In today’s guest post from “Brian Deyo, we get a glimpse of how tightly entwined customer service and social media are.  Your customers want to talk to you and about you, so like it or not, Ratings Matter! 

There is much debate, fear, and consternation related to user generated reviews for local businesses. On one hand the fear of bad reviews and mean spirited customers make business owners stay away from reviews that can impact their business. On the other hand users are looking for good reviews to make purchasing decisions. Any time a gap like this exists, there is an opportunity for you to jump in and differentiate your business and promote your offering. The businesses that are willing to embrace reviews AND have a great service and experience for consumers stand to benefit greatly from user generated review platforms.

Right now there is a massive shift happening in the way that consumers are making purchasing decisions. In the past companies like Proctor and Gamble referred to the First Moment of Truth (FMOT) as the primary way that they could capture a customer’s attention. This moment was the instant a consumer saw a logo, or label, or packaging that caught their eye in the aisle at the local supermarket or convenience store. They believed that this moment would get them to buy the product.

The next moment of truth was when the product worked. That first stain that Tide removed would be another moment of truth that combined with the first hooked the customer for a long time.
According to Google, times have changed and quite drastically. In their e-book “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth”, they present a paradigm shift that has been enabled by advancements in the speed and availability of the internet, the mobile nature of computing, and the way consumers interact socially online. In short, the world is different now because people have the internet in their pocket, thousands of followers within the reach of a single tweet or status update, and services to help them access the information they need when they need it.

For the small business that means you need to recognize the change that is happening, figure out how your customers are accessing information in different ways and begin to promote yourself in ways that will last in this new world of ZMOT. One of the primary ways to do that is through review and ratings services. The internet has a way of exposing the truth about a given business/product/service. You may think that the only people writing reviews just had the worst day of their life.

Fortunately this isn’t the case. The best way to combat bad reviews is to promote the review process. Get all of your customers to write a review and the distribution will work itself out to better reflect reality. If the reality of your business is that you don’t give good service, and your product is terrible, you will get exposed. It’s probably better to know that now then to find out five years from now when you don’t have time to change. If you are a fantastic business, people will share that and you now have an amazing marketing platform that will carry your business forward into this next generation of customers and technological innovation.

Need help? Contact Roundpeg, an Indianapolis marketing company.