As entrepreneurs, it is important for us to create a memorable experience for our customers every chance we get. It is a known fact that majority of the time customers will share a negative experience over a positive one.
We have to keep this in mind when reflecting on the power of the online review. Sometimes, we assume people do not read reviews or pay attention to them at all. This notion is far from the truth.
Think about when you research a company or product. A handful of review sites will pop up in the top 10 search results and you, like the customer, are likely to read it. People enjoy the contentedness they feel by reading someone else’s thoughts on a service or product they’re considering.
There are some top review sites many companies are already on that they are not aware of. Below are a few:
Customers love to post reviews on these sites because it makes them feel powerful and like they are a part of the business.
It is very important for you understand that these online reviews are important to your business and can be managed. If you have not incorporated online reviews into your marketing plan, now is the time. I have included some tips to not only incorporate online reviews into your business but to also use it to your advantage.
- Review – Yes, I said it! You should first look at the previously published reviews and evaluate them. Read what customers are saying, what did they like? What didn’t they like? And why? After you have read them make the necessary changes. If you haven’t received a review yet then you have a clean slate.
- Reconcile – We are human before business owners and we make mistakes. It’s best to reach out to a disgruntled customer who has left you a bad review. Offer them a way to contact you to reconcile the situation. If they were compelled to write a bad review, they will most likely leave an additional comment letting others know the issue has been addressed and they are satisfied with the outcome.
- Provide excellent service – If you provide excellent service every single time, there should be nothing for customers to complain about. You should do everything in your power to make sure every interaction is a positive one. Think like the customer; what is your definition of excellent customer service? What is one outstanding customer service experience you have had? Answer these questions and choose the most important factors from them and incorporate them into your customer service practices.
- Ask customers to write a review for you – As a business owner, you can tell when a customer has had a good experience. If they send you an email, thank you note, or verbalize that they enjoyed their experience, you should ask them to write a review. Explain to them that it is important to you and the company that they share this experience with other customers and how much you would appreciate their help.
- Find creative ways to thank your customers – There are tons of ways you can thank customers for either doing business with you or for actually writing a review. Follow up emails, personal thank you cards, and suggestion boxes are some of the few. Customers like to feel appreciated and it’s up to you to let them know they are integral to your business. So put your thinking cap on and find out what your customers would like as a personal thank you. Get creative and specific to the type of business you have to keep everyone connected.
- Review again and repeat– After you have implemented these steps into your marketing plan, you must go back and see if all your hard work has paid off. If you see your strategies have worked, continue to use them and add on as necessary. If you are not seeing the results you want, go back to the drawing board and think of different ways to interact with your customers.
Remember the internet is your friend! With so many customers on the go and apps to give them all of the information they need, you must make sure you are being represented correctly. You must know what is going on with your business on and off the internet.