One negative customer review can lose a company 22 percent of its business, according to marketing firm Moz. What’s worse is that four negative customer reviews can chase away 70 percent of potential clients. Those are not positive statistics for any small business, including lawn and landscape companies.
Despite the fact that online reviews are less trustworthy than customers think, according to the Journal of Consumer Research, Pew Research Center found that 82 percent of American adults “sometimes” or “always” read online reviews before engaging in a new relationship with a service provider. And 65 percent of them believe customeare generally accurate.
So what does this mean for you, the landscape professional? You can better manage the rise of bad customer reviews by listening to your clients with these strategies:
- If you can convince customers that you are taking their issues seriously, you can prevent three out of four of them from venting their frustrations via bad reviews, says a Corra study. Do this by making sure you respond publicly to negative reviews so customers feel heard and valued. Unfortunately, 96 percent of dissatisfied customers won’t tell the company how they feel, but they will tell 15 of their friends, so seeking out these negative customer reviews, while time-consuming, is important.
- Track signs of customer disengagement. Are your customers unsubscribing from your email lists, asking not to receive your direct mail or deleting your apps? Find out why.
- Ask customers for feedback on what they want on a regular basis to stay ahead of trends. You can also use customer feedback garnered from surveys or site inspections to improve your service experience.
The good news: Ninety percent of customers will give a company a second chance before giving up, the Corra survey says, so know that your efforts here will not go unnoticed.
For more customer service tips from landscape business experts, as well as insights into marketing and sales strategies and financial management, consider attending the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ LANDSCAPES event, Oct. 16-19 in Louisville, Kentucky.