Ramit Narang Online Marketing and Data Security Consulting http://www.ramitnarang.com Internet Marketing Professional, Computer Applications and Data Security Consultant for Small Businesses Sat, 16 May 2015 08:45:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.3.3 How To Work With Bloggers To Promote Your Restaurant or Hotel http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/marketing/how-to-work-with-bloggers-to-promote-your-restaurant-or-hotel/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/marketing/how-to-work-with-bloggers-to-promote-your-restaurant-or-hotel/#comments Sat, 16 May 2015 08:31:19 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1479 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

When certain bloggers write, people listen. People go to blogs to get advice on everything from what to wear, what gifts to buy, to where the hottest clubs are. Some of the best blogs are the ones that share the best restaurants and hotels in a city.

These are especially hot for people who are traveling and are unfamiliar with a city. One of the first things a person will do once they arrive is search “Best restaurants in New York or Houston or Tulsa”. As a consumer, we depend on the blogger to give us their unrestricted opinion to tell us where to go.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics households that earn $93,784 or more go out for meals 48% of the time throughout the year with some households spending an average of almost $200.00 on dinner.

For many businesses getting a blogger to promote your company can mean a huge boost in sales. Contacting a blogger is easier than most businesses think and mutually beneficial. We have compiled a few ideas on how to work with a blogger to help promote your restaurant or hotel during this holiday season.

Audience Outreach

Any blogger will tell you that having something to give away is a sure fire way to get people to listen. Even something as simple as a $10.00 gift certificate for breakfast or 1 nights free stay in a standard room Sunday-Thursday will get people to sit up and notice. It doesn’t have to be much, but it will get people talking.

When you first start with your blogger do not be over bearing. Work with them on what works best for both of you. Possibly a start date when they can start promoting and highlighting the giveaway and what their network of followers has to do to win the product. You can also talk to them about incorporating this giveaway into your Facebook to gain fans. Also consider how you will pick a winner. If the audience is talking about your company in comments do not be afraid to talk also. Welcome people to stop in and say hello.

Do Something Crazy

Some of the craziest ideas are the ones you swear will never work. In 2012, The Lung Cancer Alliance launched a campaign to educate and shock the public into understanding that lung cancer does not discriminate and attacks everyone. They created a series of posters that were designed to dispel the stereotypes of lung cancer by claiming that everyone deserved to die: cat lovers, hipsters, people with tattoos and more. They wanted to drive home the stupidity that anyone deserved to die and to create conversations about lung cancer. The LCA received more hits to their website in three days than in they had in the previous six months.

A crazy PR idea for a restaurant could be where you hold a bloggers network holiday best dessert contest at your restaurant. The blogger invites all their followers to come with their best dessert and announces what the prize will be. You can also advertise it on your Facebook and website inviting everyone to witness the event and to enjoy the day. If possible you can also had out samples of your food. Yourself and the blogger can be the judge. The winner wins a free dinner or gift certificate.

One publicity stunt that worked well for one hotel in a small town in Illinois was a holiday photo scavenger hunt. The blogger talked about it for two weeks and then gave the clues out giving the hotels location as the last clue. Five hundred followers scrambled throughout the town to take their holiday photos and be the first to the hotel to collect the prize of one nights free stay.


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Try To Work With More Than One Blogger

The more bloggers you work with, the more audiences you reach, especially in a big city. Chances are if your blogger is a popular one they have a few companies that trying to enticing them. You want to keep them promoting you throughout the year not just during the holidays. This is why working with more than one blogger is essential. If one happens to stop communicating with you than you still have others to fall back on.

Communicate Sooner Than Later

The longer you wait, the harder it will be to get the blogger on your side. Get in touch with them right away. If they are unable to help you now start talking to them about Valentines Day, St. Patricks, Easter, etc. Lock anything you can in. Then keep their information and send them periodic updates about what is new in your business. It is not above you to offer them a free nights stay or a free dinner. If they have thousands of followers having them rave about your service and quality is exactly what you what.

