Why all reviews matter, especially the negative ones.

Reviews. We all have to deal with them. How you deal with them can say a lot about your business, and it should. The way you interact with your customers online should be a reflection of how you interact with them when they’re in your store. That’s why we at The Dragon respond to every single review, negative or positive. After all, if a customer complimented my store while in my presence, I would say thank you! And if they had something bad to say, I would want to talk to them about it and see how I could make a better impression.

When a customer leaves a negative review, it stings, for sure. But, it can also give you valuable insight. After all, that person has taken their time to communicate something to you. It’s probably something that others have thought and not expressed. By taking the time to really consider the negative review, you may be able to reveal a weakness in your business that you can improve for the next person who walks through your door.

Today, we received this review:

“Walked in to see an event with people playing, saw no staff, no binders, no display case. Solid waste of a trip, will never compete here or support this store.”

Our play space for our gaming events is right next door to our store, but the way the mall is laid out, the store itself is around a slight bend. You first arrive at the play space, and then you continue on to the store. Unfortunately, my reviewer didn’t continue down the hall to find the actual store.

How low is the bar set for comics and games stores that anyone would think this is a retail space? Obviously it’s not a beautiful space, but it is quite functional for our needs, and we keep it as clean and organized as possible. It’s staffed during most of our events, although sometimes the staff have to head into the main store to help out. It seems this potential customer arrived during an event when there wasn’t a staff member on-site.

In talking to my manager, I discovered this has been happening more and more often: a potential customer would wander into one of our events, and think they were entering the store.

Yes, this potential customer in question was clearly not very bright, but they also highlighted a weakness in our operation. Since the store itself is tucked behind a curve, and most people coming to a comic/games store for the first time don’t know what to expect or have quite low expectations, it’s important for us to make sure there is a very clear sign indicating that the store can be found next door.

I responded to my reviewer quite simply: “I’m so sorry you thought that was the store! That’s our play space! The store is right next door, and full of product, binders, staff, and even a display case. We hope you’ll give us another visit so you can see what we have to offer!”

Then, I immediately set steps in motion to create a sign to be prominently displayed at the entrance of the play space directing people to the store next door, so that if there wasn’t a staff member present, then at least the customers could (hopefully) find the real store!

You can read more of my thoughts on responding to reviews here.

Of course some reviews are just trolls trying to cut down your business, but even responding to those reviews can have value for the next customer who Googles your store. So, don’t ignore your reviews! Use them to make your business stronger and more efficient. It never hurts to improve.

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