The following is a guest post by Devin Morrissey. Devin writes in his garage and examines car parts in his office. He aspires to be an eternal student, writing wherever the web takes him.
In the past, small- and medium-sized businesses depended largely on word-of-mouth marketing to attract customers and maintain a good reputation. In the age of the internet, this is no longer the case. Although word-of-mouth remains crucial to the success of some businesses, the channels people have to voice their feelings about a business are now much more wide-reaching than ever before. Customer reviews become an important part of buying decisions.
Today, a customer’s bad experience can often be accompanied by a negative Google or Yelp review, resulting in a drop in your business’ overall rating. Although there is a lot of information on the internet that is ignored because people assume it’s just noise, this is not the case for internet reviews.
According to a 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey, 84 percent of people who read reviews trust them as much as they would trust a recommendation from a close friend. Positive reviews are likely to encourage customers to try your businesses, but negative ones will keep them from ever going in.
As a business owner, it’s crucial to attempt to mitigate these reviews in order to prevent them from hurting your business. By encouraging positive reviews from satisfied customers and doing what you can to make up for the negative ones, you can help control your standing with customers. This can be done by listening closely to reviews, responding when you get positive feedback, and looking closely into problems when something goes wrong.
Following these steps can help you keep existing customers and attract new ones as well. However, customer retention is key, as profit loss is greater when losing customers than when simply experiencing a slower customer attraction rate. Therefore, companies that respond thoughtfully and genuinely to customer feedback are likely to be perceived in a more positive light than businesses that ignore it.
In order to attract and retain customers, it helps to understand how…