How to renovate your online business

Estimated reading time: 6 mins

A Guest Post by Victoria Greene

So, you’ve had some negative feedback. Your customer reviews may be lacking the stars you desire, or your social media channels may have received a bit of a tongue lashing. Whether it’s down to a product fumble, a campaign that’s missed the mark, or simply bad luck, if you don’t act soon, you’ll soon see just how important a good reputation is for your online business.

With customers getting more and more vocal in recent years, It’s never been more critical for your business to have a positive customer experience. A 2015 survey showed 92% of customers depend on online reviews before taking the plunge to buy. Your online reputation has the power to make or break your business.

But don’t worry. All’s not lost: with a little effort and some well planned changes, this guide will show you how to renovate and regenerate your online business.

Show you care

If you’re experiencing negative feedback your users may be feeling frustrated or let down, but these bridges needn’t stay burnt forever.

Studies have shown that modern consumers, especially millennials, prefer companies that are socially responsible and give back to society. If you’ve been a bit of a business sinner, show your users what’s really important to you.

Naja are an inspiring example of an ecommerce site that are using their brand to effect social change. By putting ethical, responsible trading at the forefront of their business, Naja sends a message to their consumers that for them there are higher values than money.

Show your users you care by partnering with a charitable organisation, donating a percentage of your profits, or getting involved in fundraising activities. Share information about these charities and help spread the word of the positive work you’re doing to help.

Photo Credit: Naja

Revamp your look

Improving your online business could be as easy as revamping your website. Cleaning up your interface, improving user experience, or choosing an attractive new theme have the potential to work wonders.

Whether you want to metamorphose completely or just improve small details, there are endless free tools to help improve the look and usability of your site. Be vocal about your changes: let your consumers know you are changing for the better.

Perhaps you’re considering having a complete business overhaul? If you’re in the market to buy a new business, consider shopping online first — there are plenty of websites out there just screaming out for a re-brand. Exchange is a new marketplace where you can easily buy and sell ecommerce businesses. You can buy a starter store for as little as £10, without the need come up with a new idea or start from scratch.

Listen to your customers

When trying to rebuild a broken reputation it’s incredibly important you understand where you’ve gone wrong, so you don’t make the same mistakes twice. Especially if you are inheriting someone else’s business, you need to work hard to claw back your customers’ respect and esteem.

But, how do you find out what your customers really think? Simple: ask them!

Make communication as simple as possible.

Consider implementing a chatbot software such as LiveAgent , use a social media monitoring tool such as Mention to ensure you know what your users are saying about your business, or use SmartSuite to text your customers with ease. All these tools will help you scale your business operations without breaking the bank (or your back).

For the most valuable feedback, encourage your consumers to leave reviews on their purchases. You can do this by holding a prize giveaway for customers who do, offering discount, or simply asking really really nicely.

Set the benchmark high

As a business owner, you should always be looking for new ways to improve and offer a better service for your customers. That’s why you should pick a company you’re inspired by, and emulate their practices — imitation isn’t just a form of flattery, it’s a business strategy.

Shoedazzle are an US based, women’s shoe retailer with over 13 million members. Having only launched in 2009, they are incredibly successful and should serve as an inspiration for many online businesses. Offering competitive prices, an interactive user experience, and a clear interface, the brand acts as a masterclass in what happens when you focus on your customer. Their keen and constant social media marketing and VIP customer experience has been integral in building up a loyal customer community.

Photo Credit: Shoedazzle

Value your customer’s security

Keep your users feeling happy and secure by investing in high quality security. From requiring strong customer passwords, setting up tracking systems for suspicious activity, and implementing robust order tracking, you are ensuring that your customers won’t be at risk when using your online business.

A more secure business is a more healthy and profitable one too, as you will be able to cut down on the number of fraudulent transactions and the subsequent admin manhours.

Find out what your customers really want

As well as taking time to collect and take in your user’s feedback, you should also be trying to better understand who your customers are, and what they really want from you.

Using survey tools such as Client Heartbeat or SurveyMonkey allows you to monitor what your users really think of your business, including the areas you can improve on.

You can also use these tools to identify consumer trends and find better, smarter ways to sell to them. From a content marketing perspective, surveys are a data goldmine that can be easily re-packaged as roundup posts and infographics.

Photo Credit: Survey Monkey

Celebrate and share your success

When it comes to feedback, it can be easy to just focus on the bad.

While you should definitely be taking negative feedback seriously, it’s also important to celebrate your successes and say thank you to people who love what you do.

Make it simple and worth your customers’ time to give you feedback; and when they do, shout about it. If you get a review that makes you proud, share it on your social media channels and tag the reviewer — make sure that they know that you appreciate them. Simple acts like these show your users you are listening to them, and may encourage others to say what they think too.

When trying to renovate your business or improve your online reputation, the key takeaway is to put your users first. Whether it be providing an easy to use website, investing in security, or taking the time to listen, your customers have the power to make or break you — so treat them with respect.

By keeping your customers happy and at the forefront of all of your decisions, you’ll soon lose your bad reputation and be back in the online goodbooks.

Victoria Greene: Writer & Ecommerce Entrepreneur

When I’m not running my own successful online businesses, I’m at home writing. I love everything digital and really enjoy sharing my knowledge with other entrepreneurs.

Main Photo Credit: Unsplash


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