Perception vs. Reality: Does your customer experience match customer expectations?

customer expectations

We all know the impact that negative reviews can have on our online reputation, especially for businesses that have a low overall star rating. What we might not know about is what happens when a business has excellent reviews, but the actual experience doesn’t match up with customer expectations.

If a customer is expecting a top-notch experience because of your online reviews, you better deliver. Even if their experience is considered very good, they might still leave your business disappointed. If this happens very often, customers will begin to have less trust in online reviews and their value will diminish.

Are your reviews representative?

Online reviews give customers a voice they previously lacked. Traditionally, businesses had all of the power in this relationship. They controlled the flow of information to their customers, which at times could be frustrating. But with the growth of online review sites like Google, Facebook, and others, that all changed.

As a result of this paradigm shift, businesses need to focus on providing an optimal customer experience. If they don’t, they could face the wrath of frustrated, upset or angry customers. And nothing can hurt a business more than negative online reviews piling up. But maybe that’s the wake up call your business needs to step up its game.

The most important thing to consider with online reviews is whether they are representative of actual customer experiences. We all know that every business is going to make mistakes. However, successful businesses are still trying to deliver on the promise that the customer is always right.

Don’t try and game the system

One tactic many businesses utilize when they get a bad review is to hustle and reach out to friends, family, and regular customers to leave a review, so the negative review is buried under a pile of new reviews. If your business is doing this, you’re missing the point.

One of the main reasons many people leave reviews is to help other consumers make a good decision. I’d like to think they also leave negative reviews to help the business improve so other people don’t have to suffer through a bad experience. In the long run, hiding negative reviews isn’t going to work because your business’ true colors will eventually show through.

You shouldn’t look at a negative review as something bad. You should look at it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve as a business. If you deliver quality service, are using a good online review tool, and have excellent processes in place, positive reviews will take care of themselves. 

Be Smart About Customer Feedback

To ensure that your online reputation more closely matches customer expectations, we suggest looking for ways to gather feedback from all of your customers. If you only gather feedback from happy customers or you are taking a passive approach to managing your online reputation, you won’t have a very good idea of how your customers really feel about your business.

What all of this boils down to is delivering on the promise of a good customer experience. Businesses that are focused on constantly improving and bettering the customer experience don’t need to worry about negative reviews. Because on the off chance they do receive one, they will have a library of good reviews to balance things out.

Learn more

Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help you use text messages to invite all of your customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business build a strong online presence on the sites that matter most. This will, in turn, improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.

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