Small business owners know the frustration all too well: You put your heart and soul into serving every single one of your customers. (Bad things can happen, of course, but you do your best to address them when they do.) You make sure that the vast majority of your customers go away happy. Most will even return.
But then you Google yourself. You find there’s only a handful of customer reviews out there on the Web, and among them you find a dominant, scathing 1-star review from a customer who had an unfortunate experience, or a bad day, or both. (Or maybe he was one of those rare customers who is impossible to please ;-)) In any case, he had no trouble motivating himself to tell the world about it. He exercised “the nuclear option” on you.
WHAT MOTIVATES US–OR DOESN’T
Besides “superusers” (like the “elite Yelpers”), disgruntled customers are more willing than happy customers to take the time to review your business online. Maybe it’s payback. Maybe it’s a power trip. Whatever it is, happy customers don’t seems to have it. So why don’t happy customers share their experiences so readily?
The answer, it turns out, is quite simple. In a survey of 1,017 people who rarely or never write reviews, LocalViewpoints uncovered two fundamental reasons:
1. “Writing reviews is too tedious”
2. “I forgot to write the review”
That’s right: Your reputation suffers under the extreme bias of a vocal minority because the rest of us are just too lazy and forgetful. Sorry about that.
That’s right: Your business’s reputation suffers under the extreme bias of a vocal minority because the rest of us are just too lazy and forgetful. Sorry about that.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Fortunately, there’s a solution. All you have to do is:
1. Make writing reviews easier
2. Remind your customers to write a review
Of course, these are exactly the value points that we try to offer with Grade.us: generally helping customers complete reviews and giving you the tools you need to ask and remind them to do so, like an easy-to-remember URL and printed review reminders included in our Small Business plan.
But we don’t claim to have all the answers. What else should we be doing? What other tactics are you using to get your happy customers to share the love?