By: Emily Klaus | Marketing Associate
One of the best ways to get customers talking about your business, whether you’re a restaurant, a trucking company or a dentist, is through word of mouth. As consumers and as humans, we inherently take into account the opinions of those we trust, especially when it comes to business and service reviews. That’s why maintaining your small business’s online review reputation is more important than ever.
According to a survey in 2014, nearly 90% of those surveyed stated that they use online reviews to make a decision on local businesses and services1. That statistic alone is enough to make a small business owner nervous and motivated to ensure that their online reviews are recent, positive and responded to. Here are just a few tips to amp up your small business’s online reviews.
Respond, respond, respond to all online reviews
Whether or not you want you, it is so important to respond to all reviews, good or bad. Customers will be more inclined to trust your business and services when they see that you are responsive to all reviews. Good reviews are easy to respond to. Thank the customer for taking the time to post a review and tell them you look forward to having their business again.
When responding to a bad review, it’s difficult to defend your business without sounding aggressive. Again, thank the customer for posting their review and apologize for their inconvenience, miscommunication or bad experience. Then you can ask for more details about their experience or for suggestions about what you can do to make their next experience more positive. At the end of the reply, be sure to include your name, title and a way to contact you. This shows transparency and your willingness to have your customers contact you about their experiences.
The bottom line for any online reviews is to include your contact information and always respond in a timely, professional manner.
Encourage your customers to share their thoughts
Most of us have read reviews of a small business or a service and seen a five-star rating only to scroll down and see that average was only from two or three reviews. In general, consumers tend to trust 30 reviews with a three-star average over one or two with a five-star average. Thus, ensuring your business has a good amount of reviews is imperative.
At the point of sale of your small business’s product or service, give your customer a flyer or handout that details how they can post a review on your website, on social media or on sites like Google Reviews, Yelp or Angie’s List. Offer an incentive, too! If they post a review within a week of their service, offer 20% off the next service, a free dessert or any type of discount you want to give.
Reward employees who solicit reviews
According to a Harvard study, “a one-star increase on Yelp can lead to a 5-9 percent growth in revenue”2. This bump is quite significant, so any employee who solicits or encourages a customer to give a review should be justly rewarded. Not only does it motivate your employees, but it also encourages a positive and productive company culture.
On a similar note, if a specific employee is called out positively in an online review, give them some credit! Make sure they are acknowledged and praised in a timely manner. However, be careful when toeing the line between praising employees in front of their colleagues and seeming to brag about them. Praising one employee encourages the same standard of excellence and customer service for all other employees.
Reviews are a great way to boost your business but if you are in need of working capital to grow your business by purchasing more inventory, investing in a marketing campaign or hiring a new employee, apply for a merchant cash advance from Jet Capital today! Apply online or give us a call at 866-845-9674.
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