Martial Arts Schools - Keeping Your Online Business Reputation Intact


In business, relationships matter more than nearly anything else. Public relations management is crucial if you want to build up a dedicated base of loyal customers. Those customers will be the ones who stick with you when times are tough. Having dedicated fans who consistently return to you will allow you to weather cyclical economic downturns so that you can bounce back when things return to normal. Perception is often reality for many people. So if your business has a bad reputation, regardless of whether or not that perception is valid, it can sink your company as sure as anything else. 5UCXTF7U67VB

Getting direct feedback from your customers is obviously the best way to gauge your success as a business. Balance sheets rarely tell the whole story, so it's important to find out how people really feel about your company. Fortunately, sites like Yelp and other local review platforms make it easy for customers to share their experiences with your business. Unfortunately, one bad review carries a lot more weight nowadays thanks to the power of the Internet. Learning how to deal with negative online reviews in the proper manner can be the difference between success or failure for your company. Here are a few tips to help you deal with negative reviews and protect your online business reputation.

Quick Response Times
For smaller businesses, responding to complaints immediately is even more important than for larger corporations. Big companies can afford a bad review or two, because there's usually enough good ones to cancel them out. Local businesses don't have that luxury, and they need to fight for every customer they can get. When you see a negative online review of your business on a site like Yelp or Foursquare, you should immediately contact the reviewer to see if you can rectify the problem. Do it directly on the forum or site where the review is posted. When people see that you that level of responsiveness and personal care in a comment thread, they take notice.

Going The Extra Mile
In the aforementioned example, we discussed proactively reaching out to unsatisfied customers online. When you do that, make sure you fully understand the nature of their complaint before you attempt to fix it. If the complaint is valid, offer a voucher for free services from your business. Even if you end up losing money on that transaction, you've potentially made a lot more further down the road in the future if they stick will you thanks to your superb customer service. Many people don't understand the concept of being penny-wise and pound-foolish when it comes to addressing customer complaints, but it's something that every business owner should be aware of.

Don't Confuse Signal With Noise
Sometimes, people leave bad reviews of businesses online even if there really wasn't a problem with their service or their experience with you. Maybe they were in a bad mood and didn't get exactly what they wanted, then failed to communicate that dissatisfaction when it would have mattered. Maybe they just don't like your or your staff on a personal level. Maybe they're just angry people looking to blow off some steam anonymously. Believe it or not, such people exist. Learn to spot “false positives” when it comes to negative online reviews and ignore them.

Learn From Your Mistakes
You can use the negative reviews you've accumulated online to fine-tune your business operation for greater success. Over time, bad reviews paint a picture of where your strengths and weaknesses lie. One bad review can be written off as a fluke. But where there's smoke, there's usually fire. If you're getting a lot of complaints in one specific area, you can use that information to devote more time, energy, and resources to strengthening your business in that particular department.

Build On Your Success
Flip through any high school year book in America, and you'll find at least one picture with the following quote underneath it: “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. It's an old gem of wisdom from film producer Samuel Goldwyn. The point he was trying to make was that success breeds success, but only if you act on it quickly. In other words, don't rest on your laurels. In business, as in life, momentum is everything. Use your customer feedback to improve your operation, and keep an eye on it so that you don't get complacent.

The Takeaway
Being in touch with your customer base has never been more important than it is right now. Potential customers have a lot of choices, and the increasing integration of the world economy thanks to the Internet will give them even more options as the years progress. Even if you run a business that operates primarily in your local area, the Internet gossip mill can have a big impact on your long-term viability as a company. Be understanding and proactive when it comes to handling customer reviews, whether they're positive or negative. At the end of the day, your good reputation is the only thing you can really count on.