Word of mouth has always been a powerful tool for a business. While advertising, marketing, and web design are very important, a positive review from a satisfied customer carries more weight with potential customers. If you want to increase your business and increase your ranking on Google, customer reviews can help you do just that. Getting a review may seem like a daunting task, but really it is quite easy if you know how to go about it.
If you have a Google Place page (and you should) you can ask your customers to leave a review on your page. You can also incorporate a place for customers to leave reviews on specific products or services on your website. Another way to get reviews is to send out a follow-up email and give your customers a link to either your Google Place page or to a form on your website. Post cards and a flyer by your cash register or check out area can also be used to give customers the links they need to submit a review.
Take a Lesson from Amazon
Amazon gives customers a chance to review each and every item they sell. Think about the last time you considered a purchase on Amazon. Did you check out the reviews? Of course you did! Did it factor into your decision to purchase the item? More than likely it did. Entrepreneur Magazine cites that over 60 percent of online shoppers took customer ratings and reviews into account before they made a purchase. Some products on Amazon have several reviews potential customers can read before they make their purchasing decisions. The more reviews you get, the better the chance a customer will take advantage of what you are offering.
A Chance to Make Things Better
Not only do customer reviews and ratings tell others if a product or service was good or bad, but they can also include a lot of information about the product. You can use this information to improve the products and services, or your customer’s experience. Even bad reviews can be used to your advantage. By honestly examining the points in a bad review, you can learn what needs to be done to correct the situation. You can also offer solutions in the form of a reply to bad reviews. This will show visitors you care about their experience and are willing to rectify it. By offering solutions to bad reviews visitors will also see there is a human being at the wheel and someone actually reads the reviews posted.
Blogs and Replies
Another powerful tool for today’s word of mouth is the blog. Not only can a blog set you up as an expert in your field and create a sense of community, but it will also give you another avenue for reviews. People seem to like to comment on blogs, and you will get good and bad reviews and comments. Use comments as a learning tool. Like reviews they will contain valuable information about the products and services your offer. Use the comment section of your blog to create a conversation with your readers. This will help them feel like part of your community and appreciate the fact you take the time to read and reply to their posts.
Word of mouth in the digital world isn’t that different from the old days before the internet. The same care and attention to detail is needed, and you need to make a connection with your customers. Being in business is more than just selling products and services; it is still a matter of relationships with your customer and client base. Use the new digital tools to spread the word about your business, and to learn ways to improve your customer’s experience. The payoff will be in bigger profits and a growing business.