If you own a business, you're probably always looking for ways to attract more clients and grow your revenue. But so many marketing tasks require too much “additional work.” You probably didn't get into business to spend all your time prospecting and all your profits trying to attract new leads, right?
Well, what if we told you that the one of the biggest drivers of new business isn't something you need to do… it's something your customers can do for you. I talking, of course, about getting your past customers to give you a positive review.
What if there was a way to get your past customers to give you a positive review that potential prospects could view before making a decision to do business with you?
Here’s a quick fact about “Reviews” and how they can help your business grow by 45%. Just by simply increasing your “Rating” by one star online, you can increase your revenue by 9%.
So let’s assume that you currently have no reviews posted online about your business. If you go from zero reviews all the way up to 10 reviews with a 5 star rating, that’s essentially growing your business by 45%.
…online recommendations and endorsements familiarize a new lead in ways no other content can. In short, reviews equal revenue.” Jay Gierik Co-Founder, Stik, The Huffington Post
Jay goes on to say, “Reviews transform online shoppers into leads by establishing trust and credibility as potential customers are first learning about your business. Who better to advertise your business than your happiest past clients?”
Even one positive review that appears routinely at the top of the search engines can be like creating an endless stream of guaranteed repeat traffic for your business. This includes converting leads into customers as well as converting current customers into repeat business.
As businesses, we can leverage reputation marketing to begin driving referrals from the happiest people who you’ve done business with. This is an aspect of online reputation management that most businesses are not aware of, or do not take time to advertise.
With so much competition online, every business lead counts. But negative reviews can result in losing over 30% or more of those potential leads to local (or even online) competitors. That's one reason why I've chosen to teach my clients the importance of reputation-based marketing… starting with improving their online reviews.
If you're question whether or not reputation marketing actually works, consider that almost ALL service-based businesses get a percentage of their business from online searches! As consumers, we're now trained to jump online to find exactly what we need. And companies showing up in our search results with large numbers of positive posts and information concerning their products and services are most likely to win our business.
The strength of reviews is extremely high right now in the eyes of the search engines. You have many more happy service customers every day that come in than the sale customers. I am a strong believer that a process needs to be put in place in both sales and service.” – Dan Rondeau, Owner, Market My Car
Finally, reputation marketing encourages the active promotion of your top testimonials in a way that will maintain a positive image of your business as well as raving fans speaking on behalf of the best that your business has to offer.
It's On The Internet So It Must Be True
Despite evidence that not everything that appears online is entirely accurate, most consumers take much of what they read at face value. And that includes reviews. Even if a customer makes false claims about you or your business or an unscrupulous competitor posts nasty things about you… if it's online, it must be true.
Typically, most small business owners do not have the time or even the knowledge of effectively track down negative comments or even neutral comments and enhance them in a way that will project a positive image.
Word-of-mouth has now migrated online; that is, hundreds of Facebook pages, blog posts, review sites, and dozens of other smaller search engines that could contain thousands of bits of information, all leading back to your business in a very negative manner! And, according to a study by BrightLocal, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
All of these various reviews can easily be found by anyone who conducts a simple search. Online, content can be shared back and forth without much effort (or thought). Even a relatively small offense that is perceived by a customer or client can be magnified from a few small ripples to a massive tsunami of negative commentary.
We've all seen situations where YouTube videos have gone viral and practically destroyed a business nearly overnight. Wouldn't it have been nice to intercept and deal with an irate client or customer before such extremes took place?
That's one reason it would serve a business well to be monitoring every comment, discussion, forum, reviews site, blog, YouTube video and dozens of other locations where this kind of information can be lurking. Of course, doing so it's pretty near impossible.
Many people now actively search for the word “scam” and attach it to any offer that your business is making to see if anyone has reported you. People can file negative complaints about you at the Better Business Bureau; they can also post highly damaging information on places like Ripoff Report.
Of course this is similar to asking friends and family for suggestions and reviews of restaurants, movies, products and services etc. For example, Angie's List is a business based almost entirely on reviews from customers and clients for variety of services.
Many people that will never hire a home contractor or any other offline business until they've first checked out what other people are saying about them.
This form of social proof can be seen instantaneously and is filled with judgments about millions of businesses online. And you probably won't be surprised to learn that people LOVE sharing negative reviews with their friends and social connections. Not just the negative reviews they may have written… but also ones they read online too.
As a business offering products or services to clients, you absolutely need to have social proof in the form of online reviews.
Imagine having just provided an incredible service to a new customer! They are extremely happy that you just took care of whatever need they had! There is no better time than that exact moment to capitalize on their happiness and encourage them to leave you a glowing review!
How easy would it be if all you had to do at that moment was to hand that customer a simple little ‘Review Card’ with a website address where they could leave feedback”
A simple “review portal” in that a customer could pull up on their mobile phone or their home computer and provide their feedback.
We’ve found that a “review portal” work as a great starting point because ALL your customers have easy access to the internet and you need to let them know that you care about their feedback. Giving them the chance to use it to leave their review increases the likelihood that they actually give you that glowing testimonial that your business needs!
But, even more important than how easy it makes it for your clients to leave you a review, it keeps you in CONTROL of what’s being said. If a customer or client has a positive experience to share, you can direct them to leave a review at their favorite public review site…
If, however, they were not happy with their experience, you probably wouldn't want to send them off to share their negative feedback with the world. Instead, you can invite them to contact you directly to address their concerns.
Glowing testimonials provide an amazing experience to prospects who are trying to make a buying decision about your company!
Here are 4 simple tips to making sure you control your business’ online reputation.
• Search Your Business And Personal Name – Setting up Google Alerts based on keywords that most people searching for in relation to your business is the best way to stay informed whenever someone is mentioning you, your products and services and/or your business name is mentioned. You can then at least locate these comments and respond to them. (A good Reputation Management Service can help you with more sophisticated monitoring options as well)
• Join Social Networks And Manage Your Content With A Service Like HootSuite or Buffer – One of the best ways to manage multiple social media accounts online is the start with the service like HootSuite.com and optimize consistently your brand throughout multiple social media networks.
• Consult A Reputation Management Service – Even if you choose not to use a reputation management service, at least consult with us. We can offer several suggestions to help you grow your business and you may be surprised just how effective and beneficial this would be.
• Utilize a Review Portal and Invite Clients and Customers to Leave Feedback – This should part of your regular client interaction routine. Soliciting feedback not only will help you get more great online reviews, but it will also provide useful information for making well informed business decisions.
Of course nothing is as effective as having your own personal reputation management team working on your behalf.
Whether or not you decide to engage our team's reputation management services or not, I hope you take reputation marketing very serious from now on! A simple strategy to get more online reviews can mean a world of difference for your business growth!