Remember the last time that a business owner thanked you for your business? Not like a scripted, thanks for visiting _________, but a real genuine thank you for spending your hard earned cash with them? I certainly do and it cemented my loyalty to the place. I kept going back for years because I felt like my business really meant something to them, not to mention the food was great and the drinks were cheapJ.
I believe that many business owners fully understand the effectiveness of thanking both their patrons and their employees on a regular basis, but sometimes doing the same thing online falls through the cracks. Many businesses are missing out on countless opportunities to secure relationships with their customers in the online world, normally either because they don’t see the value or are so upset with yelp that they outright refuse. With so many businesses failing at this, it opens up a real opportunity to push past your competition, just by doing what Mom told you, saying “thanks”. Like a real thank you not an automated message from a software system, that is what people expect from giant corporations not SMB’s!
I have seen plenty of business owners use their “public comments” to protect the reputation of their business in a manner that is very argumentative. Let’s get real, the consumer is most often going to take the side of their fellow consumer, because there are only a few of us sadistic people in the world that actually take the leap of entrepreneurship. That being said, getting into an online argument is only going to hurt your business.
Use those public comments to harness what I like to call “The power of thanks”. Not trademarked that I know of J. Rather than defending your business in a public argument, use that platform to your advantage and thank those that have left you positive reviews and deal with issues that can be dealt with in a public setting. If there is an issue it is perfectly alright to ask an individual to reach out to you directly in a post, but do not get in a back an forth about what happened. Remember that is there for the whole world to see and there is no getting rid of it. If you feel you are being ambushed there are routes you can take, but they are not usually quick or fruitful.
All this being known, make sure to do what your mother told you and say thanks every single time someone takes time out of their day to say something nice about your business. This is the new word of mouth and it is just as powerful for consumers to see a business owner or manager that takes the time to do this. Think about the fact that some reports have shown that 90% of people research businesses online before ever giving them a call or showing up. The question is what are they finding about your business?