Parting Words Of Advice

A few pieces of advice when choosing the bloggers you work with. Pick mainly bloggers that align with your business i.e. hotel or travel bloggers for hotels, etc. However, I would also suggest that you maybe pick one that does not align with your business, for example, a fashion blogger for your restaurant. This may go against the grain, however, in a restaurant blog there are hundreds if not thousands of restaurants. Even though a blogger is promoting your establishment at that moment a reader is still inundated with many other choices and recommendations from that blogger. While a fashion blogger follower will only see that one place mentioned over and over and it will stick with them longer and more prominently.

I hope that these tips help your business throughout the holiday season.


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Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. I can be followed on Twitter and you can fan me on FaceBook . Also feel free to sign up for my Free Newsletter for more exciting articles.

In case you’d like to hire me as a consultant to manage SocialMedia Marketing for your Hotel or Restaurant do contact me via here 

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How to Leverage Facebook and Twitter for Lead Generation http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/smo/how-to-leverage-facebook-and-twitter-for-lead-generation/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/smo/how-to-leverage-facebook-and-twitter-for-lead-generation/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2012 16:12:09 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1400 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

In business, successful branding and brand recognition are two important factors to ensure its success; and the internet can offer these to anyone who is online. The time people spend surfing the web or even dropping by Facebook is enough to allow them to identify brands or discover a new one.

Social media marketing, such as Facebook marketing and Twitter marketing, is very effective in growing a small business and when done right, provides a good ROI

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn can provide your business with potential customers. How? More and more people are joining social networks, and the more people joining, the more potential customers you can get.

The first step after creating accounts on the major social site is to create a Custom Landing Page on FaceBook with Newsletter Sign integration done with a email capture provider like mailchimp and create matching backgrounds on Twitter and YouTube. You’ll need to share interesting content on the sites to create an atmosphere that visiting fans would see value in. What should you do next? When you have already formed your network, you could host an event in order to build a stronger business relationship and of course, garner more sales. In order to facilitate a successful business presentation, you can choose to throw a webinar or teleseminar to your target clients. An ‘in-person’ event can also be another option as this can be an effective strategy in areas with high population.

If you happen to live in a geographically remote are, an online event is the better option. Your Custom landing page on FaceBook will help not only get fans but also capture the leads as well.

Keep in mind that your goal is to get great amounts of free real time leads. Once you have decided on an event, follow these five steps to get these leads.

  1. About 4 weeks before the main event, float a press an online press release. By using PRLog or PressAbout, you can post your press release without any charge. For you to know about the publication of your press release, you have to set-up Google alert on the keywords. At this point, you have to navigate and go paid online services such as WebWire or PRWeb when the press released gets approved.
  1. By this time, the press releases should start giving you targeted web traffic for free. You will also be able to see statistics on how many times the press release was viewed and distributed by people.
  1. Produce a summary about the event you are going to host on your blog or website. Then take whatever you have posted transform it into an article and have it posted on your social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn or tweet about it on Twitter or share pics of the event agenda on pinterest with a link back to the facebook landing page.
  1. In order for the news to be circulated, you have to spread the word to everyone you know and ask them to pass it on to other friends to obtain maximum information dissemination.
  1. Make a Powerpoint presentation and a transcript about what you and the event are about and use SlideShare.net for a slideshow.
  1. You can then transform the Powerpoint presentation into video form. When this is done, post it on YouTube.


It’s also a good idea to put links that lead back to your site, so people can know more about you and your business. Encourage people to register for your event then send do an email blast as some sort of reminder.

By following these steps to generate free, real time leads and providing great and useful content in your event will ensure turning the time you spend on social marketing sites into business sales.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. I can be followed on Twitter and you can fan me on FaceBook . Also feel free to sign up for my Free Newsletter for more exciting articles.

