‘Tis the season to spread good cheer. Retail shopping centers are teeming with customers, all engaged in what they planned as acts of joyous giving – selecting presents, entertaining, and stocking up for holiday festivities with loved ones.
Unfortunately, the busy-ness of the season can give way to frustrations while waiting in line, finding a parking place, realizing sought-after items have sold out. While some of these annoyances have no resolution, customers may still vent about them and often do so online.
Here are three tips to diffuse holiday stress and create loyal clients.
- This is the perfect time to spread the goodwill. Customers may come into your location after spending 30 minutes trying to find parking. Take some time to give them a little TLC. A little kindness shown to someone who is frazzled goes a long way toward building a customer for life.
- Create community with your customers. Ask for their opinions on a new item or their advice on the best place to finish up your shopping. Engaging your customers gets their mind on something other than their frustration.
- If their frustration is directed at your business, listen carefully to find the root of the problem. Avoid getting defensive or arguing. Most times, people just want the chance to vent. The faster you can offer a solution, the sooner you’ll rectify the problem and the customer will thank you for it.
What if a complaint about your business shows up online?
- Monitor your Facebook page and Twitter feed. Assign someone to check your accounts often and respond promptly. Remember that these are your followers and fans, and they may just need a listener. Respond to the issue, but take the opportunity to plug your strengths, too. For instance: I’m so sorry to hear you weren’t satisfied with the service you received last weekend; we’ve always heard such great comments about our team members.
- Always ask a customer to remove a negative online review. If they don’t, remember that a few negative reviews give credibility to your business. It’s simply a fact that you can’t please everyone, all the time. Also, a negative review can actually help to set correct expectations. For example, a customer may complain the long wait time for a table in your restaurant. That may cue new customers to call ahead for reservations or to visit your restaurant at non-peak times.
- Reduce the impact of negative reviews by increasing your quantity of positive reviews. This builds a stronger online reputation. Learn how here: www.thinksmartrep.com.
If you have concern about the quality or the quantity of your online reviews, please call us today at 561.688.8155 to learn about our new SmartRep reputation management tool or visit www.thinksmartrep.com .
Happy Holiday Season!