Word-of-mouth reputation is overwhelmingly important. Today, of course, “word of mouth” is usually transmitted via social media and Google reviews, but these personal opinions on businesses have tremendous influence.

Eighty-eight percent of people trust online reviews as much as they would trust a friend’s recommendation, and 80% of people will go elsewhere if they read bad online reviews of a business.

Unfortunately, some of those bad experiences involve a debt collection agency. Businesses have to collect what they’re due in order to remain operational, but the debt collection process can have a significant effect on a customer’s opinion of a business. Working with a skilled, diplomatic debt collection agency can make a difference, potentially helping you improve your online reputation.

Why Dissatisfied Customers Are More Vocal

It’s a fact of life that people spread the word when they are unhappy with products and services. But whereas in the old days, those negative opinions may have been limited to family and friends, today they can be put on social media and review sites, where they can be seen by large numbers of people.

From an evolutionary point of view, people are “wired” to analyze bad experiences and give them disproportionate weight. If one business causes us to lose $100, we’re far more likely to talk about it online than we are about the business that saves us $100. For humans, the negative seems to be more newsworthy.

Provide Excellent Service, Ask for Reviews

The main way of having a good online reputation, of course, is to provide excellence in products and services. You won’t stop negative reviews altogether, but you can explicitly ask customers for reviews as part of ordinary business. The more reviews you solicit, the more you will get, and the more accurately those reviews will reflect the true experience of doing business with you.

It can take many positive reviews (some estimate up to 40 positive reviews) to counteract the damage from a single negative review. That’s why it’s so important to ask your happy customers to provide reviews too.

Your Debt Collection Agency Makes a Difference

It would be great if you never had to turn to a debt collection agency, but virtually every business will have to on occasion. Don’t leave your choice of debt collection agency to the last minute, because the right one can make the process as diplomatic and dignified as possible for all parties. And when people know that you operate fairly – even when debt collection is necessary – they’re likelier to respect your business and less likely to leave a harsh review.

If you’re determined to improve your online reputation through surveys, requesting reviews, or by whatever means, consider your debt collection practices. Particularly with smaller businesses, debt collection feels more personal. That’s why it’s essential that you work with an agency that specializes in debt collection for smaller businesses and that offers a straightforward collection process that works for both your business and your customers.

Knowing you have your collection strategy in hand offers you peace of mind and allows you to practice your everyday business with skill, building your online reputation with each transaction. Rocket Receivables encourages you to learn more about our exceptional services, and to buy now if the time has come for you to solidify your debt collection strategy.