As a small business owner you are proud of your work and deliver a great finished product. You love a good review. Your customers love you and your business grows through referrals. If things ever go wrong you work this out with your clients often privately to the satisfaction of your customers.
Then this happens. Your business gets a one star review that appears on the web. You feel helpless, insulted and often defensive. This is exactly the description of a call I received from a friend. We discussed a plan of action and the steps we took can be used by all small business owners.
Resolve the crisis:
Step 1: We did a quick audit of his business and found that due to the quality of his work his business had 4.8 star reviews on an average
Step 2: We jointly crafted a response to the review with an apology and the steps to resolve the issue and the contact information to continue the conversation offline.
Audit your web presence:
Small business owners who depend on referrals may not realize that the referrals have gone from “word of mouth” to “word of mouse”. When customers refer their friends or family to these businesses, the first thing that these prospective customers do is to do a web search. These are the questions that your prospects are asking:
- How many reviews does the business have?
- Can the reviews be found in reputable websites like BBB, Yelp, Google Maps?
- Does the business respond to reviews? Tone & sincerity of responses?
- Can the business website be found? Is it updated and has the current information?
- Is the information on the web consistent?
- Is the address accurate? Phone number correct?
Define Your Strategy:
All business owners should reinforce their beliefs in their service and product and deliver a great experience. They should expect that sometimes in a service business, things can go wrong. Don’t react emotionally and get ahead of planning for such events such as a negative review.
Readjust your thinking to spend time on creating satisfied clients and a well-developed and defined reputation management process.
Reasons why people write reviews
The Small Business Reputation Management Plan
- Create a well-defined proactive strategy to get reviews.
- Set responsibility to set a process for getting customer reviews and to Monitor >> Respond>>Resolve
- Train your staff and educate them on your reviews and reputation management process
- Define the web footprint and focus on the review websites that matter to your customers
- Setup campaigns to spread the word on where your customers have reviewed you
- Get customer reviews without offering a reward and ensure this is organic
- Increase your profile visibility by non-review type engagements such as check-ins, photos, liking, or adding tips
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly and use apps to use SMS to ask customers for reviews
- Setup alerts for new reviews to enable timely response
- Respond to all reviews and respond to evn old reviews that have been missed
Opportunity to turn Turn a negative review into a positive experience!
Show clients you care and demonstrate your passion for customer service by creating a good response review process and Increase customer retention and customer acquisition..
Without a defined strategy you may be losing out on customers who research for you in places you have not yet engaged in.