Why should you care about Google Sidewiki?
Google Sidewiki is an annotation service that appears next to your website with comments from users, both positive and negative. If you missed the announcement, check out the two articles I wrote when it first came out. Google Sidewiki Impacts your Customer Satisfaction Strategy and Update on Google Sidewiki Impacts your Customer Satisfaction Strategy. This is a fairly new feedback tool that you need to monitor. It can affect your brand image though you have no control over it. If you at least understand how it works and monitor the entries, you can ask Google to remove entries that are abusive. No one is anonymous when the post on Sidewiki. So it is possible to report spam, inaccurate data, etc to Google for removal. Since Google Sidewiki was announced, there has been much speculation about its use. It appears now that you can include text comments, images and videos. And competitors can use that to your disadvantage.
Google has now added a more functionality to Sidewiki.
1. You can use it from any browser. It support Chrome, Safari in addition to Internet Explorer and Firefox and many other Web Browsers as well.
2. You don’t need to be signed in to Google Toolbar to use it anymore.
Instructions to install the new version can be found on the Google site.
How to thrive in the new Sidewiki environment.
1. Engage with your customers:
a. Permission Marketing: If you have happy customers and a relationship with them, they can ‘vote down’ or disagree with what was posted on Sidewiki. New web techniques allow you to form a community with your customers in ways never before possible. Create a form prominently on your web for customers to sign up for news from you. Often an ‘ethical bride’ is included to get them to sign up, such as a free report, a first time discount, entry in a draw for something they would value, or promise of future ‘insider information’. The news that you promise them can include new product information as it is announced, special deals, ‘be first to know’, and notification of important information your customers will value. Get them to sign up to receive news from you. With this kind of contact with customers, when an unfavorable Sidewiki appears, customers can hear your side of the story, minimizing damages. Use a email marketing service such as Aweber to capture and manage mailings, either ad hoc or on a regular frequency.
b. Use the Web site Owner’s Entry on Sidewiki. The owner of the Website has the ability to post an owner’s message that always appears on the top of Sidewiki when it opens. A key message placed there to with contact information and a genuine offer to help may help eliminate customer dissatisfaction expressed on Sidewiki before it is posted..
c. Use the full range of Social Media: Use other Social Media offerings such as Twitter, Facebook fan pages, Youtube, Linkedin and other social media sites to provide information and feedback opportunities to customers. Be responsive to customer feedback.
2. Track Sidewiki Feedback: Ensure you are watching what is being posted on Sidewiki, either by checking on a regular basis or signing up for a Sidewiki RSS Feed.
What to do next
1. Be informed about Google Sidewiki. Read these two articles: Google Sidewiki Impacts your Customer Satisfaction Strategy and Update on Google Sidewiki Impacts your Customer Satisfaction Strategy.
2. Create your Owner’s Message See post an owner’s message.
3. Listen carefully to any customer feedback: What is the customer telling you about the expectations you are not meeting that they have of you, or new features they would like in your product or ways to improve how you market or service them?
4. Regularly Review your Customer Satisfaction Strategy: For help on how to set up an industrial strength customer satisfaction strategy and related processes, get my free report: Six Proven Steps to Improve Customer Satisfaction.
I welcome your feedback.
Note: Aweber email marketing service is an affiliate link.