I love to travel. I become obsessed with the thought of seeing new places, staying at different hotels and trying new food. I scour the web for weeks, sometimes months before the trip looking up hotels, restaurants and local attractions. Usually, I come to most of my decisions based upon customer reviews that I find on various websites like Yelp, Priceline, Travelocity or Google. Like me, for many potential customers this is the first introduction that they will have to your business.
With approximately 70 percent of local consumers now using the internet to find good local businesses it seems like a no-brainer that positive customer reviews would translate to more business. However, many businesses miss out on this key aspect of internet marketing just by forgetting to do the following things:
Want More Reviews? Ask for Them.
More often than not, customers are quick to share the unpleasantries of a good or service. They will fire off angry emails, comment on websites, call in with complaints and generally shout to the mountain tops in frustration. However, customers are less likely to share a satisfied experience, at least not without a little bit of prompting. As a business, you should request feedback. A simple e-comment card via email, a link on your website or mobile survey will increase the number of positive reviews from your customer base. Those positive reviews will affect your SEO rankings on local searches and generate future sales leads.
Your Business is Amazing, the World Should Know Right?
Link to your social networking pages? Check. Link to your company’s contact information? Check. Read my reviews button? Umm… This button works two ways. It gives potential customers the opportunity to read reviews about your company and it also gives current customers the chance to write reviews. You can maximize your internet marketing strategy by including the links in email marketing campaigns, on social networking pages and of course your website. It also wouldn’t hurt to tweet links to positive reviews and to post them on your social networking pages like Facebook or Pinterest.
So You Have a Negative Review…Now What?
Nothing is worse than seeing a litany of accusations from a customer without a response from the company. A customer’s complaint should be answered in a timely manner. If you have the customer’s contact information, contact them directly. You should also post a response on the review site, address the customer’s concerns and invite them back for free or discounted services.
Online reviews seem like such a small aspect in the bigger internet marketing strategy. However, it is just another avenue to define your brand online. At JASE Group, brand management is one of the many services offered as a part of our inbound marketing strategy. Contact us to discuss how we can take your brand to the next level.
image credit: Margaret Ornsby on flickr