Although some articles suggest customers will either make or break your business with online reviews, it’s ultimately up to the business to be online intelligent. Make it a priority when starting any business to incorporate reviewing your online presence and how others in your local industry are rating. If your local business is on the lower end of online ratings, majority of users will direct their attention, money, and business to your closest competitor. Don’t overlook or over think online reviews, as they are the voice of your business.
Develop a guide or rules when strategizing your online review execution plan. Below are some helpful tips to ensure you hit the ground running:
1. Make Sure Your Customers Are Happy
Not only make them happy with your product or service, but ensure they are receiving the highest customer service/customer experience. This is a direct correlation with positive and negative online reviews. Think about it! If a customer has a negative experience at your business, they probably won’t be back, but at the same time, they’ll more than likely leave you a bad online review. On the other hand, if they have a positive experience, you’ll be getting some free publicity and advertisement via their review. The take away from this is to keep customer service at the highest point of priority when conducting business.
2. Ask Customers to Leave You Online Reviews
Customers love to tell their friends about their shopping experiences or experience with a business, in order to sway them to follow. So at the end of any transaction, ask your customer to leave a review about their experience. Don’t be forceful with the question, but a sly mention will be beneficial. Here is an example of how to pose the question. “We are constantly grading ourselves on our business/service and we would love to hear how we’re doing. So, if you could leave an online review regarding your experience, we’d be grateful”.
3. Be Mindful that Reviews Remain Online Forever
It’s hard to please everyone, but it is pails in comparison to rebuilding your online reputation. Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”. Those words should resonate and motivate you to give your best everyday. Those words are directly translatable to online reputation and maintaining positive online reputation. So, as a business owner, you should be asking yourself if you’re doing enough to please the customer. Going that extra mile can benefit your business and drive more traffic to your site or location via online reviews. More traffic, whether foot or online, will increase your sales.
Always think about the future when developing your online review strategy. Long term thinking should always be your driver with any goals in your online reputation plan, as the internet is here to stay, as will reviewing businesses by customers. If your local business products or services are great, people will find you!
Customer Service and Online Reviews is the New Local Marketing.
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