In cae you’d like to hire me as a consultant to create your Custom Landing Pages on Facebook or launch your Social Media Campaign, do contact me via here 

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PrintVenue.com launches Printing Solutions in India – A Review http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/reviews/printvenue-com-launches-printing-solutions-in-india-a-review/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/reviews/printvenue-com-launches-printing-solutions-in-india-a-review/#comments Sun, 29 Jul 2012 12:47:55 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1384 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

Have you ever wondered how business cards can boost the popularity rate of your business? They are one of the few great ways of advertising. Unlike television or radio ads, your business card will work for you 24/7.

Potential customers will be reminded of your company every time he/she sees your business card. Business cards reflect the credibility of the business or person, and thus, it is necessary to get the best and most professionally produced business cards. That is why having a dependable and quality provider of business cards is important. I came across PrintVenue.com in my search for a dependable provider.

 

PrintVenue.com is is backed by German online startup incubator Rocket Internet. The company is founded by Saurabh Kochhar and launched in Gurgaon, India on July 3rd 2012. They offer printing solutions for Indian firms who need some assistance in making cards for their businesses. Their printing solutions offer a professional looking business card for anyone. 

 

What Can We Get from Printvenue?

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You can personalize your business cards in order to reflect the nature of your business. You can choose the design of your business cards depending on your style and budget. Apart from Business cards, PrintVenue.com also creates letterheads, notepads, and other related products. Their pricing is quite affordable.

 

What People Can Say With Regard to Printvenue?

 

As someone who has tried their service, I’d recommend their service. I am very satisfied with their service. They are to  fast to deliver orders. I was surprised to see the system they have in place to deliver within 4 business days. In case you have any queries you can connect with their Customer Service via phone, email or via FaceBook and they atre fast to respond and answer any questions that you may have. Once you’ve placed your order you’ll get a confirmation call from them almost immediately. How’s that for service ! Compared to other providers of printing solutions in India like Printo and Vistaprint India, PrintVenue seems reliable in terms of producing the best business card for you and your business.

 

Benefits of using Printvenue

 

  • Excellent Quality of Card Stock

  • Superior Printing Quality

  • Great Prices

  • Low Shipping Rates

  • Convenient to order online

  • Great Designs to choose from

  • Allow you to upload your own design

 

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Conclusion

 

PrintVenue.com is definitely a great provider for printing solutions in India. They surely will give other providers a run for their money. Do not think twice about choosing your printing solution provider. Use them once and experience their service .

 

As part of their launch, they are offering a Promotional Offer where you get 100 FREE Business Cards ( branded with their name) that allows you to try out their service. You just have to pay the shipping charge ( Rs 50 ). Use this Link to avail this offer -> http://bit.ly/PrintVenue  

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Alternatively if you’d like to order premium cards or get your own design printed that are not branded with the PrintVenue name, you may avail the service with prices starting at Rs 200 for 100 Cards and as a reader of my Blog i’ve arranged for a 15% Discount ! Use this link – > http://bit.ly/PremiumCards

15% PrintVenue DISCOUNT CODE: 9UNMWLAJ198UXR

Don’t forget to connect with them on  FaceBook.com/PrintVenue and sign up for their Free Newsletter where you get Special Offers and Discounts.

Here are the steps for ordering !

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Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. I can be followed on Twitter and you can Fan me on FaceBook . Also feel free to sign up for my Free Newsletter for more exciting articles.

This Review is a paid review, however the review is honest and non biased. In case you’d like to have your product reviewed do contact us directly on our contact page here.

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Miller High Life iPad App Review http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/reviews/miller-high-life-ipad-app-review-2/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/reviews/miller-high-life-ipad-app-review-2/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 16:19:16 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1374 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

 

Recently Miller High Life launched their New iPad App for those who love to Work hard and Party Harder !

We got to review the app and must say its fun to play.

Check out the detailed review and download the app TODAY ! After all its FREE !

Rating: star Miller High Life – Work Hard, Play Hardstar Miller High Life – Work Hard, Play Hardstar Miller High Life – Work Hard, Play Hardstar Miller High Life – Work Hard, Play Hardemptystar Miller High Life – Work Hard, Play Hard

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Are you living the Miller High Life? If you’re reading this blog then most likely you already do ! Miller High Life lovers believe in ” Work hard and play harder”. It’s after all the American Dream. For our American readers, Miller High Life is the Indian equivalent of Miller Lite back here in the US.

