Do you know how your prospects choose to do business with you?
I was at my dentist’s office today and we were discussing how we look for service professionals. Whether someone is referred to me or I find them online, I use the Internet to assess them as a possible new provider.
I thought I was thorough… See, I confess, I like to take advantage of deals from groups like Groupon, Living Social, Restaurant.com, so I have a process to make sure they are really a good deal. It works like this:
- Review the offer to make sure it seems like a real deal vs an inflated price dropped down to what the service should really cost any way.
- Look for reviews of the service provider on Yelp, Google+ or other review sites.
- Make sure there is enough time to redeem the offer.
This has prevented me from buying many deals. For example, let’s say I’m considering a deal for a hair salon. I look them up on Yelp and see that they have several recent bad reviews from other deal buyers like me. Typically there is no response from the salon owners either. Right there, I am done. I won’t even consider the deal. A lost sale and potential long term customer for that hair salon. I am still searching for the hair salon I will want to stay with…
At my dentist’s office, the Office Manager told me when she is looking for a new Doctor, she will not only go through my process, she will look on HealthGrades.com AND see if they have any malpractice suits against them in the local Superior Court. Wow!
The Internet makes it easier than ever to get feedback on a company before hiring them. Have you looked at your reviews recently to see what people are saying about you? Make sure your reviews are positive and plentiful.
If you have bad reviews, respond to them quickly and in a professional manner, always offering to help make it right. Prospects and customers want to know you care and are anxious to please. If they see that someone left you a negative review, and you respond with the facts and then offer to work with them until they are satisfied (within reason, of course), prospects will feel reassured that you will make sure they are satisfied, too. Lack of a response comes across like you just don’t care.
Action Tip 1: You want to ask all your loyal customers to leave you a positive review on Yelp, Google+ or other review sites of THEIR choice. This will help offset any of potential negative reviews and build up a positive, reassuring story about your business.
Action Tip 2: Respond to negative reviews in a positive professional manner-and offer to make it right, even if it is not your fault. Consider this a marketing expense. As long as “making it right” isn’t outlandish – It is worth it!
Action Tip 3: Automate this process of managing your reviews and your reputation. The Art of Online marketing has a software that allows you to pull all the reviews about your business into one place to evaluate them. For negative reviews, you can respond and manage your reputation. You can also use the software going forward to gather more reviews from your clients and then send the good and great reviews to multiple online review sites. This will help you manage the reviews that Internet searchers will find about your company. To get more information on this service, click here.
Reviews matter. Ignoring them or crossing your fingers and hoping for the best will leave you and your business in a very vulnerable situation as more and more people use review sites to evaluate potential service suppliers.