If Only I had Known

If you are in business, there is simply no excuse for not addressing negative comments posted on the internet regarding your products, services or company.  When I recently said this in a speech I was giving to a professional group it prompted the question:  “How are we supposed to know the negative feedback was posted?” and “Who has time to monitor all the possible sites where feedback can be posted?”

ImageBoth very good questions I answered there and am answering here for those who weren’t in the audience.  

There is a simple tool called a “Google Alert”.  When set, it will notify you in your email that the words you entered appear in a blog, article or feedback forum.  There is also a link so you can click right through to read the comment in full and reply as necessary.

First visit the Google Alerts Home Page.  Then in the “Search Query” field, enter your business name, your personal name, key products you sell – whatever you want to be notified of .  Next is “Result Type”.  Select “Everything” using the drop down menu.  Then “How Often” – Once a day is probably sufficient.  “How Many” is the next question.  I select “All results”.   Lastly, designate the email address you want the alerts to be sent to.  If it is a Gmail account, you won’t have to “verify” the address.  If it’s another address, look in your inbox to confirm your email address as valid.  You will need to set multiple alerts – one for each key word or name you want to monitor.


This is the same “home page” you would go to to adjust alerts, add a new one, delete one or change the settings.

In the beginning, I think the senior person should receive and monitor these alerts to get a sense of what is being said about your business on line.  Later, if there is a person you want to be tasked with replying on behalf of the company, you can put their email address on the alert.

Should you reply to all negative feedback?  YES!!!!  Even if all you say is “I’m sorry for your experience and we will strive to do better in the future.”  Negatives reviews left unanswered imply not only are you providing less than stellar service, but that you don’t care!  If you missed the recent guest blog I posted on this topic, you can read it here.

Beyond the name of my business,  why would I set an alert for anything else?  Your personal name should have an alert along with any key employees.  Products you sell or represent would also be useful.  Perhaps even a competitor…

If you are not a manager or business owner, you still should set an alert for your personal name.  If you are in sales, knowing what is being said on line about products you offer and even your competition, could prove advantageous.

You may also find that all that is posted is not negative!  You may find positive articles about your products, companies you represent or even your own company.  These gems can then be linked to your company’s website, Facebook business page or just used in conversation with customers and potential customers.

Word of mouth is still the single greatest form of advertising and on line reviews have become an extension of this valuable asset. With such an easy to use tool at your disposal – and a FREE one at that, there is simply NO REASON to NOT know what is being said about your business on line.     


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One Response to “If Only I had Known”

  1. A Bit of Goodwill for Everyone | Uncommon Ways Says:

    […] announced all will have an impact – positive or negative – on your career.  Set a Google Alert for your new company so you get links to news in your email.  Also sign up to receive the emails […]


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