As most local small businesses are quickly finding out, online customer reviews are extremely important in generating more sales and profits. This is due to the explosive growth of the internet in the past several years.
Approximately 70% of local consumers go online to search for local businesses that offer products and services that they need. This includes vehicles, food, auto repair, beauty services, and much more. While they’re searching, they also want to know how good your product or service is. One way they find answers is by reading your customer reviews.
If your business has bad consumer reviews, you are missing out on potential business because most people will skip over your listing. Whether the reviews are true or not doesn’t matter because studies show that most Internet users trust the customer reviews they read online.
So it is crucial that small businesses that target local consumers have a strong online presence that includes good customer reviews. However, many businesses are lost when it comes to getting and managing their online customer reviews.
Here are some tips that will help:
#1- Ask Your Customers for Reviews – Many businesses overlook the easiest way to get customer reviews, which is simply asking your customers to go online and write reviews about your business. Your happy customers won’t have a problem doing so.
#2- Email Your Customer List for Reviews – If you have your customers’ email addresses, you can simply send them an email asking them to leave a review about your product or service. You can send them to your local business listing pages where they can leave reviews.
#3- Make Sure Business Listings are Claimed and Optimized – In order to provide more visibility for your business, make sure that your local listings such as Google Places/Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, and other local directory listings are claimed and optimized. Getting customer reviews on these sites will also help your rankings.
#4- Focus on Customer Service – If your business treats its customers right, many of them will naturally go online to tell the world how happy they are with you. Providing reliable, friendly service goes a long way in helping you build a positive image for your business.
#5- Stay on Top of What is Being Said About Your Business – You should proactively perform internet searches to see what is being said about your business. If you don’t know what’s being said, you have no chance of correcting the negative content.
#6- Don’t Ignore Negative Reviews – Ignoring bad reviews can be detrimental to your business because it sends a negative message to your prospects. Instead, you should publicly respond to those reviews to show that you do care. This can quickly turn that negative review into a positive situation.
#7- Continuously Grow Your Number of Positive Customer Reviews – Getting a few good reviews is a good start. But don’t stop at getting two or three; the more, the better. Consumers tend to lean towards those businesses that have many reviews. Think about this; if your business has 75 awesome reviews and your main competitor has 5 awesome reviews, you will likely win when it comes to which one consumers will decide to do business with.
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