Putting you in your business

The opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Behind Review host and Yelp small business expert Emily Washcovick shares a look at this week’s episode of the podcast.

Small business owners dedicate their time, knowledge, and money to building a business and keeping it running, while trying to increase their bottom line, hire great employees, and create a great customer experience.

With multiple priorities to juggle, it can be easy to leave out a crucial element of the business plan: the business owner himself. When your business reflects more of you as a person – not just an owner – you can humanize your business, improve the customer experience and build brand loyalty.

An easy way to put your voice and personality into your business is through your responses to online reviews. When a business owner responds with an authentic voice, current and potential customers take notice. In fact, 88% of consumers are likely to use a business if they can see the business owner respond to their reviews, whether positive or critical.

Even when things go wrong, Alyssa Bayer, owner of Milk + Honey Spa in Austin, said her review response is more important than a mistake made during the guest experience.

“Things will go wrong. That’s for sure,” she said. “What really matters is how the company responds when things go wrong. And that’s what I think separates truly exceptional customer service from average. you have the opportunity to fix that and exceed their expectations, those customers are the ones who become the most loyal and fanatical.”

Josh Campbell, owner of Rescue Air Heating and Cooling, agreed with Alyssa, making sure to also thank the reviewers for their critical comments.

“They want to voice that concern because it’s not okay. And I’m going to listen to them and I’m going to be like, I’m taking action on this. I’m going to build a better company. I always thank them for the 1-star review. This is how I grow. “, he said.

It might not be your first instinct to thank a customer for a critical review, but according to Josh, reviewers often feel much better about their experience with their company after they respond, sometimes updating their reviews to be more positive. because he got involved with them (not because he asked).

Another way to be front and center in your business is to maintain a service mindset, even when interactions with reviewers or customers get difficult. Brian Batch, co-owner of Bird Bird Biscuit in Austin, likes to keep this attitude in mind when working with clients.

“When you’re having a really difficult interaction with a guest or someone on the team, if you can ask yourself, ‘How can I blow this person’s head off,’ that puts you in a place where you have the best opportunity to pass that situation on to bring the best results,” he said.

“You’re thinking about serving that person. And when you’re in a service mindset, that’s where you’re not judging that person and you can navigate with clarity.”

Taking a moment to see the situation from your customer’s point of view can prevent a defensive response (which can do more damage than not responding).

Since you won’t always be available, it’s crucial to hire employees who are passionate about your business and willing to maintain the customer experience even in your absence.

Brandon Gardner, owner of SoCo Taphouse in San Angelo, Texas, is keen to hire employees who love craft beer. It’s non-negotiable in your hiring practice because a bartender who is well-versed in beers can personalize every interaction for every customer.

“We try to pick people who love craft beer because if you come to the place and you want to work there and you don’t like craft beer, you’re not going to have exactly the best way to interact with the bar patrons, talking about beer or giving them something. good to drink,” he said.

This Behind the Review episode is packed with business advice that can benefit your business, including:

  • Employee training is critical to a great customer experience. You can’t always be there, so you’ll need to hire and train employees who are willing to believe in your mission and uphold your company’s processes and policies.
  • Don’t be afraid to put some of your personality, your life and your external passions into your business. People appreciate authenticity and that translates to good reviews and success on social media.
  • It’s just as important to respond to positive reviews as it is to criticism. Make sure your answers are sincere. Creating several response templates can help you get started.
  • Hire slow, fire fast. Your employees are often the face of your business, but hiring the wrong people can take a toll on your entire team.

Listen to the episode below to learn more about our entrepreneurs over the past two years and subscribe behind the review for more information from new entrepreneurs and reviewers every Thursday.

Available on: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and Soundcloud

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