User Reviews: The Five Stages of Denial

User reviews of your business are a roller coaster – glory and defeat for all to see!  And you hate this.  It’s not fair!  You might be the victim of miscommunication, of an ex employee’s grudge or an over zealous competitor.  It’s an irritation to no end, and understandably so.  What if people constantly wrote reviews about you online, about your personality?   Can you imagine?  This “graffiti and heresy about you and your business” just isn’t right.  Hence there are always excuses:  That review just isn’t true!  My competitor wrote that review.  “Oh, I remember that guy, here’s the situation with that…I can’t believe he wrote that…it wasn’t our fault”.  Or there is just the perennial rolling of the eyes, a mutual sign of grievance and disgust.  Hands in the air:  I give up!

For the most part the small business world is at stage 2 of their denial cycle:  Anger!

The Five Stages of Denial

Denial: (these reviews don’t matter to my business…those aren’t my customers…the internet doesn’t matter..who are these people?  Who has the time?  These people are losers…they aren’t my clientele, my “base”)

Anger: (Why me?  I HATE user reviews.  That is total bull…I’m going to post a sticker:  NO YELPERS ALLOWED)

Bargaining: (if I could only delete the review…or maybe I’ll sue them…)

Depression: (I don’t care anymore…I’m going to just ignore the whole thing…forget about it…)

Acceptance: (I’m ready for whatever comes – I’m ready to deal with this – let’s go…let’s engage this beast…)

Go to the beach, do yoga, get some extra sessions with your therapist in and vent until it hurts…beat up some pillows, cry.  Get a good long cry out.  Let it alllll out!

And then accept it!  Embrace it.  Start to engage user reviews, blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and everywhere and wherever.  Be open.  Be passionate.  Be real and be honest.  But most importantly:  be there!