Do You Know What Your Customers Are Saying About You?
Once upon a time, a woman named Jane owned a quality quilting shop, Quick Quilts. Her store had been open for several years and was always successful. New customers came into the store daily. With the rise of the Internet, Jane decided she needed to set up a website to help people find her online and left it at that. As time passed, she saw less new customers come into her store. First, it was only one or two a week then that quickly turned to zero. She couldn’t understand it. She wasn’t doing anything different.
Finally, when she couldn’t come up with any other solution, she searched for her business online and was shocked at what she found. The first thing that came up was a nasty review. “The lady at Quick Quilts was rude and the store was disgusting. Boxes and scraps all over the place. They didn’t have any of the supplies I needed either. I won’t be going back. R.H.P.” The review was from a few months ago, right about the time Jane noticed she was losing customers. She didn’t remember the customer or a time when the store was messy but regardless, the review was still costing her business.
This is a fictional story but there are businesses all over that are experiencing this same thing. Businesses that have long been successful don’t realize that one negative review online will affect their business. Do you know what your customers are saying about you or are you in the same situation as Jane?
Bright Local has found that 84% of people will trust an online review as much as a recommendation from a friend. That is why it is so important that you manage your online reputation. You have to know what people are saying about you online if you want any chance for your business to continue excelling.
What to Do
When you discover that you have a negative online reputation, you need to know the next step. A negative review doesn’t have to ruin your business but if you ignore it, then it will. Here are a few tips you can use to make sure you keep your online reputation top notch.
Respond to Negative Reviews
If you find that you have negative reviews, then make sure you respond to them. When someone has an issue, reply and work with the customer to solve the problem. Don’t ignore genuine problems. More often than not, if you help make a disgruntled customer happy, they will become a positive brand ambassador for you.
The worst thing you can do is become confrontational with a customer. It makes you look bad and makes the customer angrier. Other customers will see that and won’t be impressed.
Trolls you can ignore. They are there simply to stir up trouble. Don’t delete their comments or block the user because they will come back in another way.
Ask for More Reviews
In the same Bright Local report, it says that 70% of customers will leave a review for a business, if they are asked. Every business has negative reviews. Some customers are just difficult, some days are bad, and sometimes there is no good reason. But, if your positive reviews far outweigh your negative, then that will help improve your online reputation.
Fixing the Problem
Let’s finish Jane’s story.
Once Jane discovered the nasty review, she contacted some of her loyal customers of several years. She asked them to leave a review for her business on Google search. Many of them were more than happy to do so and left glowing recommendations on the search engine. It wasn’t long before Quick Quilts was bringing in new customers every day, just like it had before.
While it isn’t always this simple to solve online reputation problems, they can be fixed. If you are facing this problem, or want to prevent it from happening, make sure you start managing your reputation. Know what your customers are saying about you, respond to negative reviews, and ask for more reviews. These things will help keep your reputation in check.
How do you manage your online reputation?