One of the smartest things that a business owner can do to improve his business is listen to what his customers are saying. In today’s digital age, almost every consumer now has a voice that can echo to the ends of the Internet, which is a pretty long distance. The things that people are saying both on and off-line can impact your operations in more ways than you know. When you check and engage with your customers, they know that you care deeply about your business and its reputation.
Obviously, positive customer feedback is always the kind of feedback that business owners love the most. It is always nice to hear that you are doing a good job and that customers are truly happy. This is true of any kind of business, whether it is a service based business like a housecleaning service, a landscaping company, an auto repair business, an insurance company or a healthcare professional. Positive reviews for your service based business are helpful for influencing others to try your services. Other businesses that can benefit from positive reviews include restaurants, beauty salons, as well as most retail businesses. When people are buying things, they want to be treated with respect and know that their business is appreciated. When you and your employees show appreciation and give good services, positive comments are sure to follow.
Unfortunately, when your business deals with a lot of people, some of them are bound to not feel like they did not have the best experience. Everyone can have an off day or an off moment. Responsible business owners know that a negative comment or review is not something to angry about. Instead, this feedback from their customer should be taken seriously and used to improve processes at your business. It is a way to gauge how you are doing with the general public. If you notice a dramatic shift from positive comments to mainly negative comments, it means that you need to address these complaints within your organisation to get everything straightened out and back on track as quickly as possible.
Respond to Online Comments
In many cases, business owners are allowed to directly respond to complaints and negative reviews on websites, so do not be afraid to log in and speak directly with the people who have had issues with your products or services. People generally are not trying to cause damage to your business or your reputation, they just want to have their voice heard. The same applies to positive reviews. If someone takes the time to rave about your business, be sure to thank them for their positive feedback and invite them to visit you again soon. The other benefit of responding to all online comments is that potential clients can see that you are responsive to all feedback. When you handle all situations with grace and flair, even when the reviews are negative, people feel more comfortable doing business with you. The other aspect of online comments and feedback is that this content remains published on the Internet forever. Essentially, your reputation online is an ongoing project. One good day or one bad day is not going to define your business. It is the continuous effort that you or your social media manager that turn a negative review into a neutral, or even positive, outcome.
Strengthen Your Business Position
Customers are your lifeline for strengthening your business position. Listen to what they have to say, even if you do not necessarily like or agree with what they are saying. Successful business owners need constructive criticism to make their business stronger and better. As much as you might love to always receive nothing but positive feedback from clients, this is probably unrealistic. Negative feedback gives you the unique opportunity to be diplomatic and handle your business in a highly professional way. By cordially thanking the person for taking the time to point out issues, you show that you truly care about their feelings and their experience with your company.
Use Feedback for Growth
One of the great things about feedback from customers is that sometimes they will drop great ideas in their commentary. When they do this, it can help you grow your business based on the demands of your customers. For some business managers, it can be hard to step outside of the box and come up with clever or new ideas to make their business more creative. Customers, however, do not see your business in the same way that you do. For instance, if a customer lodges a complaint that it was too dark to read your menu, you might consider adding a candle to the table to give a little extra light. If someone complains that your establishment was too cold, turning up the thermostat a couple extra degrees to make your guests more comfortable is certainly worth doing. Chances are, you have the thermostat set at a temperature to keep your employees more comfortable without giving much thought to your guests comfort. It is a common mistake that a lot of businesses make. The problem is, most guests are not overheated, so the extreme cold just makes them slightly uncomfortable. While some people might enjoy the cold, not everyone does, especially if they dressed lightly and do not have a sweater or a light coat to keep them warm. Feedback from customers is a valuable way to adjust your business on the fly, especially if the things they are unhappy with can easily be fixed with just an adjustment or two. Do not forget that you can always talk with your customers when they are in your establishment. This is the most personal way that you can get their opinions on how well your business is doing. Talking directly to the business owner or floor manager about their experience makes them feel important and respected. This person to person interaction builds a relationship so they will want to come back to your business or use your services again soon. Good luck!