No auto upholsterer is above making the occasional mistake. After all, we are human.
In most cases, we prefer to handle these incidents privately — reaching an understanding with affected customers that leaves them satisfied and prevents harm to our reputations.
But in today’s digital age, where disgruntled customers are turning to websites like Yelp, Angie’s List and Merchant Circle to rate and review their experiences, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do that. What’s worse, one negative review could end up costing your auto upholstery shop a lot of business.
While negative online reviews can be completely unsubstantiated, businesses must face a hard truth: The Internet never forgets. Without a detailed strategy in place for dealing with negative reviews, a thumbs-down from a customer—or a series of customers—can stay on the web forever and consequently erode profits forever.
Indeed, according to a Harvard study released in 2011, a simple one-star ratings increase of Seattle restaurants on Yelp spiked a 5% to 9% increase in revenues, said the study’s author, Dr. Michael Luca, a professor at Harvard Business School. Moreover, another study by Cone, a PR and marketing agency, found that 80% of people will change their decision to purchase an item or service based on a bad online review.
Thankfully, there are ways to successfully counter negative reviews, and even take advantage of review websites to promote your auto upholstery shop and boost business.
To help you do just that, Dysart outlines eight simple steps to follow. These range from opening free business accounts with review websites to offering constructive solutions, and even soliciting positive reviews to counter the negative ones.
For instance, here’s tip #7, “securing positive reviews from happy customers”:
Sometimes all it takes is a request from a pleased customer to see a glowing review pop up on your website minutes later. “If you have a customer who is beside himself with glee over your service, you need to take advantage of that,” said Tucker [co-founder of an online marketing firm]. “Ask him to write a brief testimonial and then place it in on a special testimonial page on your site. You can link this page to your Google Maps page quite easily. Look for the ‘Link to this Page’ link that is found on the bottom right corner of your reviews page. Add the link to your testimonial page, and you’re done.”
Of course, countering these negative reviews requires that you stay vigilant in monitoring what people are saying about your auto upholstery shop online and working to resolve their complaints in a positive manner. And while that requires a lot of effort, hopefully negative experiences at your shop are few and far between.
To read Dysart’s full article, see “8 ways to deal with bad online reviews.”