We All Need More Reviews, Right?
How do YOU Think About Reviews?
You have to start with the right mindset dealing with reviews. You can’t fear them, and I think the unknown factor frightens a lot of small business owners away from the process. Let’s start there.
- Don’t worry about bad reviews, and don’t shade your language in asking for them to try to avoid them. Bad reviews are your friend, for a couple of reasons.
- First, bad reviews allow you to respond in line to a customer who might not normally say something in office. This happens all the time, and is one of the driving forces behind the popularity of reviews: I can say what I want without the unpleasant reality of face-to-face confrontation. Nobody likes that. Well, few people like that.
- Second, and perhaps more important, is this: in a review, your customers are telling you exactly how to improve your process for future customers. Many small business owners make the fatal mistake of taking reviews personally; as if the customer is attacking them. Understand that it’s a conversation and learning process, and you can take a lot of value from a negative review. Bobby Jones, the famous golf champion and innovator, said “I never learned a thing from a tournament I won”. Likewise, we learn much more about how to improve from a negative review than from a positive one. Of course, positive ones make us feel much better! I do believe the majority will be positive. If they’re not, that tells us where we need to improve anyway.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the “unpleasable” customer. What do you do with the person who’s going to complain no matter what you do?
That’s a great question, and as a service provider and business owner, it’s scary to me, too. However, theres a hidden gem in the question itself: the fact that it comes up in your consciousness means that it comes up in others’ minds, too, and that includes your customers and prospects. This gives you a golden ticket:
4. When someone sounds unreasonable (“I couldn’t believe that they didn’t have Elvis Costello playing in the waiting area”…etc…), and then you address them from a reasonable standpoint, it’s gold. That tells me that you’re REALLY going to take care of me, because I’m reasonable. Make sense?
So, what questions can you ask that will put people in a better position to give you reviews?
Here is a framework I like to start with, and it will most likely yield more specific questions, so be ready to tailor it to your needs:
- How did you feel before you engaged our services?
- How did you feel during the process of getting your treatment?
- How did you feel after? (I would separate this for your patients into a. just after treatment, and b. after all healing was finished. /li>
This is a simple template you can work into any conversation, as well as send out with emails. I would highly recommend installing question #1 into your pre-engagement process. Talk about their pain, but learn about their fears. This will inform the information you give to prospects ongoing.