Ask any businessperson worth their salt about how important a business’ reputation is and s/he will tell you that reputation isn’t one single aspect of a business. Probe a bit deeper and you’ll find that reputation influences every part of the business. This is why it’s important for your business to enjoy a good reputation in order to continue growing.
Why is a business’ reputation important?
There are many reasons a business’s reputation is important, but broadly speaking, there are two main reasons:
- A business’ reputation is impacted by everything it does – Every decision, action, and interaction affects its reputation.
- A business’ reputation impacts everything it does – And not only that, a business’ reputation also affects the things its employees do. Reputation can affect the difficulty of marketing activities. It can even be the deciding factor as to which business operations are feasible and which aren’t.
Reputation in a connected world
It’s easier than ever for customers to speak up about the shortcomings of businesses online. Plenty of businesses have learned the hard lesson that negative reviews can punch huge holes in revenue streams.
Types of online criticism
There are many ways to communicate criticism online. Despite this, most online criticism falls into a few categories. These categories are bad reviews, trolling, bullying and threatening. On sites such as Facebook and Yelp, bad reviews affect official customer ratings, since these bad reviews are usually posted by legitimate customers who have been frustrated by a service or product.
How can a business respond to criticism diplomatically?
All businesses, large and small, deal with criticism on a regular basis. The difference between successful businesses and unsuccessful ones lies in how they respond to criticism. In light of the fact that the response is just as impactful as the review itself, It is crucial to form strategies to respond to criticism in an apologetic, fair and polite way.
One strategy is to preempt criticism by having a review page on your website. For example, Growthink Reviews provides positive feedback from hundreds of customers. When new customers search and find this page, they see positive remarks rather than finding negative reviews from the tiny percentage of customers who might have been dissatisfied.
Many businesses make the mistake of responding to a bad review immediately, perhaps because a negative review usually feels like a personal attack. In order to respond to a bad review in a diplomatic manner, physically moving away from the computer is a good first step, because it removes you from the situation and lets you think about the situation clearly.
Once you’ve cooled down, draft a brief and polite response with the following points in mind.
- Begin with a thank you. Continue by apologizing for their dreadful experience.
- Respond to each complaint in a polite and honest manner. Remember to be polite even if you feel the criticisms are unfounded. Instead, reply to each complaint in a diplomatic manner.
- Offer an explanation for the poor service. However, do not use this section as a platform to make excuses.
- Invite the person to return to your business.
Remember that it’s important to reply to every negative comment your business receives. However, if you feel like you’re being trolled, it is best to avoid a response.
As you can see, business reputation is incredibly important for success. While there are cases of people trolling businesses, most complaints are legitimate customers voicing their frustrations. The success of a business – particularly in a field with stiff competition – may rely on how well it responds to criticism.
Remember that criticism shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing, but rather a necessary path to addressing aspects of your business that need to be improved.