Since sites such as Yelp, Google+ Local, and Citysearch started to hit the web, many small business owners are struggling to figure out how to fill them up with glowing, positive reviews from customers.
Naturally, consumers are making these sites their first stop when it comes to choosing a business; they place a lot of value on what past customers have to say.
Many companies have started vigorous campaigns to encourage their customers to leave reviews, while others have taken extremes. Some companies have gone as far as to post their own fake reviews on their listings, which is a bad idea as well as unethical.
In order to get REAL authentic reviews, the answer is simple: offer a great product and provide excellent customer service.
While this may seem like common sense to most people, many businesses are not paying enough attention to the things that really make their customers tick.
However, those companies that are placing all of their attention on making their customers happy are seeing a consistent influx of positive reviews. This approach starts with a focus on your product and/or service.
When customers have a genuinely better experience at your establishment, it will naturally lead to more of them flocking to the web to tell others how they feel.
As a result, many of your potential customers who come across these reviews will have solid social proof that your company is the better choice for a positive buying experience.
Above all things, customers want to feel like they are being treated well and like they are important when they visit a business. Focusing more on the “customer” can help you build a stellar reputation – both online and offline.
For example, quality customer service, and going above and beyond for a customer, can take any patron’s experience from just “OK” to great. Customers who feel they have had a truly ‘great’ experience at a business are far more inclined to take the time to write a review.
Also, if a customer has had a negative experience at your establishment you should attempt to do everything possible to remedy the situation. By extending excellent service even to your “unhappy customers,” they will be less likely to write a negative review.
In many cases, these same unhappy customers go on to write a “positive” review that lets others know how committed you are to customer satisfaction; this can be powerful in converting others into customers.
Taking this approach to great customer service will naturally put your business in a positive light and help your company become the local “business of choice” in your industry.
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