Having meaningful interactions in the way of feedback and user reviews from your customers is beneficial beyond words for your business. You use this to improve your business, you get an idea of what you’re doing well, and you see your relationships with customers blossom which leads to an increase in bottom line profit.
As meaningful as all this can be for your business; whether the feedback is positive or negative, its utility can all be wiped away in an instant. Why? Because it’s a ticking time bomb.
Your customers, generally speaking, are reachable at any point of the day – and through several channels at that. If I need to get in touch with someone, I can call them, text them, Facebook them, Tweet them or email them. Person to person communication carries the expectation of immediate response. Where businesses struggle, is understanding that this same expectation applies to them. Think about it: if I’m expecting my friend who slept on my couch rent free for 3 years of college to respond immediately, why wouldn’t I expect a business where I’m spending my hard earned money to do the same?
Further, your response time to your consumers is without a doubt an indicator of appreciation and interest in their thoughts, opinions and experience. With each passing second, you as a business are sending the message that you just don’t care what they have to say.
Now, I’m not trying to pick on business owners and operators, because we know how many balls they have up in the air and are simultaneously trying to juggle. But you must understand how grave the danger in failing to respond immediately can be.
Let’s pretend I’m the owner of a fine steakhouse. A customer feels that their steak was overcooked. Not enough to complain directly to the waiter, but enough that they wouldn’t come back. In this age, however, each and every customer that you have is essentially an industry critic and carries an audience with them in the way of a growing social media presence. You’re now going to see your customer leave and tell his entire social audience, who will likely pass along that info to others as well. One bad experience in the business has potentially eliminated not one, but hundreds of prospective customers.
That’s why immediate response is so vital. You create a forum where your on-location customers can provide reviews, comments, thoughts and feedback in real-time. By implementing this forum in your business, you have the chance to address each positive experience and remedy every customer with a negative experience in your business prior to the customer leaving. Instead of pushing away thousands of customers, you’re creating a walking billboard for your business simply because you encouraged feedback, listened and acted upon it.
Seconds matter. This is open-heart surgery for your business. And it can save its life
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