Making sure that your business is presented in the best light is no longer simply a question of having a great shop front or website. We now need to make sure that review sites are full of positive comments about our business. But how can businesses attract more positive feedback and customer referrals?
The business environment has changed massively over the last five years, and one of the quietest but most profound developments has been the improvement in the process of commenting on service, good or bad. Retailers of every hue are now constantly under the watchful eye of a million smartphones, ever hungry for new content and fresh observations.
A decade ago a complaint about poor service in a restaurant would have involved a few muttered comments to colleagues and friends and possibly, in extreme instances, a strongly worded letter of complaint to a manager. Overall, the influence of a complaint was relatively localised.
At the other end of the scale, people that wanted to praise something generally rhapsodised about it to their friends and colleagues but rarely got around to putting pen to paper. Even when those little “How did we do today?” cards were put out on a counter or presented with the bill, it was rare that we’d fill them in.
Compliments didn’t tend to go very far, but nor did complaints, so in some ways it wasn’t a problem.
Today it’s a different story. Bad service or poor performance can be tweeted live before the dessert’s been served or the packaging’s been opened, but conversely, as review sites mature and become more accepted, positive feedback is also far more visible.
The problem is that most of us turn straight to the one star reviews even when they are outweighed four to one by positive reviews, so it’s important that firms engage with negative reviews and ensure that their impact is watered down with plenty of positive reviews.