Small businesses live and die by their reputation. While corporate franchises can depend on new customers to hit their margins, small businesses need repeat customers to keep hitting the mark. Customers often know small business owners personally. They won’t make a habit of coming back unless they trust the business and its employees. In this digital age, reputation management means more than providing good customer service. Businesses need to maintain an active presence on social media-and they need to pay attention to what customers are saying about them online.
The Power of Online Reviews
Online reviews play a big role in shaping your reputation. Ignore them at your peril. modern consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. And that’s not the only reason you should be paying attention to customer feedback.
Positive reviews can:
- Help customers find you. Reviews boost your SEO ranking. When customers search for businesses in your area, you want your business to come up right away. Reviews increase your online visibility.
- Market your brand. Potential customers enjoy reading about other customer’s experiences. A glowing customer review is more influential than impersonal marketing language.
- Give you credibility. Customers read reviews before visiting new businesses. Positive reviews let them know your business is trustworthy.
- Let you connect with customers. Responding to customer reviews increases your overall rating. It also lets your customers know you read and appreciate their feedback.
- Serve as word of mouth marketing. Customer reviews are word of mouth marketing but better. Online conversations are accessible to customers and business owner’s alike. You can monitor them and even respond to them. Consider them to be a reflection of your reputation.
- Increase your sales. Reviews shape your reputation. Customers are more inclined to try new businesses when they have a trustworthy reputation.
How you Should Manage Your Reputation
To manage your reputation effectively, consider doing each of the following.
● Request Reviews. The majority of one-star reviews are unsolicited. For whatever the reason, unhappy customers take the initiative to write reviews while happy customers do not. Ask customers to leave you reviews and you’ll likely be rewarded with a higher rating.
● Respond to Reviews. Sending a quick response to every review you receive (yes, even the negative ones) indicates that you care about your reputation. A professional reply may convince a dissatisfied customer to give you another chance.
● Update social media. Make sure your social media profiles are up-to-date. When customers are done reading and posting reviews, they will likely look around your profile. They should have access to correct contact information and posts about current promotions.
It’s more important than ever that businesses monitor their online reputation. Customers read on average ten reviews before visiting a new business. Without reviews, customers will struggle to find your business online. And even if they do find you, a lack of reviews makes your business appear unreliable. Encourage customers to leave reviews and start prioritizing reputation management. Your rating-and your sales team-will thank you for it.
Did you know that you can request reviews, monitor your new reviews, respond to reviews and even show case your reviews on your website with the Visual Visitor platform? Think of us as your Word Of Mouth Marketing Machine! Try it for free for 14 days.