Often times, we business owners cringe in fetal position with the thought of hearing criticism and feedback from our own customers. Sometimes, hearing those comments can be a little bit too raw and too personal to see the bigger picture it serves. When we talked with a local pet walking business owner, she shared, “I get anxiety attacks when I see an email from Yelp that I’ve had a new review!” I think we can all share that feeling. Let’s try and retrain our minds on how we handle and manage feedback for our business positively.
Criticism = Opportunity
No one likes to be criticized and we all like to believe that we’re Beyonce-level flawless. Unfortunately, no one is without flaw and we tend to discredit them and even ignore criticism altogether. However, most feedbacks that our customers provide presents a great opportunity for improvement. We should want it. If no one ever told us how to do things a better way, our businesses would be in a constant state of mediocrity. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers if they’re happy with your service!
As biased as Yelp can be, it is a necessary evil. Asking your customers to post their reviews to help you boost your presence on Yelp can benefit your business greatly. After all, Yelp has 86 million monthly mobile visitors on their platform and most likely, your customers are going to it to seek information about your business.
Ask For It!
Asking for reviews means you also have to monitor it and follow up with them. Even though we’re quick to search for the ‘delete’ button when a 1-star appears for that stickler of a customer, it speaks greater volumes to deal with it. Go head first into the problem and reach out to that customer and make it right. With the latter approach, we often see 1-star reviews get bumped up to a terrific 5-star.
Even sparking the conversation in real-life (I know, what a thought) could open up trust with your customers. A question as simple as, “Are you happy with our service today?” Or following up next time with, “Were you pleased with XYZ last time?” Gives your customers an opportunity to share their thoughts and insights about your business.
How Do You Handle It?
Do you have an internal method of handling customer suggestions and opinions? Some opt in for the good ol’ paper form, some send a survey in an email afterwards, or some might find it conveniently on their smartphone. As the general consumer population is increasingly referring to their phones for everything, a lot of mobile apps are now offering follow-up strategies this way. Particularly with mobile and on-demand services, it’s quite a challenge to find an app that helps you run your business, yet alone manage customer feedback and reviews, until Handlr came along. With Handlr, every service your business completes prompts your customer to tap a star-rating and write a review if they want to. This way, you as the business owner get a precise evaluation for each employee and service. It also alleviates the middle man (Yelp) and directs those not so happy customers directly to you.
So what do you do with all of this information? It’s great to sit and assess what pain points you hear often, patternistic issues that keep recurring, and strategize how to apply changes to your business to minimize those concerns. Again, feedback and reviews don’t have to be hair-pulling and personal. It’s to benefit you as a business owner and your business itself.