Online Reviews… The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
In a day and age where consumers flock to the internet to find goods and services, it is more important than ever to make sure your online presence and reputation is complete and credible.
In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (Source). On the flip side, 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.
So, what do you do if you have a bad review? The best thing you can do is address the problem right away so that you can show the public that your company does have good customer service and that you value their feedback.
When responding to a bad review, the worst thing you can do is trade blows with an angry customer. The right tone and the right words are everything. Try to offer a polite response with some type of solution. Depending on the situation, you could offer to rewash their vehicle for free as part of a clean car guarantee and let them know you are interested in finding out how to make it a better wash experience. If it’s a damage claim, try to take the conversation offline.
While it’s hard not to get worked up and take it personally, try not to sweat every bad review. Instead, do your best to seek out more positive reviews. Once the good reviews have built up your credibility, one or two bad reviews aren’t really going to hurt you too much because you have already established credibility.
The best way to get good reviews is to make sure that your quality is on par and that your customer service is even better. Your satisfied customers will help spread the word about the experience they’ve had at your wash.
If they don’t do so right away, feel free to ask them for a review. Many customers are willing to review your service, especially if they’ve had a positive experience. Being transparent and open to feedback allows your business to improve as you will have direct feedback from the people who care most about your company.
You can encourage your customers to turn to Google, Yelp, Facebook, Trip Advisor, and many other online review sites. Just don’t be surprised if the Yelp reviews aren’t all visible. One must be a “Credible Yelper,” having reviewed x number of various businesses before being deemed credible enough for their review to appear publicly on your page. If not a “Credible Yelper,” the review will fall under the hidden abyss of “other reviews that are not currently recommended.”
Ultimately, as long as you are offering exceptional customer service, admitting that mistakes can happen and offering timely solutions and professional responses, your customers will take notice, spread the word and build you up. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch!