Did you know that 70% of online shoppers trust reviews from people they don’t know? In fact, the research is mounting in favor of the steadfastness of consumer reviews, particularly those made online. They’re here to stay, and they’re often times the main resource for consumer decision-making.
So, small business owners, while you can’t control what people write about you on the internet, you can become part of the conversation.
Create a Yelp or Trip Advisor account (see Online Listings) for your business and respond to reviews (both positive and negative) on those sites (amongst others). Not only will this show your dedication to your businesses (and your customers), but it will also provide a forum from which to learn lessons on how to improve your customers’ experience.
Then, ask your regular customers to review your business online. You can even put a small sign by the cash register, or a reminder on the receipt. If you host a special event for a customer (a private luncheon, or a catered service) – reach out after the event, and ask them to write a review. Best case scenario: you get a gold star, and will hopefully see an increase in business from this positive review. Worst case scenario: you find out that you need to work on a few things, and you go from there.
Whatever you do… don’t ignore the reviews of your business online. Join the conversation so you can change the conversation.