In this day and age our reality is simply the Internet.
On average, adults spend 20 hours a week on the Internet doing anything from finding home inspiration on Pinterest to connecting with friends and ultimately, making buying decisions. Online reputation should be one of your highest priorities in terms of visibility and customer reach. Our world is seemingly more and more technical, yet the customers still hold basic human instincts to trust other humans when making a decision.
Online reputation is somewhat out of our hands, unless we put effort into managing it. Things like customer reviews can hold the same role in your business as any other promotion.Good consistent branding can show the customer that you respect and focus your attention on all aspects of your business. They will most likely think you will give them that same courtesy and attention. Receiving and using feedback as an improvement tool shows the customer you value their opinion and experience. Of course, start with a good service or product. You do what you do well and know it, let’s make sure everyone does!
Beginning or re-creating an online presence can be simple:
- Use your brand to complete accounts on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Yelp.
- Make these accounts personal; let the customer in on who you are and what your business represents.
- Stay consistent with usernames and domain names; make it easy for people to find you.
- Establish this visual representation so you can focus on interactions.
What if I’m getting bad reviews?
During the buying journey the majority of consumers do quite a bit of research on products and services online before making any kind of decision. 70% of this research is looking at online reviews and about half of those consumers will still make the decision at the location of the business. Unfortunately, bad reviews happen every once and awhile and are unavoidable — 86% of potential customers hesitate after reading a negative review.
Though they have a quicker impact on possible customers, there is a way to intervene with a bad review. There will always be a customer you simply can’t make happy — it’s business — but below are some steps you can take when talking to an unhappy customer and in turn improve your reputation:
- Listen to their complaint carefully without interruption and always stay professional.
- Apologize and provide an explanation that admits the problem. Take responsibility and stay sincere.
- Analyze the situation and provide them with a solution.
- Always ask if they need anything else and thank them for bringing it to your attention.
56-70% of dissatisfied customers will usually come back to do business with you if you go through the process of helping them and providing them with a solution.
How Do I Interact With My happy Customers?
Now you have a plan now to take care of a bad review, but what can you do to improve interactions with happy customers? If you think about this like a typical conversation you would have with someone in person, online interactions can be made simple.
Make sure to treat them like a friend; you are helping them while they are helping you stay in business. Thank them for their business and reviews, express gratitude and let them know you value their feedback. Using reputation management services can improve the amount of good reviews you receive and can increase the amount of calls you can get.
Feedback can be hard to hear sometimes, even when it’s positive. Taking a step back to see your business from the customer’s perspective can be your greatest tool. If you respond quickly and consistently your interest in their opinions is communicated and new customers find your business more appealing. Also, don’t sound like a robot. Make the responses short yet thoughtful. Use the name of the consumer if you can and make each response personalized. It might take a little more time, but the effort will pay off.
Creating an online reputation is something that should always be on the same level as your promotional activity. It takes work and money but pays itself off quickly. Being on the right review sites and communicating through the correct means of social media can be a lot to manage all at once. Taking advantage of services such as reputation management can relieve stress and can build you a solid online portfolio.
We encourage you to take a look at your company and identify any areas of improvement there might be. This information can be used as an opportunity so you and your customers, as a team, can make your business grow.
Click here to learn more about Get Found Fast’s reputation management services.