Posted by : Amanda Stein Friday, September 23, 2011
I highly doubt there is anyone that won't have one. Personally I have at least 5 that I can think of off of the top of my head.
Why? Each business has a unique reason...
Take Boost Mobile as an example...I've used Boost for years and I doubt not matter how bad the service gets that I will ever switch to another service. (I've recently moved and the area I live in an area that only supports the Nextel iDEN network...lol..not fun) Why? Back when I started Boost there was absolutely no service provider offering unlimited anything...especially prepaid....and there was Boost offering unlimited everything...talk, text, walkie-talkie and web....for $50. Making a point of this I've watched prices drastically decrease in the mobile phone industry since then...in my eyes I see Boost as the reason behind that.
This may or may not be the case, but I've only seen this side of the story. That's the beauty of marketing...it's a gift...and a science. As a business owner or marketing professional you hold the perception of your product or service in your hands. It is your duty to develop a business that your consumers can relate to and feel passionate about.
Many businesses go through the ins and outs of everyday work and completely forget about the person that is bringing them their business. Eventually the effects of this behavior run its course and they are closing their doors. Executives are left standing around shaking their heads and wondering "What happened?".
Well I'll tell you. Let's start with this...a customer has an issue... What's the first thing you do?...Ignore him/her? Offer her a coupon? Go through a standard list of 'actions'?... A coupon is great, but that doesn't always fix the anger that this customer feels. One customer's opinion can reach thousands. This may sound drastic, but think if that one customer goes online and writes on every rating website and blog that he/she can find?
Always, always show your customers empathy and do your very best to let that customer vent while they are standing there at your business. As a person that has worked in marketing with small businesses for a very long time, I could have been saved a lot of headaches, effort and time if an employee had sat down and listened. Instead customers would go home and vent into their wonderful little screen. On this level it is very important that the individual at your business that is responsible for the marketing aspect is in constant communication with the individuals that are interacting with the customers.
Bad online reviews are a nightmare for marketers that deal with small businesses. With less online presence, a bad review stands out much more. That is where it is crucial to be consistently looking for and responding to these posts (we'll get to that later).
Small businesses often feel like they don't have the means to have an aggressive marketing team to scope out and remedy these issues. My hope is with my efforts that no small business feels that this is true...no matter how small your business is, there is room for growth and expansion.