state that in your reply. If the situation has been fixed be sure to indicate this too.
If the review is fraudulent some review sites will delete them. Check to see where the ‘report abuse’ links are and notify the site monitors.
The BEST way to deal with the troll is to bury their pointless rhetoric in good reviews.
Some people buy reviews, I would caution against that even if its just for Amazon. It hasn’t wiped anyone off of Amazon yet for having paid reviews but I can see the writing on the wall. The day is coming that Amazon will be slapping the bad actors off their site just like Google has on their’s.
If you get kicked with a negative review that is affecting your sales and you want to dilute it, try doing a promotion to your list or by other means. Mark down your book price for the duration of the promotion and follow up with requests to drop in and give you a review. Usually the reviews you get from people off your list will be quite positive.