More Small Business Feedback Leads to Success

More Small Business Feedback Leads to Success

Fearing Bad Word-of-Mouth

In our experience, many Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) are often wary of customer feedback, particularly over the internet. It’s only human to fear criticism and worry that those reviewing one’s work will be unnecessarily harsh, and too often is that fear validated when SMBs believe that their customers will only publish a review if they’ve had a negative experience. But, this fear only makes bad word-of-mouth more likely to get attention, while the data on feedback and Online Reviews persistently fail to bear that out. If you are missing out by not encouraging and enabling customer feedback, here are a few reasons and tips that might help you take your next step:

 

Customer Reviews Motivated by Positivity

As it turns out, when online reviewers were prompted to state the reasons they’ve offered an online review, 80% listed a positive experience as their motivation. Only 49% list a negative experience, far outstripped by those who frame things positively for their local businesses. Right off the bat, by welcoming customer feedback online, you may already be pleasantly surprised at the love people have for your work.

 

What’s more, it’s no surprise that people love sharing positive experiences. People have a well-known habit of better remembering positive experiences than negative ones, so don’t count out the ability of sharing experiences to improve their sense of them as well. When people reaffirm the positive elements of their experience through feedback, it allows them and others to contextualize their experience in an even more positive light.

 

Nobody wants to be a “hidden gem” Forever

The good news doesn’t stop at mere positivity, as many online reviewers are always on the hunt for something special. In their search for influence – or simply to share great things – 28% of those who posted a review did so because they discovered a new business or a hidden gem.

 

This is critical for Small Businesses, as rave reviews by highly satisfied customers or brand advocates are trusted and crucial to generating both new business and loyal customers. With 28% of reviewers having been motivated by such outstanding appreciation, it would seem that there’s more than enough love to go around for every small business. Small businesses should make every effort to encourage this content and get it out – no hidden gem should be hidden forever.

 

Address Spiteful Comments before they Spread

There’s always been concern that negative experiences are the primary motive for online reviews, and even that review platforms manipulate businesses by favouring negative reviews (though none other than the likes of Harvard and others have stepped into the fray to disprove that). Not only are negative reviews fewer and further between than you may think, but they also represent an opportunity for your business to improve or impress other customers.

 

If there are ways that you need to improve, then there’s few better means to discover them than asking for feedback. And when negative or aggressive feedback comes in through social media, another review page or in your mailbox, knowing where it is and having the channel to address it is essential to assuring bad word doesn’t spread. Staying on top of negative reviews also shows other customers that you are attentive to feedback and willing to work with others, perhaps even improving your standing in their eyes.

 

Reveal and Tap Into the Conversation around your Business

Understanding what your goods and services offer to people is essential to knowing what to promote, either in what drives new sales or encourages customer loyalty. For those who are hesitant, online reviews and automated feedback represent a tremendous and untapped resource for of information and opinions that allow you to better craft your business to attract the customers you want most.

 

Bringing this conversation online also has benefits all its own, as 88% of consumers read online reviews. They are divided on whether they are more likely to believe numerous reviews or one they believe are authentic, so wouldn’t multiple authentic views give every type of customer a view of the business they can trust? Results on Yelp and other pages are also critical for increasing your profile on search engines, and the content they generate helps broaden the searches you appear on

In generating customer feedback, getting over fear is only the first step. While the fear of online reviews seems to be unjustified in light of the positive motivations most reviewers have, small businesses need to not only overcome their fear of reviews, but also encourage and welcome them when provided. Making the effort to ask customers for feedback is necessary to this, as 89% of customers say they would leave a review if asked, and automated emails are the best way to get this done. So, consider changing your approach to customer feedback, and change your mindset from concerned to confident – or, rather, worried to winning!

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