No man is an island, as the saying goes. There’s nowhere that this saying is more true than with consumers. As you probably know from your own purchasing habits, getting good word of mouth about a product or business helps you feel more secure before handing over your cold, hard cash.
Why wouldn’t that be the same assumption for your own business? People tend to follow the lead of others. That means if you can foster positive reviews for your business, you can help encourage new customers to come into your fold.
Today, it’s easier than ever for customers to get feedback from friends, family, and strangers. You simply have to online.
How can you take advantage of this new access? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
The Power Of Online Reviews
Access to information has totally changed the game when it comes to the world of consumers and small businesses. It used to be that someone would be forced to take a stab at a business or product without knowing much more than what was presented to them.
These days, accessing information about just about anything is easier than it’s ever been before. This ease has changed how consumers think about making purchases. Finding out about a business or product is so easy, almost no reasonable consumer WOULDN’T do a cursory google search before making a purchase.
Bad reviews could very well deter a person from making a purchase or visiting a store altogether. With so many options available to the modern consumer, many do not see the point of visiting a store that may have a risk of disappointing them.
Even one bad review can be enough to turn someone away for good.
Garnering A Good Reputation
On the other hand, positive word of mouth can be mean a lot to these same consumers. Modern buyers, especially millennials, seem to respond very actively to positive experiences by their peers.
Social media and social networks allow the word to transfer quickly about good experiences. More than ever before, a positive experience with a business or product can result in that person becoming an advocate for that service online.
This is the ideal form of modern advertising. For one, it’s free: if you can impress a customer enough to get them to post online, you’ve extended awareness of your business at no cost to yourself.
Even better, this kind of sharing tends to create better results than paid advertisements. People rely on and trust recommendations from peers far more than they do traditional advertising methods. An online review or social media post is likely to bring in more potential consumers than even traditional methods.
Consumers are becoming more skeptical about brand messages and paid advertisements. Seeing positive word from an independent third party, whether that is a close friend or a stranger, helps create the trust needed to make a purchase.
Harnessing The Power Of Positive Reviews
If you want your business to soar, what can you do? How can you take advantage of the impact of positive reviews?
Don’t Put The Horse Before The Carriage
First and foremost, you need to produce a product or service that people enjoy. This should go without saying, but it’s actually a frequent problem. No matter how much money you throw at a product or service that needs improving, you probably won’t get the results you desire.
You need to focus on improving your business first, and once you get positive feedback from a few customers you can focus on expanding your reach.
Encourage Your Customers
Once you feel confident about your product or service, you can put the work into getting the word out online. Many consumers who are pleased with your business will be happy to help, but you might need to remind them or prompt them to do so.
If you want to get Google reviews, for example, you might need to include prompts in your purchasing process that remind the consumer to leave a Google review. This could take many forms: signs in your business, reminders at the bottom of receipts, online pop-ups on your website, and so forth.
If you feel like you’ve created a good repertoire with your customer, you can always request it in person as well. Just explain to the person that a good review could really help your business, and people are typically happy to oblige.
This goes for social sharing as well. If you create areas or prompts around your store intended for Instagram, or create hashtags that people can use on social media, customers might be more likely to reach for their phone.
Create A Responsive Relationship
If you want to encourage customer reviews and feedback, you need to understand that it is a two-way road. When someone leaves you a review, negative or positive, take the time to respond. Even a simple thank you is enough.
This responsiveness shows other customers that you are attentive and interested in the needs of your customers. The responsiveness might also encourage other users to post about your business.
Growing Good Word Of Mouth Online
When it comes to helping your business grow, there’s nothing better than positive reviews. Word of mouth can help a business expand like wildfire, and the Internet has only made this element more vital.
Need more help or advice getting customers in the door? Check out our small business page for more information.