Miller High Life recently launched in India and i had been selected to be part of their “The Coolest Job” Contest and it was great to be a part of such a cool product launch.  The new Miller High Life app is from developer KRDS.  Read more on this app review here .

 

REMEMBER: This app is for users 21 and up.

You can also watch a Video review of the app here

 

 

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Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. I can be followed on Twitter and you can Fan me on FaceBook . Also feel free to sign up for my Free Newsletter for more exciting articles.

This Review is a paid review, however the review is honest and non biased. In case you’d like to have your product reviewed do contact us directly on our contact page here.


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The Coolest Job Work Hard Party Hard http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/general/the-coolest-job-work-hard-party-hard/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/general/the-coolest-job-work-hard-party-hard/#comments Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:36:09 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1328 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

Do you know which Global Beverage Company’s Spirit is  “Work Hard, Party Hard”  ?

The Coolest Job is the latest Social Media Marketing Strategy being used by this Beverage Firm to launch a New Product.

They are using Facebook to hire for a their latest product launch in India, getting over 60,000 FaceBook Fans in under 10 days. 




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The Newspaper Advt read

Have you been walking the earth for over 21 years? Do you work till your last breath and still come alive in the club? Are you the kind who meets deadlines by the day and best friends by night? …we have a job for you !”

There was a link to their website The Coolest Job . The site referred users to Like their Page on facebook and enter the contest for a possible Job Opportunity earning INR 100,000 ( approx USD $2200 ) to party parttime. Getting paid to party is awesome while promoting this mysterious Brands Product.

The FaceBook Fans have increased rapidly and their Social Media Team is doing a great job interacting with the Fans to keep them involved. I did apply for the Profile and i’ve got over 1200 Fans Support me and Vote for me on my Profile here .

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A Fan of Mine did an Awesome Video to show her support for me – Check it out and share your love below in the comments.

 

 

Everyone keeps guessing who the Brand might be.  My Guess would be SAB Miller !

 


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Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. I can be followed on Twitter and you can Fan me on FaceBook . Also feel free to sign up for my Free Newsletter for more exciting articles.

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How To Get Effective Reviews and Testimonials From Customers http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/local-search/how-to-get-effective-reviews-and-testimonials-from-customers/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/local-search/how-to-get-effective-reviews-and-testimonials-from-customers/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2011 05:17:58 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1307 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

Lets say you’re researching Local Car Dealerships while shopping for a New Car.

How can you be sure if the Reviews posted on the local Business Listings is real or not.

See what this Honda Dealership is doing to get Reviews from Customers that are 100 % Believable.

Every Business should be doing what they are if you’re not already !


Every day customers research local businesses before deciding who to buy from.  Recently there have been lots of cases where some Businesses have hired Internet Marketing Firms that have their employees post Fake Reviews on behalf of their clients. A quick search for such services in Google reveals lots of providers willing to post fake reviews on Google Places Listings.

Now one should be aware that

a) Customers can see that the Glorying 5 Star Review posted is Fake

b) The FTC comes down hard on those caught posting Fake Reviews.

 

Take a look at this review Posted for a California Dealer. Now i’m not saying that the review posted is fake but it did ring a red flag in my mind seeing that the reviewer has never posted any reviews for anyone else before and just posted 1 review for this dealership. ( I’ve blurred the name of the dealership to protect them just in case. Of course i’m not liable in any way should you find out who this dealer is )

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I recently came across a video while working on a YouTube Marketing Campaign.  I saw a Video Channel for DCH Gardena Honda and saw that they were recording short 30 Sec video clips of their Happy Customers at the time of delivery of their cars. Take a look at one of their video’s below

Dont you agree that a short video clip like this is more effective in showing prospective customers that you take care of your customers and ensure 100 % Satisfaction.  I’d say that the Internet Marketing Team at DCH Gardena Honda are doing a great job using these strategies.

