As the saying goes, time is money. While most business owners are aware of the benefits of gaining access to working capital and high quality staff, many still lag behind on establishing a strong Web presence. Unfortunately, as the world becomes more digital each day, shying away from the online experience is, to say the least, an unsound practice.
Online and offline shopping experiences are merging; consumers use mobile devices for everything from entertainment to banking, and younger and older crowds alike are turning to the Internet to review companies each day. Gathering this data is essential to adjusting business practices to cater more specifically to customer needs and desires. How, then, can company leaders best gather this information? Here are a few tips:
1. Make use of timely feedback
When a customer turns to Yelp to review a restaurant or other business, it’s usually shortly after they’ve patroned a shop. While this may make it difficult to keep up with reviews, it’s essential that decision makers make a habit of checking review sites frequently.
One way to stay updated on customer opinions is to simply ask consumers for their opinions. Business owners can turn to Facebook or Twitter, for example, to crowdsource and ask for feedback. These individuals can ask questions such as, “From 1 to 10, how would you rank your experience with our organization?” These kinds of questions invite others to not only respond, but to be honest in their responses. Furthermore, posing questions like this on social media opens a dialogue for customers and business owners to interact in real time.
2. Respond quickly to customer reviews and comments
Once the comments start to flow in, it’s important that business owners make a point to respond in a timely manner. On average, more than 500 million tweets pour through Twitter each day, Forbes reported. Business owners should take the popularity of this social media outlet as an opportunity to interact directly with their customers.
For example, if a restaurant owner finds that a recent patron expressed their pleasure regarding friendly and speedy service, that’s a great opportunity to respond and thank them for their feedback. On the other hand, if a customer brings up some concerns they have over anything from decor to pricing, it’s equally important to take these complaints into consideration and respond in kind. These kinds of interactions help put an approachable face to a company, helping a business develop a brand and improve their services.
3. Act on customer suggestions and reviews
Responding to customer feedback, whether online or in person, is of course important, but it’s not enough to tweet a reply and leave it at that. Instead, business owners should take these points of positive or negative feedback into account and make changes as necessary.
One negative Yelp review among a slew of positive posts shouldn’t necessarily trigger a business overhaul, but if complaints persist, it may be time to evaluate what business operations can be improved.
However, keeping up with the latest in digital trends isn’t always easy. One obstacle businesses find difficult to overcome is staying up to date with the newest technological developments. These high tech pieces of equipment can be expensive, to say the least. Those struggling to finance new tech equipment can contact National Funding to find out more about their equipment leasing options. Business owners can look into IT advancements, heavy machinery for daily operations, mobile devices and more. Each of these pieces of equipment can help perfect organizational practices, improving what should be improved and changing what should be changed.