As technology has evolved, so has the way businesses advertise and communicate with consumers. One thing that has not changed is that every business depends on word-of-mouth marketing. Nothing is more critical to the success of a business than getting customers to recommend it to their peers. As helpful as social media and business listing sites can be to promote your business, they also offer a way for disgruntled customers to share negative comments. Here are four ways you can respond to messages and improve your online reputation.
1) Deal With It Head On
“The best way to defeat a bully is to face them.” This saying is also true when business owners are looking to respond to negative comments online. Although a few messages may come from bullies, most of them are from customers who want to know that their problem or concern has been heard.
Take the time and reach out to unhappy customers and ask them about their experience and what you can do to resolve their problem. Consumers appreciate being heard, and although you may or may not be able to fix their problem, your attention may be all they are looking for.
2) Let Your Customers Defend You
You never want to leave a comment string unmoderated, but sometimes, you won’t have to say a word; your loyal customers will support you. Fans can come to your aid and defend your business, your services, and your products if they feel certain criticism is being too negative. Although, it’s always better for you to deal with unhappy customer, when your fans write supportive comments, it shows other people that your business does have a great reputation a majority of the time.
3) Provide Context to the Comment
If the commenter tells a story, but elements have been exaggerated to paint a more negative picture, you should respond to set the record straight. Perhaps something with the transaction did go wrong, but don’t be afraid to correct the embellishments. More importantly, turn this type of conversation into a productive dialogue for you and the customer.
4) Thank Every Customer for their Comment
The best way to show your digital audience that you appreciate their business is to respond to each of their social media messages. When you take the time to acknowledge a comment, address a concern, or just press the “like” button you are thanking them for visiting your business, even when they are not purchasing an item from your store.
A consumer recommendation is the best type of advertising your business can receive. Customers trust each other when it comes to reviews of businesses and products, because their comments are seen as being genuine. As the business owner and moderator, you can create an environment that encourages consumers to leave a message that strengthens your online reputation.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 Ways to Start Managing your Online Reputation