How to Control What Your Customers Say About You When You’re Not There

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Whatever your business type, you can probably be pretty confident that your customers talk about you when you’re not there. This might be through the medium of online reviews, social media, or in person to friends and family.

The content of these discussions can have a big impact on the success of your business. Many of us rely on the power of word of mouth… and if all the words that are coming out of those mouths are negative, it’s likely to mean a big drop in the number of new customers that come your way.

Ask any business owner and they’d probably say they’d love to be able to choose what their customers say about them. Wouldn’t you?

Here’s the thing: you can

Okay, so I’m not suggesting you can actually script what your customers say about you when they discuss your services with their friends. But we do have a lot more of an impact on how those conversations go than we might realise. After all, it’s the quality of our products and service provision that informs where those conversations go.

A huge part of this will come down to how good of an impression you’ve made on your customers. So if you want to increase the chance of them saying great things about you, you need to improve the quality of that impression.

Think like a fly on the wall

I’ve got a little trick for thinking about how to manage customer perceptions. Imagine yourself as a fly on the wall when your most recent customer goes home and talks about their experience with your business. Ask yourself honestly: what do you think they’d tell their other half about the service you’d provided? Would they enthuse about it? Or would they be more likely to express disappointment?

Once you’ve given yourself a bit of a reality check, you might want to take the exercise in a different direction. Imagine yourself as the fly on the wall to the absolute best conversation about your business you could hope for. In this ideal world, what would that customer comment on? Would they be thrilled at the quality of your work? Would they comment on how valued they felt as a customer? Would they go on and on about just how much they’d enjoyed the experience?

What can you do to make it happen?

The benefit of this thought exercise is that it gives you a great indication of where you want to improve. Once you have a better grasp on what you want your customers to experience, you’ll be far better placed to work on actually making that a reality.

The key question here is this: what changes can you make to your customer experience to ensure your customers do say all the positive things you want them to? Do you need to improve the quality of your offering? Could you add extra value? Could you make your customer communications more personal? Could you make the process more fun?

The better you’re able to manage your customer experience, the more control you’ll gain over how those customer conversations go.

I’d love to know what you’d like your customers to say about you. What’s the best compliment you can imagine? Share it with me on the Green Shoots Coaching Facebook page.

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