Are you falling into the complacency trap?

We all love a bit of praise, whether for ourselves or for our business and sometimes they’re one and the same!

Who doesn’t get a buzz when they get a recommendation on LinkedIn or a Five Star Google review?

Positive reviews are really important. Nowadays, ‘social selling’ is a huge part of the buying process for goods and services in both B2B and B2C settings. Other people’s experience with your brand plays a significant part in prospects’ research and decision-making so of course, you want to make sure the experiences they talk and post about are positive. Also, Google reviews boost your website’s organic search performance so, if SEO is part of your marketing strategy, it pays to focus on reviews on Google’s own platform.

However, my remarks above notwithstanding, it’s important not to let positive reviews lead you into a complacency trap where you think everything’s okay just because you haven’t heard otherwise. An abundance of positive reviews might give you a false sense of security and get you thinking that your job’s done. But client listening is about more than collecting feedback and data, it’s about connecting and building relationships, making it an activity to consider even if you are awash with positive reviews.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

Firstly, proactively listening to your clients shows them you really care – a recent interviewee I spoke to on a law firm’s behalf said, “they don’t just sit back and think ‘oh everything’s okay’ because that’s when things can go a bit sour.” That’s a quote from a client who appreciated the firm’s investment in client listening as it showed they weren’t taking his business or his loyalty (he was a strong advocate for the firm) for granted.

Secondly, you need to challenge yourself and seek feedback from those clients who might be less than happy but who, unless they’re prompted, aren’t going to say anything. As uncomfortable as it may seem, it’s far better to identify and deal with issues before they escalate, rather than lose a client altogether or find yourself dealing with negative comments on a public online forum. I’ll go into more detail about responding to challenging feedback in my next newsletter, but my top tip for now, if you do find yourself on the receiving end of a less than favourable review, is not to get into a public, online back and forth. Acknowledge and thank the person publicly and then take any further discussion private.

As Warren Buffet famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

And, if you want to do just one thing differently – step outside your comfort zone and ask those clients that you might regard as tricky for feedback – I promise it’ll pay dividends. Your client will value both your integrity and commitment to continuous improvement.

After all, to be successful, every business owner or leader needs to take a balanced view across the whole of their business. Taking account of how your clients are feeling is an important part of this. Positive reviews are hugely important but don’t let yourself be blinded by their glow.

As always, please get in touch if you’d like support in gaining that balanced view from your clients.

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