Anyone who owns a service-oriented business, such as a tanning salon, spa or wellness clinic, knows that the reputation of your company hinges on what your customers think of it. That’s why it is so important to keep apprised of what people are saying about your company, then responding appropriately. To help you do just that, we’ve compiled this list of tips and techniques to help your business grow based on customer endorsements.
Why Is Reputation Management Important?
These days, the proliferation of websites, forums and social media venues makes it easy for a consumer to rate your business immediately. That means if they have a poor experience, they are likely to tweet it out for all the world to see and that negative comment will spread instantly to their followers, their followers’ followers, and so on.
The truth is, people are only going to comment on your business if they had a really positive or a really negative experience. And, unfortunately, they are much more likely to take the time to warn others about a bad encounter with your tanning salon or spa than they are to praise you or your employees for a great visit.
It’s bound to happen. No matter how well you treat customers and how much you offer them, the old saying of “you can’t please everyone all the time” definitely applies. How you respond makes the difference between a business with a great reputation and one that closes its doors due to excessive negative feedback.
Using the Internet to Your Small Business Advantage
It doesn’t take a big budget or a lot of time to keep track of what your clients are saying. The internet provides many ways to effortlessly track mentions of your business.
For one thing, you can set up a Google Alert to receive a message every time your business name is mentioned online. Simply visit google.com/alerts and use a keyword of “yourname” in the search query. You can also include variations on your business name and/or personal name.
For another way to monitor comments, be sure your social media accounts are set up to send a message to your email every time someone posts a comment on your page. It’s important to be aware of what’s being posted in real time, so check your email often.
Once you’ve received notification of a mention of your business, respond as quickly as possible. For a positive comment, be sure to post a nice thank you. If it’s a negative comment, deal with it publicly by responding on the same site and offer something in compensation. Other people will see the interaction so the quicker and more positively you respond, the better it makes your company’s reputation.
If you find a lot of negative posts and comments sprinkled throughout the internet, of course, it’s best to figure out what’s going wrong first. When you have a handle on the problem(s), counteract the negatives by actively soliciting positive reviews from satisfied customers. This can be done by asking them in person, before they leave your salon, via a “thank you for your business” postcard or by sending an email with a link to your Facebook page, Google or Yelp listing. A simple request to rate their FIT Bodywrap© experience will often result in positive testimonials.
Reputation management is an important part of any business – but particularly those that are service-oriented. Don’t let your tanning salon or spa suffer from negative reviews; keep on top of comments and mentions and respond to them as quickly as possible for best results.