Embrace The Moaners

Consumers may seem to complain more than ever but it’s just that they can.

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They can complain by telephone, email, social media, review sites and many other ways. Wherever you look people are expressing their views about customer service.

Customer service needs to be reinvented for a world where consumers are demanding

more, where comparisons happen in real time, where loyalty is fleeting and there’s diminishing

friction in changing brands. Customer service is where social starts. (Adam Hanfit)

Consumers may seem to complain more than ever but it’s just that they can. They can complain by telephone, email, social media, review sites and many other ways. Wherever you look people are expressing their views about customer service.

I’ve found some great tips for you to handle these comments and guess what? I didn’t find them on a huge retailers site or a major online business-I found them on a Heating and Plumbing website because they know in their industry their consumers are already starting to use online reviews :

Top tips for handling negative online reviews

In an increasingly online, social, and mobile world, customer reviews play an important role in influencing consumer behaviour, with many using these to guide their purchasing decisions – whether it’s going for an early morning coffee or choosing a local plumber.
Many small local business owners rely heavily on their web presence to communicate with customers and attract new business.
Where once, any fallout from a dissatisfied customer was limited to their friends and family, the popularity of social media has magnified the impact disgruntled customers can have on a business’ reputation. Unhappy customers can sound off instantly to a wide audience before they’ve considered taking their complaint up with the company direct.
Regardless of how great the product or customer service, business owners should accept that negative reviews are part of running a business, and have a strategy in place to manage these effectively. Here are a few top tips to tackle bad online customer reviews – nipping them in the bud as soon as they strike.
Acknowledge and respond straight away It’s vital to respond to a customer complaint as quickly and thoughtfully as possible. That way you’ll minimise any potential damage and show customers that you care and take their loyalty very seriously. Your customers are always connected, so the longer it takes to respond to a negative or false representation of your business, the more time it has to spread. Time is of the essence and a day is a long time in the world of social media.
Be professional and demonstrate strong empathy Always respond to the bad review in a respectful and sincere way that communicates you empathise with the customer and understand why they are unhappy. If you’ve had a bad day, admit it, apologise for the customer’s negative experience, and invite them to return so you can make it up to them in some way. Even if you don’t agree with what’s being claimed, be positive and avoid getting into an argument. If you feel the review is wrong then say why but in a professional and reasoned manner. The key here is to create a meaningful, personal dialogue, and to do this publicly to show other prospective customers that you’re listening and addressing the matter accordingly.
Take the conversation off-line While it’s important to post a short, immediate public response to a bad review – showing other customers that you’re addressing and resolving the situation – further detailed communication with the dissatisfied customer should be taken off-line as soon as possible to avoid potential further public criticism. Communicating via email or phone helps to make things feel more personal, speeds up the resolution process and protects a customer’s privacy. This approach can also help take the heat out of the situation and calm things down more quickly.
Turn negative feedback into an opportunity Reviews can provide key insights into the health of your business and are a great indicator of how customers feel they are being treated. Business owners should be taking full advantage of this feedback – encouraging all customers to provide it. Bad reviews should be regarded by business owners as a useful early-warning mechanism for spotting problems and addressing these before they escalate. A company’s response to negative reviews provides a perfect opportunity to show customers that management is responsive to any concerns or dissatisfaction they may have.
Because of the weight they carry, online reviews are one of the most effective word-of-mouth marketing and reputation-building tools for small business. Negative customer reviews have the potential to cause short-term harm if not handled correctly. Following these few simple guidelines will go a long way to avoiding potential long-term damage to business reputation. Better still, these negative reviews can help businesses to better understand their customer’s issues and improve products and services offered.
I think this advice is great-it may seem basic but so often have I seen businesses retaliate or complain about the customers who leave bad reviews for them. Personally it really turns me against them.
I recently bought a photo canvasss from Wowcher but didn’t complete my order with the affiliated company properly so I sent an email asking for help. Within 72 hours I had a reply and they offered to help me. I have to say I was all geared up for a fight because I didn’t think they would assist. I was so happy I sent an almost overwhelming email of gratitude because they exceeded my expectations.
My advice to you today is embrace reviews as they can work in your favour.
A reply to a review/complaint shows:
  • You care about your customers
  • You want to improve your service
  • You are approachable
  • You are contactable

Make sure you put aside time to ensure your customers are happy:

“If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”

Jeff Bezos

Advertisements

Budget Cuts=Stop Advertising-right?

