As a parent of three children, I take the opportunities I get to go the movies very seriously. I have a long list of criteria that I follow to ensure that I enjoy the movie and the opportunity isn’t wasted. A lot of movies that a younger version of myself would have seen won’t make the cut. That brings me to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It has been eviscerated by critics and currently boasts a Rotten Tomatoes score of just 29%. Are those bad reviews going to keep me from watching? The answer is a resounding no!
And they didn’t keep the general public away as the movie took in $170 million domestically in its opening weekend and more than $400 million worldwide. The Batman and Superman franchises have built up enough equity to weather the storm of bad reviews, but unfortunately for most small businesses that isn’t the case. In this post, we’ll highlight what your business needs to do to deliver a top-notch customer experience that will significantly limit the number of negative reviews your business receives and keep customers coming back time and again.
1. Commitment from the top down
If customer experience isn’t a top priority for the business owner or key members of the leadership team, then odds are it probably won’t be a priority for the rest of the organization. But how do you get the leadership team on board? The simple answer is you tie it to revenue. Richard Burdge, CMO at Thunderbird, explains it this way in an article on 1to1media.com, “It’s all well and good to be talking about making customers feel good, but it really is about the business. It’s not a feel-good thing. This drives business results.”
One business result I suggest focusing on is retention and loyalty. Businesses that place an emphasis on customer experience set themselves apart from the competition. Today’s customer is smart, savvy, and knows how to quickly find alternatives, so businesses that don’t place an emphasis on customer success won’t earn loyal, repeat customers. And as any businessperson worth their salt knows it costs much more to attract a customer than to keep one.
2. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Once you have executive buy-in, now you need to figure out how to incorporate customer experience into your product and marketing programs. This will require a lot of cross-functional communication and planning to make sure that everyone is on the same page. It is important to build a plan that is sustainable and that can actually be implemented by your employees. A lot of times we develop pie-in-the-sky plans that make everyone feel good in the conference room but aren’t practical when executed in real life.
3. No business is immune to negative reviews
Even the best businesses are going to do things from time to time that some of their customers aren’t going to like. No brand is immune to negative reviews despite all of their efforts to provide the best possible customer experience. Take Coke for example. In the 80s, they were feeling the heat from Pepsi, who seemed to be resonating better with younger audiences. Coke decided to do something drastic – change it’s tried and true formula to make it sweeter and more attractive to Pepsi drinkers. This, as you can imagine, was an unmitigated disaster. Coke fans were practically rioting in the street at the loss of what would become Coca-Cola Classic.
So what do you do when you’ve made a mistake and have upset your customers? Most businesses can’t ride out the storm like the Batman vs. Superman example at the beginning of the post. Even a brand as entrenched as Coke needed to respond to the negative reviews and admit that it had done something wrong. And that is the most important thing business can do when faced with a situation like this — admit you’ve done something wrong and offer a solution to remediate the issue.
4. Take control of your online reputation
Businesses need to take a proactive approach when it comes to their online reputation. This can be done by implementing an online review management platform. That type of solution enables businesses to keep a close eye on their online reputation by consolidating all of their online reviews in one dashboard. This will allow you to identify issues in real time and fix them before they become systemic, making it possible to provide the best possible experience to your customers.
Having a consistent flow of reviews coming in will also mitigate the impact an occasional negative review might have. It will also give your customers and potential customers a more accurate picture of what it’s like to do business with you.
Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based platform can help your business take its online reputation to the next level. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business collect 15x the reviews that traditional platforms produce, which in turn will improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.
* photo credit: istock.com/Halfpoint