Good Store, Bad Store
How often do you check Google Reviews?
There is an often-quoted Chinese saying for humor. “Dazhongdianpin (the most popular lifestyle app in China that provides customer reviews for various services and stores, including restaurants, movie theaters, salons, and shopping malls) saved China from the notoriously bad customer service.” Only about ten years ago, customer service in China was represented by cashiers throwing changes at customers and talking to another employee while customers are waiting in line. While neither managers’ scold nor customers’ angry tone has fixed the problem, the customer reviews had changed it with direct consequences to the revenue. If you have visited China in the past several years, you would notice that many shops have now stepped up their customer service with warm attitude and care.
In America, you have customer feedback apps like Yelp for restaurants, but more American consumers are familiar with Google Reviews. In fact, many people Google a place before paying a visit because they need to know the address, business hours, and so on. In doing so, it’s hard to miss an average star rating (or Google Reviews) next to the business information. When you see an especially low rating, you might want to pass on it even if it’s the nearest store. How do customers review the beauty supplies run by Koreans? To find out, we have analyzed 50 Korean-owned businesses on Google Reviews with respect to the average star rating, positive feedback, and negative feedback.
We verified that the businesses were owned by Korean, so while the number of samples was small, we could discover relevant information that you can use to improve your customer service. First, the average star rating for the 50 Korean owned beauty supplies was 4.08. While it is close to the perfect score 5, there was a wide gap between the highly rated (such as 4.6 and 4.5) and the lowly rated (2.9 and 2.6). When do customers express preference in beauty supplies and when leave a review like “Won’t go again” or “Not worth a 0 star” which can be devastating for a business?
If you drove a long distance only to be treated like a thief, …?
Maybe you may have found similar reviews for your business in Google Reviews. The Google Reviews on 50 locations echoed the common theme. Good price and customer service opened their hearts, and they were angry at being looked at like a thief. Clean floor, display, and variety of merchandise were given good score, and clerk’s mistake at checkout, rude employees, and ignorance or poor communication skills of the staff produced bad reviews. When you look at the negative feedback on Google Reviews, you notice that a more-than-expected number of customers drove a long distance to visit a beauty supply store. It is obvious that you would feel very bad if you drive 20-30 min or even two hours to find a product you want only to see the store closed or to be looked at like a thief.
We did find some responses by the store owners to a negative review. A customer said, “employee was pushy while giving inadequate answers to questions”, and a store owner responded with an apology and with a promise to talk to the employee to prevent it from happening again. On the other hand, another store owner responded quite unfortunately to a customer’s feedback noting “poor wig selection” by replying, “we are a beauty supply store not a wig shop.”
A perception of a customer service is highly subjective, and different customers can tell different stories to the same customer service. However, when a customer leaves a feedback with a hope for an improvement, you can bring a negative consequence by responding emotionally.
Of course, we did find some reviews that were malicious or loaded with ill feelings. Some pointed fingers just because the store was not Black-owned, and others complained about necessary Covid-19 related restrictions. If a review is just a plausible story that never happened or unrealistic one with clear intention, you can deal with it wisely than reacting emotionally. For one, you can report it for removal. BNB Magazine has covered the removal process in the past.
Google Reviews is a top contributor to building credibility for a business
You must listen to negative feedback because beauty supply is a word-of-mouth business. When it has become a norm that people use Google Reviews to find out about the reputation of a business, you don’t want to turn a potential client away by simply ignoring them. Research at Harvard reports that Google Reviews has great impact on building business reputation for customers. You can remove malicious reviews through a process, make improvements in response to negative feedback, and ask regular customers or beauticians to leave Google reviews. Why don’t you listen to what your customers say and actively engage in the conversation to become a store that everyone wants to visit?