Please Don’t Gag Your Customers

Eric Welke Best Practices, Customer Experience, General, Guides, Legal, Online Reviews, Reputation Management, Small Business Leave a Comment

It’s often easier to learn from bad examples than from good ones.  Sometimes we learn best when seeing what not to do, instead of what to do.  This applies across all aspects of life, from relationships to parenting, and especially to business. This post is about one way not to manage your business’ reputation.  That is, unless you want the Federal Trade Commission knocking on your door. Which probably isn’t in the best interests of your company.  I take it as a given that you are already actively managing your business’ reputation online.  If not, I humbly suggest you start. The Gag Clause One of the worst ways to actively manage your reputation is through the use of gag clauses, also known as non-disparagement clauses.  These are contract stipulations that threaten legal or other punitive action against a customer if they make negative comments about a business’ services or products …

Patient Experience: What is it & How to Improve it

Eric Welke Best Practices, Customer Experience, Dental, Guides, How to & Tutorials, Reputation Management, Small Business Leave a Comment

The healthcare industry is going through, and will continue to go through, massive amounts of change. Part of this is due to an increased focus on the patient as a consumer. This means that healthcare providers are being judged not only on the results of a medical procedure, but in the customer service aspects of how the entire process around that procedure is handled. As Becker’s Hospital Review put it, the healthcare industry has moved from a “doctor knows best” mentality to one based on patient experience and satisfaction. This is partly due to the development and reliance on Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys for reimbursement rates for Medicaid and Medicare. But it is also due to the increased availability of review websites such as Google and Yelp. These sites allow one patient’s perspective to be displayed across an entire market. All it takes is one …

The Referral Marketing Management Guide

Eric Welke Best Practices, General, Guides, Referral Marketing, Small Business Leave a Comment

“If you build it, they will come.” Even if you have never seen Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, I guarantee you have heard those words.  Now, that may be a compelling reason to build a baseball field in the middle of Iowa, it is not, however, a sound business practice. Unfortunately, that is how a lot of businesses approach referrals and referral marketing. What is Referral Marketing  Referral marketing is the intentional approach to developing more referrals from your existing customers.  It is a part of a wider concept known as word-of-mouth marketing, which is separate from traditional marketing such as print or TV advertising. McKinsey notes the importance of word-of-mouth marketing stating that it is a primary factor behind 20-50% of purchasing decisions.   They classify three different types of word-of-mouth communications.  They are: Experiential – which accounts for 50-80% of word-of-mouth activity.  This results from a consumer’s direct …

10 Ways to Have a Terrible Online Reputation

Eric Welke How to & Tutorials, Reputation Management, Small Business Leave a Comment

How to have a terrible online reputation: the top 10 countdown By following these 10 steps, you are sure to have an awful online reputation. And you are guaranteed to lose business and customers. Ten: Do not care or pay attention to your online reputation. If you pay no attention to review sites, bother to have social media sites, or even a personal website, you can save time and money. If you don’t care about your online reputation and since anyone with Internet access can post reviews about your business online (even strangers half way across the world who have never heard of your business before) then you are well on your way to failing. You can keep holding your head high, as ignorance of your reputation can be blissful, especially if the ratings and online comments about your business are dissatisfactory. You will never know how the general public’s experience …

Courthouse

Lawyers: Leverage Client Feedback for More Referrals

Eric Welke Legal, Referral Marketing, Small Business Leave a Comment

It’s no secret: Many law firms work every single day to acquire new clients. Most attorneys know the law exceptionally well, inside and out. Many are also very good at managing the business and financial elements of their practice. However, marketing and sales can be whole different animal. And while a strong marketing mix of advertising, social media, and public relations can certainly go a long way in promoting your practice, none of these passive channels quite equal the value of a positive, direct client referral. According to Wharton School of Business, a referral client costs a lot less to acquire and has a higher potential for retention and loyalty. Statistically, a referred client has a 16% higher lifetime value than a non-referred client. Client referrals are one of the most powerful ways that you can use to grow your practice and are exponentially more effective than passive marketing methods. Almost any …

dental referrals

Dentists: Leverage Patient Feedback for More Referrals – Here’s How

Eric Welke Dental, How to & Tutorials, Referral Marketing, Reputation Management, Reputation Marketing, Small Business Leave a Comment

It’s no secret: Many dental practices struggle every single day to acquire new patients. Most dental professionals know their vocation exceptionally well, inside and out. They are also probably very good at managing the business and financial elements of their practice. However, marketing and sales can be a whole different animal. And while a strong marketing mix of advertising, social media, and public relations can certainly go a long way in promoting your practice, none of these passive channels quite equal the value of a positive, direct patient referral. According to Wharton School of Business, a referral customer costs a lot less to acquire and has a higher potential for retention and loyalty. Specifically, a referred customer has a 16% higher lifetime value than a non-referred customer. Patient referrals are one of the most powerful ways that you can use to grow your practice and are exponentially more effective than passive marketing …

New Google Experiment: Google Posts

Eric Welke Google, Small Business Leave a Comment

“Is there a restaurant serving green beer for St. Patrick’s Day around here?” asked Sherri. “I don’t know, just Google it” replied Frank. Google is one of the most used search engines on the web. You can Google just about anything and it has quickly become the shining star of search engines. In fact, Google has been the answer to many arguments, bets, conversations, questions, and more. In the conversation above, you can see the familiarity of simply saying, ‘Google it’. How many times have you looked to Google for the answer? It’s very interesting how Google has created a platform that has become apart of our daily vocabulary. But there are some searches that don’t show results immediately in what we were looking for, thus Google has created a new innovation (still in beta). Google is constantly creating new ways to use the Internet and their newest development is …

How to Respond to Negative Reviews & Feedback

Eric Welke Best Practices, Guides, How to & Tutorials, Online Reviews, Small Business 2 Comments

Receiving a negative review online can be humbling for your business and even you. Negative reviews can come in all shapes and sizes…from constructive criticism to an angry customer who doesn’t necessarily seem angry with you but rather they seem upset with life and are taking it out on you. Unfortunately, this is all apart of life and owning a small business. Don’t brush off the reviews and hope there will be no impact based upon one person’s opinion; instead, respond to each review written about your business. Don’t just respond to the negative, but the positive reviews as well. A simple ‘Thank you’ or ‘We are thrilled you are enjoying our services’ can make the reviewer and other readers’ respect that you are concerned with customer satisfaction and not just focused on challenging the negative aspects of your reputation. While it is important to respond to the positive reviews, …

Best Practices for Small Businesses to Get Better Online Reviews

Eric Welke Best Practices, Online Reviews, Small Business Leave a Comment

A potential customer is looking for a place to purchase lumber and a hungry family is looking for a new restaurant to try, and they are all looking at online reviews. When opening an online site or app that lists all local businesses, customers want to find a place with mostly positive reviews and a decent number of ratings. Clients and customers want confidence in your business when they first walk through your doors and online reviews help boost that confidence. Whatever your small business, you want to keep focus on ensuring your customers are happy and therefore, more willing to leave you positive reviews online. It is well known that these reviews are read by the public and can bring you more business. Unfortunately, it is a bad experience that often prompts a consumer to actually leave a review. Hopefully, it is a fluke for someone to have a …

Reputation Management for Small Businesses

Eric Welke Reputation Management, Small Business Leave a Comment

Small businesses often face a huge variety of problems when it comes to both advertising and online reputation management. The main cause for bankruptcy is a poor business plan, as opposed to economical and outside factors. You will also find that many business owners under price their products in an attempt to get sales, and this can often lead to price surges and unhappy customers. With 9 out of 10 small businesses failing within the first two years, reputation management is crucial if you want to stay on top of your competition. How Reputation Management Can Help Install Success in Small Businesses So how can reputation management help small businesses succeed? Reputation management allows you to charge a higher rate for your products or services by installing confidence in your users. Customers often lack confidence when shopping with a new provider and prices remain to be a fundamental part of …