double edge sword of customer reviewsAs a business owner or manager, you may not think of online reviews of your business as being important. They are! Whether on your own website, Facebook page or various business sites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, or TripAdvisor, customer impact reviews attract new customers. Studies show more and more people are enlisting reviews in their decision-making from where to go for a haircut, or what restaurant to try, to what clothing boutique has good customer service.

Depending upon the study, most researchers are finding up to 90% of people are checking online reviews for things they are considering purchasing, especially those things in a higher price range. It follows suit that individuals are doing the same for service-based businesses as well.

Reviews are a Valuable Marketing Tool

One of the most sought after marketing tools is one that takes little work, and costs you nothing. Having reviews of your business is good for your business, and something you should encourage. Everyone visits the internet these days and the more mentions you get, the more attention you get driving new customers to your business. Let’s say, for example, you are looking for moving help. There is one company that has five stars, from a total of five reviewers. Another has a 4.8-star average from 210 reviewers. Who would you call? Most likely, the one who has many more reviews.

Getting More Reviews

First off, when you engage in conversation with a new customer, be sure to ask them where they learned of your store or services. Later, before you part ways, and if they seem happy, ask them to leave a review for you.

Keep track of your reviews. Most people won’t leave their full name but perhaps a first name and last initial. When a return customer comes back in, think about whether you have seen a review from him, or her. Maybe even keep a list handy, but justifiably protected as a quick reference. Or simply ask him, “By the way, have you left us a review on our website, or on Yelp?” If not, “We’d appreciate it, if you would.

Don’t buy reviews, but, encourage them. You can offer incentives, but you don’t want to buy a positive review. You are simply requesting an honest online customer review. If your business has the practice of getting email addresses for your customers, you can also send them a “thanks for coming in,” or thank you for shopping with us,” note and in that same note include a request for an online review with a link to the site you want the review placed.

Turn Poor Reviews into Positive Aspects

Anyone in business knows you cannot make everyone happy, and while you try, you can’t beat yourself up over it when you don’t. Likewise, any place that has more than a few reviews is going to receive a few occasional negative comments, and they may come from unlikely sources. Regular customers who were having a bad day before they stopped at your business may take offense to something on that day. This may reflect a customer having to wait too long, in their mind, for service, or in a restaurant, finding their soup is too cold, or that a dinner plate is too hot.

The important thing for you, as the owner or manager, is to respond and turn it around, in a positive way. Don’t make excuses, but rather respond by commenting, “Oh, I am so sorry you felt that way, the next time you stop in, we’d like to offer you a bowl of soup on the house, please remind us.” Not only will your original customer be pleased his voice was heard, but potential new customers will know that you stand by your product and/or service.

Need Help Growing Your Business?

GA Wright can help! GA Wright has years of experience in the retail business and customer-based business. And, our staff is keeping up with the times, and the internet. If you are looking to expand your business, buy a little, or a lot, fill out the GA Wright online form to learn more about how someone from our team can help you increase your amount of new and returning customers. We serve businesses all around North American and beyond, contact us today and let’s make your business grow.

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