On-line reviews are an essential ingredient to boosting your business–and to building your brand’s credibility.
On the flip side, they also have the power to destroy your reputation and deter customers from choosing your business.
Everything lives on the Internet now. There is so much information at the fingertips of your potential customers. It’s critically important to manage your online presence and reputation.
We’re all human and negative reviews are inevitable. However, your face painting business can weather the storm and come out safely on the other side.
Tips are headed your way, but first a little story…
We have several wonderful “Loopsy Girls” who work with us. We have regular and consistent communication, and a processes in place to help us run our business smoothly.
My husband, Jim, and I book gigs, and then we invite our Loopsies to work many of them.
Easy breezy, right?
Well, usually… except for one busy Saturday when the realization hit that one of our Loopsies forgot to add a one-year-old’s birthday party to her calendar. A simple human error that any of us could have made.
The (understandably) super angry Mom called us 45 minutes after her Loopsy was to have arrived. At the time we were sure something terrible had happened to her. After all, she’s such a trustworthy and reliable person that this was totally out of character.
Long story short, it was a simple human mistake. There was nothing we could do in that moment. Powerless. We had no available back-up plan (and we should have).
It’s one of the worst feelings you can experience as a face painting business owner. We were devastated.
There are no second chances to make a first impression.
As you may have guessed, (look at you, smarty pants!) we got a negative review. We deserved it. We apologized to the client and offered her a free Loopsy party. When this happens (and it will), it’s super important to know how to manage the damage to your business.
By following these steps, you can lessen the blow of negative on-line reviews:
1. Always ask your customers for a review after every gig.
The best defense is a good offense. By regularly asking for reviews, you’ll build a strong reputation with many positive reviews. The more positive and plentiful your reviews are, the less a negative review will impact your business. It’s simply a numbers game. One negative review when you have thirty isn’t so bad. A negative review when you have three… that’s another story.
2. When you make a mistake, own it.
As soon as you realize your company may have a negative review forthcoming, apologize! Be humble. Do everything to make it right. We are all human and mistakes happen. Don’t be defensive, but empathize with your customer. Understanding their side, and agreeing that your mistake was terrible, will make the customer feel heard and validated.
3. Offer to mend the situation.
Offer a solution to mend the problem. It’s ok to ask them what you can do to make it better. Let their suggestions point you in the right direction. If the customer gives you a chance to make it right, do it! Your reputation and future business depend on it.
4. Once the negative review hits the Internet, address it.
Mitigate a negative review publicly by taking ownership for the mistake, by apologizing, and finally by explaining how the situation changed the way you conduct business (and then really do make positive changes). Remember, many of your future customers will read this review.
A negative review alone isn’t guaranteed to derail you, but if you respond poorly it sure will. Your future customer will understand human error. The question is, how’d you fix it? Did you make positive changes? Will it happen again to them?
We are all fallible. Making mistakes is a normal part of doing business. The most important thing is to learn from them. Breathe. It’ll be okay!
Building your face painting business is a process. A rollercoaster ride with many ups and downs. It takes so much time, love, and nurturing, but your hard work will pay off. Don’t let a mistake get you down.
Paint on, my friend!
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