One of the most important tasks as a small business owner is understanding and maintaining your relationship with your customers. Online user-generated reviews is one of the primary ways to receive direct feedback and gain insight into the state of your business according to the public eye. A responsible business owner not only knows to take online reviews seriously, but also puts a lot of weight into managing the online reputation for their own business.
Maintain What You Can Control
Although you can’t control whether the online reviews your business receives are negative or positive, you can be in control of the factors that may determine those reviews. Easy tasks such as updating your online business listings with correct information, uploading high resolution quality and recent photos of your business, and maintaining an easy to navigate and functional website, are all parts of your business that you have full responsibility of to make sure they’re distinctive and appealing to your customer base.
Depending on the size and model of your business, there can be more complex factors you are in control of, such as the way your employees are trained in customer service techniques. Another factor you can consider is offering incentives or designing appealing campaigns for your customers such as, discounts, an attractive return and refund policy, or gift vouchers for a customer’s birthday or as a way to improve a relationship with a customer who had a bad experience and potentially wrote a negative review.
See Your Negative Reviews As A Blessing
The impact of negative reviews, particularly for a local small business, can be incredibly stressful. Although for a moment you may be upset, annoyed, and want to just delete the negative review if you’re able to, this is one of the worst ways you can possibly handle the situation. If you do end up going this route, be prepared for the angered customer to be even more angry, and possibly write another review citing what you did and making you look disingenuous. This is definitely not the outcome you want to have.
Instead, do your best to patch up customer complaints as soon as they occur, or as soon as you are able to. Remember that negative reviews grant you the business owner a valuable perspective and insight into how your business operates from the view of the consumer. It’s wise to even expect to receive a negative review at some point in your business journey. If that’s the case, plan a solution ahead of time. Remember not to be angry, but instead be grateful because now you have the opportunity to fix an issue before it happens again.
Embrace Online Reputation Management
The benefit of online reputation management is that, when handled well, your efforts will lead to happy customers, and happy customers will refer your business. Monitoring your online reputation is essential to the successful growth of your business. Not only will potential customers look at your online reviews when considering doing business with you, but even potential employees will look at your reviews when considering to work for you.
Improving your online feedback can be as easy as making sure there is a feedback submission form on your website so that there’s a seamless way for customers to contact you. If you haven’t already done so, set up a Google Alert for your business so you know when you are mentioned, or use a social media dashboard to monitor any time your business comes up on Twitter.
Always remember that people want to know about the experiences other customers have had with you. It’s expected that a customer would want to know how your prices and services compare to others, and whether there’s anything unique about your business that makes you stand out against your competition. By successfully managing your online reputation, you set your business up to truly value the impact of your customer feedback, and understand how to improve your relationship with those that matter to your business the most: your customers.
This article was written by the experts at RepCheckup. Check them out for more information about online reputation management.