Wrong! If you become invisible to your customers then sooner or later you will go out of business. You need to be discovered in more places than ever-in print, online, in conversation and in the market place.

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When you read this study I hope you feel the same way I did-light bulb moment. It’s such common sense-I so wished I’d read it sooner!
Is your business out there?
“The company courageous enough to stay in the fight when everybody is playing it safe can bring about dramatic change in market position”
 

Put Your Money Where The Eyes Are

advertising-quoteWith everyone screaming at you to spend your budget with them because they are better and bigger use this top ten as a guide to the value you are really getting.

The more people you can ‘talk to’  the more likely your phone is to ring because the chances of you reaching the right people is far greater. A cheap advertisement is still a waste of money if no one rings you as a result of it. If you have money to burn though saying yes without knowing how to interpret the offer made to you will result in you frittering your money away.

Top Ten Facts About Local Media

  1. Local newspapers are more than twice as trusted as any other media channel.

    Source: IPA Touchpoints 4 2012

  2. The local press is the UK’s most popular print medium, read by 31 million people a week.

    Source: BMRB/TGI 2012

  3. There are 1,100 local newspapers and 1,600 associated websites in the UK.

    Source: NS Database

  4. Local media websites attract 62 million unique users each month.

    Source: Newspaper Society

  5. 12 million people read a local newspaper but do not read a national newspaper.

    Source: BMRB/TGI 2012

  6. 61% of adults read a local newspaper.

    Source: BMRB/TGI 2012

  7. Over 60% of people act on the ads in local newspapers.

    Source: CrowdDNA/Loving Local

  8. Advertising on local newspaper websites is 77% more likely to be believed and relied upon than advertising on other websites.

    Source: the wanted ads III

  9. 11 million more UK adults read a local newspaper (31 million) than listen to commercial radio (20 million).

    Source: BMRB/TGI 2012

  10. Local press is the most effective media channel for generating word of mouth conversations. Source:
    IPA Touchpoints 4 2012

It doesn’t matter  what type of advertising you do just make sure that you check a few facts

  • Is the company verified or can they provide verified response reports? (Print product or online)
  • Will your advertisement be seen or relegated to the quiet time (radio), low circulation day (newspaper) out of area title (newspaper, magazines, leaflets)
  • Will your advertisement get clicked on? (Low unique visitors on an unpopular website)
  • Are people buying products as a result of advertising? (Social media)
  • Can I upgrade, amend or improve my website? Do I own the domain name (Website builder)

Advertising is a powerful tool-embrace it

And Then God Created Man

I was going to begin my blog with a journey through time-my time in the media industry but thought again and decided not to. What matters is now-not how we got here but what on earth do we do now we are here?

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I work for South West Wales Media- it used to be a printed newspaper now it can be almost anything you want it to be- we are a printed newspaper, a web based newspaper, a mobile newspaper, a lifestyle magazine, an event, a web site builder, an SEO specialist or a social media guru.

With such a vast portfolio of products on offer I started thinking about the challenges faced by all businesses today.

Who do I advertise with?

Hundreds of different businesses are competing for a share of your budget and it could be easy to invest in the wrong ones.

That’s why I’ve started this blog-with a little bit of help you can decide what your business needs.

There are millions of people talking about online marketing every day but unless you know what your business needs it can seem a little overwhelming.

The are hundreds of companies telling you what your business needs but unless you can make educated choices yourself you could end up wasting your important marketing budget.

I want to share with you and help you understand what your options are and what to look for.

I’m not a whizz kid online-I’m a sales manager and I help businesses by ensuring they get response using all the tools I have available. You are the sales manager of your business- you need to invest in whatever gets your phone ringing. We’re not poles apart.

What is Direct Response Advertising?

Direct Response Advertising has been called advertising that makes your phone ring. A Call-to-Action encourages your potential customers to pick up the phone or go online to get in touch with you right away

Now you have that in mind we are ready to begin our journey in to the maze that is advertising.

It’s easy if you know how