Your online reputation is extremely important! It can often be the deciding factor when a potential customer is trying to decide between you and your competitor. The world of Internet reviews is bigger than just the good and the bad. The number of reviews you receive can also make a big difference when it comes to ranking well in search and flexing your customer service muscle.
According to a BrightLocal survey, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Basically, complete strangers trust reviews as if their buddy was the one advising them. If you’re not concerned aboutyour online reputation, you should start! The same survey also shows that most consumers are reading six reviews or less, so you really need to make a strong first impression with some raving fans.
All of this sounds great and easy, right? Right…
Here are some real world tips that you can use to attract more positive reviews, manage the negative ones, and ultimately attract more business.
Manage Your Online Reputation Like a Pro
- Service Is the Heart of Your Business: Everyone on your staff is a customer service representative because they are the face of your company. From using great manners to going the extra mile to make a birthday party special, creating a culture of amazing customer service experiences is your first step towards gaining flattering online reviews. Ps. Your service culture begins with the leadership.
- Claim, Correct, and Monitor: Before you can ask for reviews, you need to make sure that your local listings have been claimed, show the correct information (business name, phone number, address), and can easily be monitored for new reviews. This ensures that customers can easily find you, and it also allows you to know when to respond to their reviews (the good and the occasional bad ones).
- Ask Your Customers How You Are Doing: If you are the owner or manager, you should be asking customers what they like about your facility and service, but also, and more importantly, what they believe could be improved. “Satisfied” is another way of saying that you did the job, but you didn’t create a lasting relationship. The customer’s experience was just, “good enough.” By asking your customers what they think about your business (without sending them to a review site), you show them that you really care, you learn priceless information about how people actually perceive your business, and you can make the necessary improvements that will lead to more positive online reviews.
- Provide a Memorable Takeaway or Surprise: After a birthday party or corporate event, you need to jump on the review request before the party host leaves your facility. Verbally tell the customer that you truly enjoyed having them at your facility, and that you would love to know what they thought. Follow up with a personalized thank you note (make it handwritten for extra points), and attach it to something memorable. The something memorable can be simple like a voucher for their next visit, or as big as a free t-shirt (bonus: they wear it around town). You are more likely to get a review immediately after your customer visits, so strike while it’s hot! Taking advantage of the situation with extra care could lead to the customer giving you valuable feedback in person, or search for your review sites online to leave a review from home. See #5 to complete this step…
- Integrate Reviews in Your Internet Marketing: Make it easy for customers to leave reviews by including links to review websites like Yelp and Google + on your website. Your header, which is a great place for your address and phone number as well, can be a great spot to place your review links. Try creating a page on your website dedicated to Testimonials, and give people options. At the top of the page, create buttons to review websites. If you want reviews to live on your website, let users submit testimonials that post directly to your website. If you’re a WordPress user, there are a few great review plugins that you can install on your website to make this easy for you and your customers.
Some of the best online testimonials come when you haven’t directly asked a customer to leave you a review. It comes from casual conversation, care, and excellent customer service. Make sure that all of the right pieces are in place for your customers to be amazed by your business and your team. Once the service culture is built, be sure that customers can easily find where they should leave their online reviews for your business.
Do you have any questions about your online reputation? Contact TrustWorkz today!