Winning the Game of Online Reviews
Over 80 percent of consumers read online customer reviews before using local businesses. Online reviews are the new personal recommendation—reviews determine the quality of your business. So getting client opinions to help not hurt, your salon or spa is vital.
Don’t Fear Criticism in Online Reviews
All-positive reviews make consumers suspicious that you’re faking favorable evaluations with reviewers on the inside of your business inflating your rating. The occasional reproach or odd complaint is actually realistic, and should not be hidden or deleted. When you receive a mixed or even flat out negative review, take the upper hand by constructing a quick and considerate response.
Prompt and Polite
Take your customer service and people skills from the chair to the keyboard. Feeling a bit defensive is natural, but do not indulge, as anger is just that: a feeling. Instead, stand empowered to listen. Know that your business and brand is on the line. Your reply is readily available on sites like Facebook and Yelp, so position yourself carefully but be authentic. We’d suggest a response similar to this one:
On behalf of [SALON], we are sorry to hear you had this experience. We will be in touch soon via email to resolve this issue. Thank you for your feedback.
While each review will be unique, this response is built on foolproof concepts. Owning the client’s disappointment, whether justified or not, puts you in the driver’s seat. You are in more control than you think to shape the communication, especially if you offer a separate space for you and the client to discuss further to find a solution.
Putting out the public fire of one unhappy customer can save thousands of dollars in lost business.
Benefits to your Team
Make the review of outside feedback a regular meeting item with your staff. Screenshot and file each review, good and bad, under the subject (timeliness, customer service, hair styling, spa services) to track how your team responds and improves.
Offer incentives for your team members to ask their respective clients for online reviews. Prompt them to ask in person for bits of feedback during their appointment, as clients will likely appreciate your staff’s attention to their experience. The Salon Iris Customer Support department recently held a competition to get our users to complete a Salon Iris review online. The employee who racked up the most got a $100 gift card!
Moving Forward + Taking Action
Manage reviews actively, or they can become liabilities. Demandforce, a Salon Iris salon software add-on, saves you time while you enhance your online reputation. It collects comments automatically for easy Internet publishing.
Do not fear the online review, but do not underestimate it. Trust in the talents of your team and their ability to deliver amazing results and customer service. Acknowledge weaknesses as opportunities to grow, and keep moving forward with customers’ feedback in mind.