Some small retailers are completely ignoring their online reputation. Not only are they missing the opportunity to stay in-tune with their brand, they also are missing out on some of their best marketing advocates. Ostrich –Some small-business owners like to think that customer feedback doesn’t exist. Rather than participate in the discussion, they stick their heads in the sand like an ostrich and pretend no one is talking about their business. The ostrich takes the “see no evil, hear no evil” approach. If you can’t hear it, you don’t have to do anything about it—until it’s too late. The SMB with an ostrich point of view is missing a chance to create repeat customers and could be harming the overall business by not listening to or correcting any negative feedback that might be out there, keeping new customers away and current customers from returning.Turtle – Some owners may come across customer reviews or even hear from customers but take no action when it comes to feedback about the business. When customer discussions happen, entrepreneurs with a turtle mentality stick their heads inside their shells and let all the feedback bounce off, rather than reacting to it and making changes to improve the business. Small-business people who embrace a turtle mentality may be hearing feedback but are missing a critical step by not responding to or improving business processes as a result.
When faced with negative customer feedback, some owners see red and react immediately if anyone says an unkind word about the business or its customer service. When they hear feedback, they start causing havoc, like a bull in a china shop. When it’s all done, there’s quite a mess to clean up. When the need arises to handle and curtail negative feedback, many small-business owners begin by focusing on a single aspect. However, the bull mindset causes them to react negatively, generating a commotion that the former customer will likely pass on to friends and family, hurting the business and future sales.
Savvy business owners see all forms of customer feedback – positive and negative – and know how to handle each to put the business in the best possible light. A smart and tactical business owner is like an owl. He or she gives a hoot--taking the time to speak with customers, becoming wise and prosperous by proactively asking for feedback and building customers into the business’s biggest fans. Asking for customer feedback instead of waiting for it or hoping it won’t happen can be seen as time-consuming or untamable by some small-business owners. But those who embrace the owl outlook know that consistent sales and service policies and the ability to truly listen to customers are the keys to customer loyalty, automating processes to create a consistent customer experience.
Internet Retailer Presentation
Making consumers' use of social media work for youNeal Creighton, Co-founder and CEO, RatePointDeep Patel, Founder and CEO, GoGreenSolar.com<br />
Agenda<br />Reputation and social media<br />History of small e-commerce retailer reputation management<br />How small retailers handle customer disputes<br />Case study: GoGreenSolar<br />Tips for best-in-class reputation management by e-retailers<br />How to get started<br />
Reputation is crucial<br />90% … trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users. (Econsultancy, July 2009) <br />67% … spend more online after recommendations (Internet Retailer, Sept. 2009)<br />50% … said they considered information shared on their networks when making a decision; the proportion was higher among users ages 18 to 24, at 65% … found it to be influential in their decision. (eMarketer, October 2009)<br />81% … received advice from friends and followers; 74% … found it to be influential in their decision. (Click Z, Jan 2010)<br />
History<br />SMB e-commerce retailers and reputation<br />Independent online storefronts<br />Social media growth<br />Consumers sharing and viewing more opinions<br />Built-in reputation component<br />Retailer responsible for reputation<br />
Handling feedback <br />How do you react to feedback? <br />How do you handle the reputation portion of your business?<br />
The danger of ignorance<br />Head in the sand<br />Inside your shell<br />
The danger of over-reaction<br />The bull in the china shop<br />
The wise reaction<br />Take the time to speak with customers<br />Knowledge - What’s working, what’s not<br />Work with dissatisfied customers to make them repeat buyers<br />Turn satisfied customers into brand-champions<br />Low-cost, high impact<br />Have a long-term vision of the impact reputation can have on sales and customer retention<br />
Background<br />GoGreenSolar helps people and organizations worldwide reach their green energy goals<br />Customers include contractors, electricians, publicly traded home builders, non-profits, homeowners and general consumers<br />
Role of reputation at GoGreenSolar<br />Customer service is a differentiation point<br />Community feel<br />Hands-on approach<br />A major sales tool<br />Generated leads from name-brand buyer and suppliers with no additional market investment<br />