Now isn’t it time you do the same for your Business ? 

If you are a Local Business and need help Creating a Video Marketing Campaign or Getting your Local Listing Top Ranking on Google Places, do connect with me and we’d be glad to show you how effective Video Marketing can be for your Business.


Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. I can be followed on Twitter and you can fan me on FaceBook . Also feel free to sign up for my Free Newsletter for more exciting articles.

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Google Hotel Finder – Map Based Search Filtering For Hotels http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/local-search/google-hotel-finder-map-based-search-filtering-for-hotels/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/local-search/google-hotel-finder-map-based-search-filtering-for-hotels/#comments Fri, 29 Jul 2011 09:18:33 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1283 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

While Searching for Houston Hotels for a research project i came across a new Beta Experiment from Google.

Google Hotel Finder

It is a Map based search filtering tool that allows one to find Hotels in the selected area.

What Makes this tool different from others ? Read on to find why i liked it.


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        As i mentioned before Google implements Map Based Search Filtering. The user gets to select the city that they are interested in finding a Hotel in. You can drag the Map to include the exact locality you wish to stay in and see all the Hotels in the selected Map area. Further Filtering is allowed based on Reviews from Google Places ( As you know with Google’s Latest update only Google Members Reviews will show), Ratings of Hotels,  Price Range  and it also lets you see how this hotel costs for the time period selected as compared to normally.

Clicking on a Hotel allows you to see several inside and outside pictures of the Hotel, the Google Places Reviews,  the description from the Places Listing for the Hotel and  clicking on Book Hotel  shows a quick Price Comparision between 3- 4 different online providers .  I saw Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com and the Hotel Site itself  competing among themselves.

A few interesting observations that i noticed.

  1. The main reviews are from Google Places , however when you click to see all the reviews at the very bottom almost hidden you’ll see links to reviews from TripAdvisor and Citysearch present.
  2. All the pictures for the Hotels are NOT from the places listings but from a third party firm called VFM Leonardo. They seem to be manage photo distribution and syndication
  3. Only available for the US Market for now

This is a Great way for Google to use their Search Engines, Places Listings and Pricing Engine to make a Killer Tool for all Online Hotel Reservation Sites.

Let me know your thoughts on this beta tool. Whats Google coming up with next ? Google Vacations i would have to say :)

Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this post, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. I can be followed on Twitter and you can fan me on FaceBook . Also feel free to sign up for my Free Newsletter for more exciting articles.


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Google Top Places -Discover your City and Find Favorite Spots http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/local-search/google-top-places-discover-your-city-and-find-favorite-spots/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/local-search/google-top-places-discover-your-city-and-find-favorite-spots/#comments Thu, 23 Jun 2011 19:22:13 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1263 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

With Local Search on the Rise, Google has been working hard on penetrating the local search market.

Its Latest Beta Product – Google Top Places !

They have combined the power of Google Places, Google Boost, Google Talkbin and Google Offers.

Its Google’s version of Yelp. They are helping local businesses get found.

Google Top Places is currently available in :

Portland, Austin, Madison and San Diego. 

 

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Google Top Places connects buyers with sellers while allowing people to discover the happening spots in the city.

One gets to Choose categories and experiences to find Places recommended by the local community.

Check it out for yourself and share your experience below.

Visit Google Top Places .



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Happy Holi – Google Adwords Referral Program http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/ppc/happy-holi-google-adwords-referral-program/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/ppc/happy-holi-google-adwords-referral-program/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2011 03:48:50 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1233 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

Are you aware that Google has a Adwords Referral Program that could make you upto $1000 in Adwords Credit ?

Yes thats True !

And everyone one that you refer gets a $100 Adwords Coupon !

Happy Holi everyone.



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Refer a friend to Google AdWords!

Here are the details:

1) You’ll need to fill out your Adwords Account No along with your friends First and Last name and email address on the REFERRAL PAGE.

