I was recently grabbing coffee with a good friend of mine. He’s a fellow entrepreneur and has dabbled in internet marketing over the years to help grow his businesses. Naturally, the conversation moved to how things were going at ReviewU. And then he hit me with it…
“Garrett, I love what you’re doing,” he started, “businesses really do need this information, but I’m one of those folks who never leave an online review. Except for this one time.” He spun his laptop around and proudly produced an email shown above – this one review had been seen by over 1,000 people.
His look of pride quickly turned into the look of the devil. He certainly thought of this as quite the accomplishment. 1,000 people had seen just how much he hated the company he had done business with.
With a certain flair that only he possesses, my friend proceeded to tell me about a painful experience he had with a national pest control company. It was rather typical in terms of bad service experiences go, and not surprising to hear. What really shocked me, though, is what he told me next.
“Garrett, not only did I leave that review, but I actually went a step further,” he continued to explain.
I leaned in further, anxious to hear what more you could do to hurt a company than leave a scathingly negative review. Captivated, I awaited another spin of his laptop, as I could only imagine the line-up of negative reviews he left across the internet.
Except it never came. With hate in his eyes, and a bite of his lip, he hit me over the head with this. “I purchased a number of domains related to the company, and how much it sucked. I then built websites that alluded to my experience with the company.” He was serious, too.
My friend didn’t stop there, I learned. With delight, he proceeds to tell me how he systematically purchased ads for each of these websites, in hopes that other potential customers would see it, and be deter from working with the company. In total, over 10,000 people saw those ads.
One bad experience. One bad review. 11,000 potential customers reached. Ouch!
Many business owners and executives are all too quick to downplay online reviews. Ask any of them if they’d enjoy suffering the same fate as the hapless pest removal company described above and the answer would be a resounding “no, thanks.”
That’s exactly why customer service and online reviews are so critical – you never know what an upset or unhappy customer is will do to exact their revenge, especially if they are an internet marketer with a little time and money on their hands.
Remember, you’re not just losing one customer, you could be losing thousands. 11,000 to be exact.