Building Your Online Reputation
Your online reputation is affecting your business. Whether your business has a 5-STAR reputation, a 2-STAR reputation or NO reputation at all, your potential customers are checking you out online. And at least 90% of customers say reading reviews influences their decisions.
And you know it’s true because I bet you look at online reviews before you decide which doctor to visit, which photographer to choose, or probably even which pet store to visit. In this graphic, which store would you choose to look for a new fancy dog bed? Yep, Debbie’s Dogs & Duds would be my choice.
So you can’t ignore it or leave it to chance any longer. Savvy businesses realize they need to build their online reputation with customer reviews, especially 5-STAR reviews. And they must be proactive to get them. So, where do you start?
ASK Your Customers For Reviews
How can something so simple be so difficult? Mustering up the courage can be very stressful for some people. So here are a few ideas for making it easier to ASK your customers, your clients, or your patients for reviews:
- Have a tent card on your tables or check out counter asking them for feedback.
- Put a postcard or business card in their bag about leaving a review for you. Be sure you tell them why you’re asking and what you’re putting in the bag!
- Call them and ask for a review.
One thing you can’t do is pay or offer incentives for reviews. Google and other search engines are very specific in their terms of service about this practice. It’s definitely a violation.
Explain WHY You’re Asking For Reviews
Most people probably already know why you’re asking for reviews about their experience with your business but you still need to explain why you’re asking.
- “Your opinion helps our team know how to provide even better customer service.”
- “We’re always looking for feedback from our clients to help us improve our business.”
- “Your opinion about our services helps other people who are looking for resources like ours.”
Tell Them WHERE To Leave Feedback Or A Review
Be very specific with your instructions and above all, make them easy to follow. If it’s too confusing, they won’t do it.
- “It will only take a few minutes to go to our Google listing and leave us a review.” (If you’re sending an email, give them the link to your listing.)
- “Please leave your comments on Yelp, Google, or YP.com.”
- Or set up your own page online for collecting reviews and feedback.
Before you can start marketing your online reputation for your potential buyers to see , you have to have customer reviews. Developing a strategy that includes very specific action steps will increase your probability of success.
Given all the distractions our buyers face, be very intentional about ASKING for reviews, letting them know the reasons WHY, and providing clear instructions about WHERE they can easily provide this information for you.
Remember. new buyers are checking customer reviews and your online reputation before they ever pick up the phone or drive to your location. What are your customers saying about you now?
We specialize in helping businesses MANAGE, BUILD, and MARKET their 5-STAR reputation online. Contact us for more information about developing a 5-STAR reputation for your business.