2) Your referral will receive an AdWords offer with a unique $100 voucher code for them to try Google AdWords.

3) Once your referral’s goes live with advt, Google will apply a $200 advertising credit to your account. It may take upto 12 to 15 weeks for you to receive the referral credit from Google.

Remember!

So for each referral with Live Ads on Google, you’ll get $200 AdWords advertising credit. The max you could receive is up to $1,000 ( 5 Referrals )

Your referrals must not be existing AdWords advertisers, or related to your business in any way.

This Referral Program Ends March 31, 2011.

Of course we are NOT responsible if Google does not pay you for any reason as this offer is from Google and not from us.

Do remember that EVERY referral you enter will get a $100 Adwords Coupon ! Maybe that’ll help your “friends” !

 

If you appreciate this info, feel free to thank us below in the comments. I can be followed on Twitter and you can fan me on FaceBook . Also feel free to sign up for my Free Newsletter for more exciting posts.

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How Car Dealerships Should Respond To A Negative Review Online http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/reputation-management/how-car-dealerships-should-respond-to-a-negative-review-online/ http://www.ramitnarang.com/blog/reputation-management/how-car-dealerships-should-respond-to-a-negative-review-online/#comments Mon, 28 Feb 2011 13:15:28 +0000 http://www.ramitnarang.com/?p=1211 [See image gallery at www.ramitnarang.com]

You’ve finally got your Car Dealership listed on Google Places (Google’s Local Listings for Business) and your listing is ranking!

Then you happen to see someone has left you a review there …. A Negative Review

What to do? How to Respond? Should you respond?  I’ll show you what to do.

The first thing buyers do today is research your Dealership online. Most of them will “Google you“ and land up on your Google Places Listing or your Yahoo Local Listing. Now it’s important to have your listings not only look professional but also show that you care for your customers. That means addressing any negative reviews properly.

When was the last time you Googled your Dealer Name?

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FACT: 20 % of all Google searches were related to Local Search

 

For this post we’ll take a look at the reviews for Darcars Toyota of Silver Spring, Maryland.  (Disclosure: I’ve worked there back in the day. I am not getting any compensation from them for this post) It’s the biggest Toyota Dealer in the East Coast and extremely aggressive on pricing and has a huge inventory. (At least while I was working there)  When you search for them on Google you’ll see that they have several reviews online. Some great one’s on DealerRater and some not so good one’s from Yelp and Yahoo Local and Google Places. Now even though they have lots of excellent reviews on DealerRater, if you were to visit their Google Places Listings (Btw they have several listings as they tried to separate their service and sales dept but used the same tel no and details so Google is showing the same reviews in error for both.) you’d see the negative reviews stand out. Now when a potential customer sees negative reviews while researching any car dealership chances are they would not buy from that dealer even if they were to offer the best service and price in real life.  So what can Car Dealerships do about this?

Address the reviews online!  Both Positive and Negative Reviews.


Positive Reviews:  Thank the person for taking the time to write a positive review. People like to be recognized and appreciated. It shows that you care for their business and you could end up making a lifetime customer who buys only from your dealership. I had Customers that would buy only from me regardless of whether I was selling Toyota’s or Honda’s. They were loyal to me.

Negative Reviews: A lot of Car Dealerships refrain from responding from negative reviews thinking that no one will pay attention to them.  Now with Google Places allowing you the ability to connect with those who placed the reviews, one should take advantage. Connect with reviewers and show them that you recognize their concerns and are ready to address them.

HOWEVER before you do that, there are a few things to consider:

 

1) Relax till you’ve cooled off:  You want to avoid responding to a negative review in the heat of the moment.  Chances are since you’re upset your choice of words may not be the best and may come back to bite you. If the review upsets you, write your review on a piece of paper and comeback to it to read once you’ve cooled off. I’m sure you’ll realize that your response would have ignited the situation more and done more damage.

2) Listen to the Customer: By Listen we mean, understand what the customer is trying to tell you.  People normally complain when they feel mistreated or taken advantage of. ( remember I use use the word “normally”  ) Did your Sales Person ignore them for hours? Did they feel they were lied to by your advertised special car? Did you service dept promise the oil change would be done in an hour and not deliver till 3 hrs. later? Sometimes it not what happened to them, but the manner in which your sales and service staff handle the situation that makes customers irate and leave negative reviews. Train your employees to have genuine care for the customers.

3) Take Responsibility: After reading the review and talking to your staff about the incident, if you find that the customer is right, then own up to it. Apologize and let the customer know that you’ll get in touch with them with a solution to rectify the situation. If you promise to connect with the customer then you MUST do that. False promises will get another negative review from the same customer. If there is nothing you could do at the time, do acknowledge that you are aware of the situation and let them know that you are putting steps into play to ensure that it does not happen again.

4) Take Discussion offline: Never discuss details of the customer complaint online. Take it offline. You don’t want to build more links and traffic to the negative review.  Offer an email or a medium for the reviewer to communicate with you other than on the review site. I’d recommend providing an email.

5) Be Honest and Don’t Try to cover up: If the Advt car was sold before the customer got to the dealership, let them know that it’s been sold. Don’t let your sales rep pretend like the car is still there and take the buyer on the lot and spend an hour pretending to look for it and then say “oh no its sold, how about this blue one ?” Darcars Toyota was good about placing VIN No on all advt cars to prove that the advt car did exist and be able to prove who it was sold to, if needed.

 

Now there are times that one should NOT respond to a Negative Review:

1) Reviewer is upset at the world: Sometimes the person leaving the review is really upset and themselves and the world, not you in particular. Recently someone left Darcars a review about 401 (K). There really is no point on responding to this review in my opinion.

2) Spammers: These usually consist of people who are working for competitors to steal your customers away. Responding to them usually leads to a war that is designed to make you look bad. If you can have the review removed as inappropriate. (Google does allow you to mark review as inappropriate and have it removed. The process could take 8 -12 weeks) If you do respond, try to keep it polite and discuss offline.

 

How to Surprise Customers Who Left A Review

Offer a Free Oil Change and update their customer service records to ensure the service advisor gives them VIP Treatment. Make sure your service department gets them  in and out quickly and not have to wait 3 hrs. for the free oil change. If the oil change is free then it should be free, no hidden charge for filter etc. Also do not try to upsell other services on that service.  An oil change is not going to cost you much but will go a long way in reputation management. Don’t make it look like you are trying to BUY a Positive Review from them. Also don’t offer a free oil change in exchange for a positive review, as that’s in violation of Google’s Rule of Soliciting Reviews.

Now you should also offer Positive Reviewers a Free Oil Change as well randomly. They don’t expect it but it goes to show that you care for their feedback and appreciate their business. You will get them to be a loyal customer and tell all their friends about the free oil change they got. Word of mouth is the best friend for you.

 

How to Avoid Negative Reviews Being Placed Online

Offer a place for customers to place feedback and reviews on YOUR own Website and advertise this. It’s best for your customers to place negative reviews on YOUR site then on Google Places. At least you can control the damage online.

Better yet, take care of your customers well so that they are happy!

 

On a key note, i have to clarify that I have no current affiliation with any Dealership. Also am not liable to any loss of business that any firms used in the eg’s may face due to this post. Also i would not be liable if google decided to ban the local listings for any firm mentioned here for any reason. I am not saying that they indulged in any unfair methods.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts on whether you think that dealers should respond to  reviews at all. If you have thoughts on how best to respond in certain cases, feel free to share them with us in the comments below. I can be followed on Twitter and you can fan me on FaceBook . Also feel free to sign up for my Free Newsletter for more exciting articles.

 

ATTN Automotive Dealers :  I am available for consultation on how to Claim your Google Places Listings and how to Optimize all your local listings and implement an automotive reputation management policy in place. Feel free to contact me HERE or reach me directly at (310) *961 *4664.

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