Don’t Let the Fear of Online Comments Hinder Your Digital Presence

Are the possibility of negative reviews keeping you or your agency offline?

One reason some insurance agents and agencies avoid being visible online is to steer clear from “negative reviews.”

Do you fear someone saying bad about you online? What about your agency?

What if they write a negative comment on your blog or insert a nasty post on your Facebook page?

Listen, no one likes receiving a negative review or comment online. They are painful and can crush your spirit.

Unfortunately, just because this may be concern to you, does not and will not stop people from posting about you (positively of negatively) online.

We live in a transparent and socially expressive society. Consumers have the power because EVERYONE is connected.

Don’t believe me? Just ask United Airlines about Dave Carroll and his guitar.

If you didn’t click the link, let me provide the cliff notes. United Airlines damages a musician’s $3,500 guitar, the musician gets mad, makes a YouTube video about it, and has since amassed over 13 million views. Yes, you heard me correct, 13 MILLION views.

United did a terrible job of customer service, but their initial online response to the viral video was even worse. Why? They didn’t respond. They basically ignored it.

You may be thinking, “That’s a great story, but what does it have to do with me, Mr. Insurance Agent.”

How many customers do you currently have? How many of those customers have an opinion? How many of those customers own a computer?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

See, in the old days, if you had mad a customer, they would call and scream or write a nasty letter to your office. You may try to visit them or call to apologize. They may tell their friends, but it would not cripple your reputation.

Today, that same customer may still call and yell, but they may also tweet, post, or video their bad experience before you even know what happened.

Have I scared you yet?  I promise that’s not my goal, but you need to be aware of what’s happening every day.

Here’s the good news.

You have power as well.  Not only do you have the power to respond and address bad situations visibly and professionally online, but your most loyal customers may defend you as well.

But……… must be proactive and listening. You can’t be asleep at the wheel.

If you have built a strong online presence and loyal fans, one bad review will not kill you.

You are human and will make mistakes so you are not immune to criticism. However, one bad review with no positive feedback to back you up can be a killer.

Do you read reviews on Amazon? I sure do. Does one bad review stop me from buying a product? Not unless there are no positive reviews to offset the bad review.

Obviously, you must provide quality work and serve your customers with excellence. That’s a given and no amount of online presence can overcome shady business practices. However, you must be prepared for when you fall short, and you will fall short.

The Bottom Line

You must become visible and engaged online. If you currently don’t have an online presence, it’s WAY past time.

Customers are going to talk about you whether you are there to respond or not. So the question remains, will you be there?

Question: How do you respond to negative comments online?   You can leave a comment by clicking here.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Sometimes people don’t want to be a part of social media because they don’t want somebody
    to say something negative. You know bad things are not always bad; sometimes you need to know about them. So many times a client will leave you and you don’t even know what you did wrong. So, at least this gives an avenue and gives you, as business owners, the opportunity to go in there and correct it.”
    — Nibby Priest (@NibbyP), independent agent, Vaughn Insurance Agency Company, Henderson, Kentucky, in 2009, in an Insurance Journal webinar

    • brentmkelly

      Charles, this is terrific. Nibby is a great example of someone who understands the power and value of the online space.

      This idea of taking the negative information to utilize it as a learning tool is fantastic.

      Thanks for stopping by and providing this information Charles.

      • Brent — I had the privilege of moderating that Insurance Journal webinar with Nibby as the expert presenter. That was back in 2009, now seemingly the seminal days of social networking in the insurance industry — yet there is more to learn and do with social media now than there was back then.

        Keep up the terrific work with the blog and newsletters!