Wedding planners are always looking for ways to get their business noticed by brides and grooms. They participate in bridal shows, do business networking with other event merchants, solicit referrals from clients or have their business listed with online wedding directories.
Wedding directories can help you learn how you are doing in your business by getting inside the minds of your clients. A wedding may make you feel fulfilled and satisfied afterwards, but the bride might feel otherwise. Few of the websites that allow a bride to express how she feels towards one specific wedding planner. But the website specifically for event planning and planners is finally here Mikolo.co.ug.
What is Mikolo?
Mikolo is a Uganda based software company which advertises Event Service Providers, offers planning tips to event planners and enables engaged couples to post announcements and updates about their wedding. Mikolo also provides online planning tools such as wedding checklists and a budget planner to help brides with their wedding plans. Happy and dissatisfied brides alike can post reviews about their wedding vendors for future brides’ reference.
Mikolo also provides in-demand software for small and mid-market wedding vendors. They will allow you to build a profile about your business where all the clients’ reviews about you will be shown. To rank your page amongst your competitors you can either advertise with Mikolo or upgrade your package deal.
Advantages of listing
- There are only a few ranking websites which allow brides to post reviews about wedding vendors. This is in fact a form of advertising if the post about you can impact the business positively and if the website you sign up with has great exposure and thousands of viewers on a daily basis.
- If the website and directory ranks well and is trusted by brides, they will most likely trust you to be involved with their wedding planning too.
- The wedding industry is not without unethical businesses. Some wedding merchants sabotage other businesses intentionally by posting false and malicious reviews about them. Registered wedding directories hire their own review and legal team to screen such feedback for fake reviews and take appropriate legal action.
- Vendors are also allowed to dispute a review if they believe it is unjust. During an investigation, the website will ask for proof to justify claims, and by then the review will be hidden from the public.
But not all wedding planners, or other wedding vendors, or even brides themselves are 100% happy with Mikolo and other similar online listings. Here are some general thoughts they have about these websites:
Checking on the reviews about Mikolo, some brides are happy with the site because it helped them in planning their wedding. It provided them a one-stop shop –local vendor listings, reviews about each vendor, forums to connect to other brides, wedding checklists, and a gallery feature for inspiration. However, some brides also complained they have posted a review about a certain wedding vendor because of unprofessional conduct, but the said vendor contacts the site and disputes the review; and it is immediately pulled out.
Brides find these unfair and untrustworthy. How can you really trust a website that only posts positive feedback and favors those who pay for advertisement? When brides post negative reviews, they will be asked lots of questions and have provide verification and proof; brides simply get tired of pursuing the matter.
It is quite surprising how many wedding vendors are displeased with Mikolo and other directories. Many reviews say Mikolo makes wedding planners like you able to create a business profile for free. On this profile you can write anything about your service – services offered, promotions, special deals, etc. allsorts of advertising material. And then previous brides can write reviews about you regardless if they liked your service or not. But being free, you will not rank particularly well on their site. Our Manager will call you and offer to upgrade your package so they can advance your profile.
On the other hand, some vendors are pleased because sites like Mikolo conduct a thorough investigation when negative feedback is received. If this bad review comes from a bride who was serviced fairly and well, or from a competitor with a grudge, you’ll be able to say your piece online and answer rants for the other readers’ judgment as well.
How to do it well
One simple misunderstanding can lead to a negative review that can change the public perception about your business. How can you properly manage your online listing, handle reviews and protect your reputation?
- Be wise on your investments. Before signing up, check whether the amount you will be investing to advertise or upgrade your service will be converted to sales. Is the ROI soon enough? How long are you committed and can your business manage the additional dollars for such expenses?
- Wedding directories also provides online forums where brides can communicate amongst themselves. Check it from time to time and make a point to participate and respond so brides will know about you. You can give professional advice and answer questions about wedding planning in general and then provide a direct link to your website so they can check you out.
- Ask recent clients to post a feedback or review about your service on the wedding directory site. Pay particular attention to those brides who are really gushing about your professionalism and are positive to give you a good word. The key word here is RECENT. If a client wedding was back 2005, there’s not much point in the reference; and it may even create suspicions of little current success.
- Respond promptly and properly to all reviews even when negative. If you get a bad review, don’t take it too personally. Send an email to the unsatisfied bride saying how sorry you are she feels that way. Then go on and explain your side of the story. Do not offer anything to please her unless she asks specifically for it. You might end up giving a partial or full refund for a service you had worked on hard and done well. Afterwards, comment on her review on the same wedding directory site with more or less the same content as your email; other brides who will read about it can judge the situation for themselves.
- If you get a good review, be sure to respond as well. Thank the bride, tell her it was a great pleasure working with her and wish her well on her married life. This will let readers know your site is active and that you are appreciative of all the comments, reviews and other activities on your profile page.