Remember the good ole’ days when you could make someone mad in the course of business and you knew you had time to rectify it before too much damage was done?
Of course they were going to tell people how unhappy they were, and there would be some business lost for a while, maybe, but they can only call or visit so many people at a time. Occasionally, the opinion of a customer or two may make it to the local paper. That is no longer the case. Now, one slip up could be very costly. Of course, one happy customer can have a much more positive effect as well.
There are so many more options than phone calls and face to face conversations when it comes to letting others know you have an issue with a business. Today, customers can let many others know how they feel about your business in the blink of an eye. A quick group text, Tweet, or Facebook status can reach them all at once. Not only that, but if anyone chooses to share or retweet, the effect is magnified tremendously.
Online reviews are where it is really at however. The face of the “word of mouth” way of advertising has changed tremendously. Now it is “word of mouse” and there are more online review platforms than ever before. People rarely ask friends and family for recommendations, and if they do, they still head to every review site they can think of before making a decision.
In Your Face
Even if potential customers do not go looking for reviews, if they do go looking for an address, phone number, or even just an option for the service or product they want online, there is likely going to be a review or rating in their face. When searching for a restaurant, they are likely to choose the one with 5 stars over the one with 2 ½ every time, and they won’t be able to help but see it. Online reviews are in your face.
Easier to Prevent than Do Damage Control
Once a bad review is out there, you can’t erase it. It is there. Most platforms offer the ability for business owners to respond, and they definitely take advantage of that. However, the increasing popularity of online reviews makes it much easier for an unhappy customer to do a huge amount of damage before you ever know there is a problem. The best thing to do is to be extra prudent about quality and customer service, ensuring positive review as much as is in your control.
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