Though there are times in life where other people’s opinions of you and your abilities don’t matter, if you happen to be in business, opinions could be the difference between success and demise. As an artist or web designer, your work is essentially only as good as your clients say it is. When your work of art is not presented in a manner that your clients appreciate, their negative feedback can alter your chances of attracting new business.
Kind of sucks. However, it comes with the territory. Though you can’t please everyone, it is essentially your goal to do your best work so that your customers will share positive reviews. It is through these positive words, that you are able to build your brand and credibility in the creative industry and gain new traction.
How Reviews Affect Business
Today’s consumers are more informed decision makers. They don’t make purchases or go into business with brands without first finding out who they are and whether or not they’re good at what they do. Thanks to the internet, finding out about a company is just a few clicks away. Consumers commonly make and search for reviews on products and services they intend to purchase. Here are some stats on how online reviews impact businesses:
- 91% of consumers search online reviews before doing business
- 84% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as a personal reference
- 68% of consumers make a purchase decision after reading between 1-6 reviews.
So, one bad review from one dissatisfied customer will be read by thousands of online shoppers and will help them make an informed decision about your brand after reading it. For this reason, it is imperative for artists and designers to not only generate their best works but to encourage their satisfied customers to post positive reviews.
Finding Customer Reviews
So, how do you know where your art or design business stands in the eyes of the customers? You can easily find consumer reviews online. Though you may be aware of sites specifically designed for reviews like Angie’s List, The Better Business Bureau, and Yelp, there are other places you should look for reviews. Major sites like Mapquest.com provide a platform for consumers to place ratings and reviews on companies like Low Cost Interlock, Country Inn Suites Hotels, and more.
Making the Most of Online Reviews
Whether you find reviews of your company online or not, it is to your advantage to get on top of things before something does pop up. Below are a few tips to making the most of both positive and negative reviews found online:
- Create accounts and/or profiles on some of the most popular review sites. This will allow you to verify your business, update the location, put business hours, and be alerted when reviews are added.
- Provide feedback on both positive and negative reviews. Positive reviewers should be thanked for their word of mouth and encouraged to come back again. Negative reviews need to be responded to immediately with compassion. No matter how great you think your work was, apologize that they’re not pleased and offer a resolution. When it has been resolved, encourage them to go back and adjust their review and also provide your own follow-up so other readers are aware that you took care of the issue.
- Encourage all of your customers to write reviews. The more positive feedback you have, the higher your chances are of getting more business.
Yes, when you work in the creative sector, your talent, skills, and abilities are what will help you bring in customers. However, it is the satisfaction and opinion of your initial customers that will determine whether you get new business. Though you can’t please everyone all the time, it is imperative to put your best foot forward with your performance and be active in the online community to let your customers know you hear them and appreciate their business. These steps will essentially help build integrity and credibility for your brand.
Featured image: Painting by Alp Allen Altiner