In the age of the internet many people like to “Google” a business, medical office, or restaurant before they visit it. It’s human nature to want to get an idea of what you’re “in for” before you visit somewhere you’ve never been. And the internet has made it easier than ever before to find out just what to expect.
Your potential customers will find two things as they search for you:
1. The stuff you are promoting about your own business
(What you want them to know)
2. Reviews that others have left about your business
(Some things you may fear them hearing about)
What You Want Visitors To Know
Every business owner wants their visitors to know the “good stuff” about the business. You want to share why the business is preferred by so many, how many honors, records, or awards you may have, and how much recognizable members of your community love what you do. A lot of this can be achieved through carefully crafted media. Media takes many forms, but most businesses these days start with a website.
Your website is a place you can share all of the above, all while keeping within your brand identity. You can share photos, videos, testimonials, product details, hours and information all on a website designed to look and feel like your business. Not only can a great website promote the business itself, but it can add to it. Examples of this can be found in restaurants, retailers and medical offices that have added online ordering, curbside pickup, and appointment setting. All of these conveniences can make customer experience more positive.
Your Business Environment
How to people feel when they walk in? What kind of conveniences are in place for your visitors? If they have to wait, what are you doing to make their waiting experience b? All of these questions look at your business environment. The physical space in which your visitors see and feel. There are many things you can do to create a more positive environment, but we suggest starting with the simple things like putting in comfortable seating and making conscious choices about what to put on your TV.
How you portray yourself in the public eye will inform how people think of you. Advertising has long been a way to shape public perception. That’s why it’s so often used in politics and branding. Whether you are creating a billboard for the highway, or a TV commercial to air, there is great power in advertising. The more times people hear something the more they embrace it, so think of advertising as the way to get your controlled messaging across.
Now advertising has come a long way in the past few years, and it’s not all about paid slots anymore. Airing a TV commercial on local cable can be really expensive, especially if you want to replay it a bunch of times. We’ve found that creating your own TV network within your business is a much more cost effective way to take advantage of the TV medium, without having to spend money every time you want to air the commercial. Platforms like It’s Relevant TV offer businesses an unlimited number of playbacks of their own ads within their businesses– while mixing them with TV content matched to their audiences. It’s a great way to create a comfortable and controlled environment for your visitors.
Improving Online Reviews
Every business owner wants their visitors to know the “good stuff” about the business, yet so many review sites seem to be filled with more bad than good. It’s unfortunate, but human nature favors something psychologists call the negative bias. It’s the notion that we are drawn more to the negative than the positive in many situations. Simply put, one negative review can do more to hurt you than 1 positive review can to help. You may even feel that 1 negative review does more harm than 5 positives do to provide good, because negativity is so much more powerful in society.
So how can you avoid these hurtful negative reviews? The best way to do this is to provide your visitors with positive experiences. Easier said than done right? It is, but it can be easier if you follow a few best practices:
Do the Best You Can To Start
Always put your best foot forward. Do what you can to make people comfortable in your space and address things you feel might be problems before they become them.
Communicate to Your Visitors
You want to let your visitors know that you care about them. Let them know what you are doing to make their visit a great one. We recommend highlighting things they may not know about on your TV or through another display. “Skip the line next time with our new mobile app”.
Get Timely Feedback
Don’t assume that you’ve done everything right. No one is perfect, and every business can improve. But it shouldn’t be a guessing game. The way we can all best improve is to solicit feedback from our visitors.Getting feedback from people while their experiences are freshest in their minds is vitally important.
There are a few ways you can do this. Send an email or text message immediately after someone visits if you have that info. If you don’t it’s even easier to post a message on your TV with a QR code that visitors can scan while they are there. Once they scan it they can answer a brief survey and you can get direct feedback, while they are still in the building.
Review Their Feedback
Getting great feedback is the first step, reading the feedback and understanding it is the next step. It’s best to have a member of your staff assigned to this role so that it is done regularly. This is not an old fashioned “comment box” mentality, opening the box up once a month and looking at some anonymous notes that you can choose whether or not to act upon. In today’s society people expect you to act quickly.
Act Upon Feedback & Communicate Back
After you have reviewed the feedback, and whether or not you intend to act upon it, you should communicate back with your visitor. Don’t wait more than 24-48 hours to get back to people that have left you feedback. You want to show your visitors that you value their opinions and they time they took to message you. If you do intend to make a change or if you have a solution for them personally let them know so that they feel that you have solved their issue.
Why it is So Important to Ask for Feedback
There is also an added advantage to soliciting this feedback. Often times when someone has a bad experience they want to tell someone. If they tell a friend it may cause their friend to not visit you in the future. And worse, if they go online and write a review it may cause a whole group of people that don’t even know them to not visit you. By focusing their feedback back to you not only can you address it directly and do your best to help, but you are also diverting the negative review away from the public eye, and keeping it private.