Within the dance studio industry, we are very passionate, committed individuals, artists, and business owners that aim to please our clientele. We have our tangible storefront and reputation, but we also have an online storefront and reputation that must be equally nurtured and protected to maintain the strength of our entire brand.
When is the last time you ‘googled’ your name or your studio’s name? Are you satisfied with the information? Is it an accurate depiction of your business? At some point, you may discover a negative review of your studio, and whether the information is true, false, warranted, or unwarranted, it is important that you immediately address the concerns.
Below are some tips to assist in mitigating the process.
1.Remove Your Emotions from the Situation: Negative reviews sting. There is nothing more frustrating than reading someone’s condemnation of your business. Take a minute to read and process the material. Allow yourself time to gather your thoughts to tactfully respond to the issue.
2. Take the Time to Respond: Respond to a negative review in a timely manner. Be understanding and empathetic versus defensive.
Spin Sucks, a Professional Development Site for PR and Marketing Pros, offers the following tips:
- Make sure you thank the customer for his or her business, and for taking the time to leave you feedback.
- Apologize, accepting full responsibility for the problem and never trying to pass the blame to anyone else.
- Note you have every intention of making things right, emphasizing how valuable that customer’s business is.
- Also, as appropriate, offer refunds, discounts, promotions, or other ways to show you care, and that you are passionate about maintaining said customer’s business.
To elevate your studio’s level of customer service, make an offer to call or meet with the disgruntled client. Usually, the person feels overlooked and simply wants to be heard. In my experience, this level of attention often results in the review being removed. People want to know you care.
3. Respond to Every Review: Respond to every review. Do not neglect a particular review because you did not care for a client or feel that it is not worth your time. Prospective clients will not know the differentiation when reading reviews. Treat everyone equally.
4. Encourage Positive Reviews, without Solicitation: You want your business to have a positive, accurate online representation. Encourage pleased clients to promote their positive experiences, but make sure that your approach is non-solicited.
Invest your energy in your tangible business, as well as your online storefront. It is a core component to your overall brand and deserves an equal amount of attention. To guarantee you are able to fully interact with online reviewers, make sure you have “claimed” your business via varying platforms (Google, Yelp!, etc.).
Take this information, apply it to your studio, and use negative online information as an opportunity to further prove your studio’s level of integrity and customer service. It will define and enhance your brand. People always remember the way they were treated, especially if they they view the experience as highly negative or highly exceptional. Let your studio be an example of the exceptional.
(image from www.wickedsmartsocial.com)