Let me preface this post by saying that none of what we write here is to call anyone out or make anyone feel bad about their efforts online. If you think we don’t screw up you’re crazy.
The goal for us is to provide some guidance when we can so companies can get better and in turn, provide a better experience for their clients.
Thus the basis for this reminder.
A good friend of mine was telling me about a conversation he had the other day with the marketing manager at a respected business in his area. They were talking about everything online marketing and happened to stumbled over the topic of online reviews like Yelp and Google and so on. This friend of mine happened to ask how this business handled negative reviews online. The reply was to the effect that they ignore it because it doesn’t make sense to let people tell them how to run their business.
Here’s where the reminder comes in:
If you’re running a B2C company, it’s not your business. It is their business. Your business doesn’t belong to you.
“Their” is the consumer and if you lock up your business like a spoiled kid not sharing his toys you miss the opportunity to build trust with your customers.
When consumers take the time, trouble and effort to give you feedback treat it like a jewel: examine it and recognize the value it represents. Get yourself online, start a dialogue and publicly thank them even if you disagree with their assertion. Thank them for caring enough to give you the feedback. Show that you care enough about “their business” to listen to them and make adjustments as opportunities present themselves. If you don’t, eventually they will spend their time (and money) elsewhere.
Don’t be afraid of F’ing up. Everyone does and certainly, every company does. If you take your business to market with the perspective that it belongs to your customer they will, of course, let you know when you F’ up, but if you approach it with the intent to make it right, they will help you be better. What’s more, they will appreciate your efforts to listen and improve.
It’s then that you can build real trust and raving fans.
Photo Credit: Hash Milhan