The huge number of internet channels a business can join are a double edged sword in business. On one hand it's great to be able to put your brand out there so many places, but on the other hand how do you effectively manage so many channels? Reputation management software takes the guess work out of the task and gives you a convenient 1000 ft. view of your brand's presence online.
All those reviews scattered across the web are consolidated into one interface, allowing you to promote positives and address any negatives. But more than convenience, reputation management allows you to take charge of your brand.
Responding Quickly Can Turn Unhappy Customers Into Loyal Advocates
When someone is unhappy, a lot of the time they're looking for a place to vent. If you respond politely and without getting emotional, there's a good chance you'll be able to make it right. Maybe they're unhappy because they have some perception of the service they received — an honest apology and a solution may totally alleviate their discomfort. Many times people just want to be heard.
Addressing the concern promptly and honestly does a few things:
- Shows the customer and any other folks observing the interaction that you really care about their experience
- Makes it clear your customers have a platform to communicate with you and that you're receptive to it
- Demonstrates professionalism that you took ownership of the concern and tried to fix it rather than making excuses
One review-related study found that of the negative reviews that received a response from the company, 33% posted a followup positive review after their issue was resolved. Another 34% deleted their initial negative review. Meaning that a combined 67% of those who wrote a negative review were turned around by providing a helpful response. Reputation management makes catching these situations and replying quickly easy, maximizing the chance to turn them into positives.
But rather than asking how replying to a negative review helps, ask yourself this:
What message am I sending to those reading negative reviews about my business that I never responded to?
Their takeaway is one of two things. You either confirm with what's said about you (through your silence) and reinforce the negative, or you just don't care what customers think.
Even if your response doesn't fix things with that one unhappy customer, and even if they still walk away dissatisfied, you've avoided sending that message to everyone else.
Reputation Management Helps Refine Internal Processes
Reviews help hone in on some things that aren't always obvious to business owners. We as business owners can be a fairly successful by accidentally getting things right, and we may think we know what our customers like most about us. Reading our most positive reviews may highlight aspects of our business that we've nailed but hadn't paid much attention to.
That helps with your marketing focus going forward because you already know your customers care about those things.
But we can also resolve problem areas of our businesses.
A 2010 Customer Experience report showed that the leading reason customers leave a business is poor customer service. Not price, not speed of service, or even how feature-rich products were.
Why does this matter so much? I'll share a quick story.
Years ago I worked with a dentist who was having customer retention problems. Since he was usually in the back of the office with patients, he couldn't really be aware of how his receptionists were answering the phones, talking with patients, etc. Most of the patients seemed happy when they concluded their appointments with him, so he was confused why a lot of them never came back.
It wasn't until he started using patient surveys and reviewing phone calls that he learned a couple key things.
- His staff was using a tone that made it seem like answering the phone was bothering them, which squandered new prospects.
- One of his staff members repeatedly got snappy with patients calling with issues rather than being helpful.
- Few of his staff members ever mentioned promotions he was offering or suggesting ways they could help.
It was immediately obvious to him where the disconnect was, but it took some digging to become aware of it.
Negative business reviews essentially do the same thing. They may highlight aspects of your business you didn't realize were an issue, or may reinforce doubts you already had.
Either way, you can grow from it.
Now that you see how reputation management software can help you dial in your business and put forth a stronger brand, see how cost effective it can be with one of our online reputation marketing packages today!
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