“Tell your Friends about us!” “Don’t forget to leave us a positive review on Google!” “Follow us on Twitter!” We’ve all had some local business owners utter phrases like those above to us at one point or another in our every-day experiences. How often do you act on those requests? Most likely, not too often. That’s like a beautiful person fishing for compliments. He or she would get a lot more if they weren’t looking for them. The same is true about good reviews for businesses, etc. Online presence is vital to the survival of any business or entity, as is the world of online reviews. Entities can be made or broken overnight due to a few good or poor reviews. How does one ensure their business is one that is made and not broken? Here are a few starting points to keep in mind and the rest should fall into place.
1.) Understand What Motivates A Person To Write A Review
Everyone knows that bad news travels far faster than good news. Upwards of 75% of the population surveyed have indicated that they would tell friends and family about a poor experience, while only about 40% say they’d advise of a good experience. If someone has a bad experience at an auto mechanic, rest assured they’ll tell everyone in their social circle about it. If they feel ripped off, they’ll hit social media and sites like Yelp! or Google+ Reviews and trash said auto mechanic. Not only does that provide some level of satisfaction or revenge, but it may also save their friends, family, or the public at large from being ripped off. People inherently like to help their friends, family, etc. People are also motivated to recommend great places to their friends, family, and the general public in an effort to be helpful and appear to be “in the know.” Notice the adjective “great” because good, middle-of-the-road businesses and services don’t stand out and they don’t often get reviewed.
2.) Provide The Motivation With Superior Customer Service
Focusing on the service and experience you provide is the key. Your business should be prepared to do what they do with the highest level of excellence. Don’t make claims that you can’t meet. Don’t claim to have the best marinara sauce in Philadelphia if you’re restaurant uses canned sauce. Disappointment will guarantee a poor review. However, exceeding expectations is sure to generate positive word of mouth and reviews. In its most basic explanation, Customer service is an organization’s ability to supply their customers’ wants and needs. Do it! If you can’t help a client or customer, find someone in your company who can. Don’t let concerns go unaddressed, phone calls go unanswered, emails go unreturned. Acknowledge the problem and go out of your way to fix it. Make an unsatisfied customer satisfied again by letting them know you legitimately care and will bend over backwards to see to it that their expectations have been met. Now that’s good old-fashioned customer service.
3.) Improvise, Adapt, And Overcome
A difficult client/customer is sure to arrive at some point, no matter what industry you are in. Most times, those difficult clients are the first to write a negative review. They may have a special request or order. The key is to be prepared to improvise, adapt to their needs, and overcome challenges. If you do, positive feedback will follow. A-list celebrity Will Smith said it best in an interview about his work ethic with talk show host Tavis Smiley. Smith claims “If you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.” Simple really. Don’t always expect the best out of people. Get knocked down? Brush off the dust and pick yourself back up again. Expect a challenge and you’ll be better prepared to overcome whatever it is that’s thrown your way. More importantly, do it with confidence.
In short, good reviews do not happen because companies ask for them. They happen because the customer service experienced by the client/customer has been exceptional. You want that five star review? Earn it. Don’t ask for it. Smile, be pleasant, be polite, be present, be available, and be responsive on a consistent basis… then check your Google+ Reviews. I’m pretty confident you’ll be proud of what you find.