Author: Dustin Johnson
Word of Mouth Just Went Viral!
You finish a big job. The customer’s thrilled. Next thing you know, the client’s neighbor wants you to price out some work. Isn’t word-of-mouth a wonderful thing?
Now imagine that same happy customer didn’t just talk to his neighbor but went out and told everyone in town how much he liked your work. Talk about a job well done. Welcome to the wonderful world of online customer reviews. One of the most powerful business development tools available today.
Did You Know?
Did you know that your BBB allows for customers to post reviews about their experiences with businesses, brands and charities whether it be positive, negative or somewhere in between? BBB has always helped consumers with dispute resolution, but for the past few years BBB has also accepted customer reviews.
A BBB customer review is the subjective opinion of a customer who had a marketplace interaction with a business. Customers can share their experience whether it be positive, negative or neutral. The customer is not necessarily seeking any dispute resolution help through BBB, and if he or she is, BBB may recommend to file a complaint instead.
By accepting customer reviews, BBB is able to provide additional information on organizations to help potential customers make educated purchasing decisions. Reviews also allow businesses to demonstrate how they interact with their customers.
In today’s climate, it’s what many consumers are looking for when researching online. Countless potential customers are reading reviews and they’re doing it for almost everything they buy.
Engage Your Customers
Don’t be afraid to ask! Tell customers their feedback and opinions are important to you. If you don’t ask, your chances are much lower in getting a positive review. If a customer has a bad experience they will set out to write a bad review. A customer with a good experience may simply let you know in person, over the phone, or in email within a conversation. This is your time to ask them to share their experience in an online review.
Here are some tips to help you get the right kind of feedback
Ask: Let customers know you want to hear from them and be responsive and open to their feedback. Tell them that your business is on bbb.org and ask them to write you an online review. You can also solicit reviews after a job is done via an email or even a post card. Be sure to include a URL that directly links them to your BBB Business Profile and/or engage them on Facebook or Twitter with an account for your business.
Save: Emails and letters with nice customer comments make great testimonials, so keep every one that you get. Do ask for permission before you publish them, and remember to ask if they would submit their review on your BBB Business Profile. For BBB accredited businesses, don’t forget to include your BBB Accreditation Seal to remind customers of your commitment to service.
Share: Turn customers into advocates. Encourage clients to share a good experience with your business online on Twitter or Facebook.
Follow-up: If a job went well, but the customer doesn’t leave you a review, contact them again in a few weeks. Politely inquire if they were satisfied with your service. If yes, ask again if they would consider sharing their thoughts online.
Respond: There’s no reason you can’t respond to a good review by saying thank you publicly. It shows you are listening and people like to be acknowledged. It’s also important to actively monitor your online reputation.
While BBB will contact you when a complaint or customer review has been submitted, get in the habit of searching your business name plus “reviews” to see what comes up. If it’s a negative review, respond timely and professionally. Make an honest effort to resolve the issue but do not continue to engage in a long dialogue online. Try to take it offline and respond more personally via phone or email. As it can be difficult not to take a negative review personally, remember to be professional in your response. Potential customers reading your reviews may consider how you’re responding to them just as important as the reviews themselves.
To learn more about BBB Customer Reviews, including what makes BBB Customer Reviews different from other review sites or to learn about the difference between a customer review and a complaint, visit: https://www.bbb.org/council/reviews/about-bbb-customer-reviews/ or contact your local BBB.