We live in an internet-driven world. Chances are, you or someone you know has been “Googled” before. Consumers are constantly looking for an expert opinion that will help push them towards a buying decision. In a competitive space, not only is having a good online reputation important, it’s necessary if your business wants to succeed. Protecting your online reputation is integral because it’s very hard to remove that asterisk that’s on your business’s Yelp or Facebook page. What’s shared on the internet is either saved, archived or posted on there forever.
You can have the best in-store customer service in the world but you still have to monitor what people are saying about you online. Here are some of Yiftee’s tips on how to keep your onlinereputation as clean and spotless as possible:
You should always know what other people are writing about you, your competitors and other similar businesses. This initial research information that you gather will help you determine what you can share that others might find of interest or value. It will also help prevent you from hitting sensitive topics that customers have or conversations to avoid. For example, if you own a upscale restaurant, you want to see what culinary experts are writing about you. Monitoring which conversations are about you is also important because it will help you uncover complaints and other problems that you might not otherwise know about.
Some great tools to help you monitor your online mentions are Google Alerts which will give you the ability to run a customized Google search that sends you notifications when new content is added for keywords that you’ve specified. Another great tool is Hootsuite, they offer a social media management tool that allows you to maintain all of your social media networks in one place. You’re able to schedule future messages, listen and engage with your followers, and view in-depth social media analytics in order to see how your content is being perceived and make improvements where they’re needed.
Engaging in conversation with customers is something that not many businesses seem to do. Sure, some businesses will offer the standard “we’re sorry for your bad experience” post but does it really do anything for you in the long run? Will it salvage that customer and let your other potential customers know that they won’t have another bad experience?
Being prepared for customer complaints, being transparent, and having a resolution in mind are three steps in mending a negative experience. Most owners that converse openly with customers on Yelp Reviews, Facebook Comments, and Twitter Posts are usually very apologetic and promise that the customer will have a better experience the next time around. The sad reality is that the owner will probably never see the customer again. Why? Because the owner simply hasn’t given the customer a big enough reason to.
Yiftee offers businesses a way to protect their online reputation. Whether it’s showing appreciation for a customer who’ve gone above and beyond or apologizing for a bad experience, giving your customers a little bit something extra can be the difference between them coming back into your business.
Schlotzsky’s Is a 300+ location Deli Café with a great reputation and a booming catering business. They take service seriously and carefully monitor social channels for feedback that helps them make their strong reputation even better.
Prior to signing on to Yiftee, the Schlotzsky’s Guest Recovery manager sent plastic gift cards to customers to acknowledge and address concerns. This was difficult and time consuming to obtain the customers’ address and snail-mail a card. With Yiftee, he was able to instantly send an eGift Card with a personal message from his desktop, track when those customers come back, and follow up. Personal gift messages and flexible reminders make sure the guest knows that Schlotzsky’s cares, and wants them back again.
Protect Yourself From Unwarranted Criticism
You hear the phrase: “the customer is always right.” This is true — but only to a certain extent. Consumers’ impulse to punish bad service—at least more readily than to reward delightful service—plays out dramatically more often than not.
Many circumstances can put your business in a position where you receive an undeserved review online. A cheated worker can have some harsh words to share, a competitor could be trying to boost their own brand’s reputation by dragging yours through the mud, the list goes on and one. One main tip here is that don’t be afraid of stand up for your business’s values and mission if a customer is attempting to drag your brand through the mud.
A good example of this is Wendy’s. They recently engaged with a customer on Twitter who discredited the freshness of their burgers. Twitter quickly responded to the trolling customer who in return, had nothing to say. The growth of social media means that there are more “keyboard warriors” than ever before. Wendy’s response to this customer actually led to National coverage for the popular burger chain.