Did you know that 75 percent of customers read reviews online before deciding to use your American Sign Language Interpretation service? Managing your online reputation is as important for your business as providing excellent service every time.
Why do people put such trust in what others say about a business online? Most often, it is because they feel online reviews to be the real, unvarnished truth. In other words, consumers believe that when people take the time to leave a review, their experience was meaningful. For better, or for worse.
What does that Mean for Your American Sign Language Interpretation Service?
American Sign Language is a visual language. Your interpreters use facial expressions, hand movements, body posture, and even mouth positions to communicate with their audience.
Negative reviews about an interpreter’s appearance, state of dress, and even lack of animation can reflect poorly on your business. It is important for business owners who operate American sign language interpretation services to first look at reviews objectively.
Bad reviews can be vital tools for your business. Just as positive reviews reflect on what you’re doing right, negative reviews tell you where you need to improve.
For instance, a negative review about an interpreter’s clothing is likely not a commentary on fashion choices. It may be an indication that you need a dress code. It is important for interpreters with light skin tones, for instance, to wear dark solid colors. The opposite is true for those with darker skin. They need to wear lighter solid colors.
Why is this important?
The answer is simple really. The audience needs to easily see the interpreter’s hands. More importantly, you don’t want them distracted by “loud” clothing choices. Solid colors in the appropriate shades allow the focus to be on the hands, which do the bulk of the communication.
The bottom line is that there are many things you can learn from negative reviews. Things that may, ultimately, help you improve your business. You must act on the information these reviews reveal, though. Otherwise, nothing changes, and negative reviews will likely continue.
That being said, negative reviews must be managed appropriately. How you approach these reviews is a telling reflection on your business as well.
How Do Bad Reviews Affect Your American Sign Language Interpretation Business?
When the 75 percent of people seeking ASL interpreters read the reviews others have left, it influences their buying decisions. If you have multiple negative or poor reviews, they will likely choose another service over yours.
This is especially true if it appears as though you’ve done nothing to attempt to improve. A precious few negative reviews over several years is one thing. A steady stream of negative reviews in recent months, though, may be viewed as a sign of decline for your business. A sign that will reflect in the number of people seeking your services.
Even false reviews can do irreparable harm to your business. They won’t go away if you simply ignore them. What you need is a plan in place for how your organization will address and respond to negative reviews.
Then, when negative reviews occur, you need to follow your plan to address them. Here’s what you need to do.
What to Do When Your ASL Service Receives a Negative Review
When you receive a negative review, it is important to act quickly. However, it is more important to act thoughtfully. It may be difficult to act without emotion, but it is absolutely necessary to do so.
Have a plan in writing for responding to negative reviews. Designate someone within your organization to manage the process of identifying negative reviews and crafting appropriate responses. Set aside time daily to discuss negative reviews and whether there are indications of problems within your organization that must be addressed. Change policies, when needed, to address issues and prevent further negative reviews.
1. Address the Reviewer
Address the reviewer in hopes of resolving their problem and having the negative review deleted from the publisher. It is the most direct route. It can also save a relationship by showing the customer that you want to address the problem.
Most negative reviews occur in moments of frustration. When you address the customer’s issues, you are letting them know their message is being received. The review process becomes a tool to promote resolution rather than a simple opportunity to vent frustration.
Here’s the other thing that happens when you reach out to the disgruntled customer publicly. Other people see your effort. That is why addressing negative reviews quickly matters.
When people see that you are willing to address the issue and eager to do so, it makes your American sign language interpretation business more attractive to them.
Allowing a negative review to remain, unaddressed, for long periods of time, indicates to the general public that you do not care. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t even know the review was there. That is why managing your online reputation is so important.
Once you’ve addressed the negative review publicly, you might try reaching out to the reviewer in private. Doing so allows you to work with the reviewer to determine an appropriate solution to their problem. If you feel as though the customer is pleased with the outcome, you might request that they remove the negative review.
The final benefit of taking the time to resolve the issue is a somewhat expected outcome. Customers who have had problems with a business that the business sought to resolve are actually more likely to recommend the business to others. In fact, they are MORE likely to recommend the business than those who have never had problems requiring resolutions.
2. Contact the Site
If you cannot convince the person who left the negative review to remove it, your next step is to connect the site where it is published. Many of these websites offer users the option to request the removal of negative reviews and have a process in place by which to make the request.
You should note, however, that most review websites require you to make a strong case before granting removal requests. However, it is possible. If it is possible, it is worth your time and effort. That is how impactful negative reviews have the potential to be for your business.
Once you make your request through these websites, a website administrator will conduct an official review of your request. This usually involves exploring various issues, including:
- Content of the review.
- Users account history.
- Potential association of the initial reviewer with your competitors.
Once the review is completed, your request will either be approved or denied. If approved, the offending content will be removed and your good name will be restored. Congratulations.
Other Removal Options for Your American Sign Language Interpretation Business to Consider
The problem is that the process of getting negative reviews removed from online review websites is often long and laborious. If you’re like most small business owners you do not have a lot of extra hours in your day. You may even be one of the interpreters for your business. That means that in addition to offering interpretation services, you also have a business to run.
There are only so many hours in a day. For you, that means there is limited time or resources to devote to monitoring the many possible negative reviews made against your business.
Fortunately, there are organizations out there that can manage your online reputation on your behalf. They can go through the process of working with the reviewer to resolve the issues for your business. They can reach out to reviewers on websites and start the conversation for your business.
Negative reviews matter. They can have a direct and equally negative effect on your bottom line. Reputation management services, such as the one we provide, can help you move beyond negative reviews and comments and show the world that you are actively working to improve your American sign language interpretation business to serve their needs better.
For the most part, people only want their problems to be solved. If you can manage to solve the problems of a single customer by addressing a negative review, it can mean great things for your business. However, if you proactively seek to resolve as many negative reviews as possible, you can make your business soar.
We understand how important your reputation is to your business. Contact us today to learn about the many ways we can help you manage your online reputation while you do the work of managing your American sign language interpretation service in person.