About a year ago, my fiancé (now husband) and I were going ring shopping. Everyone knows buying a rock is a big deal since you’ll wear it almost every day for years to come. It’s an emotional purchase that many couples stress over. I wasn’t worried at all though, because I found a jeweler that I knew I could trust. How did I know I could trust them? Their online reviews. This store had a killer online reputation and had mastered these tips for retail.
It doesn’t matter what type of store you have or what products you sell, online reviews are an incredible resource that customers will use when they are thinking of making a purchase. According to Bright Local, 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. What your customers are saying about you could make or break you. The difference between making the sale or losing it to your competition could depend on how you manage your online reputation.
Nearly two-thirds of American adults (65%) are using social media sites. If you’re not online, you could be missing out on some serious business potential! So make sure that your store has a business page on Google and Facebook. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can find a Facebook tutorial here, and Google will walk you through their process here.
Okay, you’ve set up your business pages, now what? Don’t do the bare minimum. Go the extra mile and include interesting content and photos to give your customers an idea of what it’s like to do business with you.
This may require you having to test the waters and see what kind of media your followers like to see. If you get more comments on photos than you do on text – post more photos! If nobody acknowledges the article you shared – try something else! This will help you to get some new followers as well as keep your old ones.
Don’t be afraid to respond to people online. Being conversational will help your brand look warm and inviting. Whether the comment or review is good or bad, a response is just a nice thing to do.
One company that does this very well is Nordstrom. They easily diffuse a negative comment with an apology and by offering a solution. By offering to take the conversation offline, they quash any potential for further conflict.
Nordstrom is very cordial with their positive responses as well. Who wouldn’t love to receive this feedback online?
How do you expect to collect more online reviews if you never ask for them? It may surprise you how willing your customers are to leave a review. Don’t offer any services/discounts/items in return for your reviews. Doing so could damage your SEO because it is against most sites terms of service agreements.
You’d be surprised how many of your customers will leave you a review when the process is frictionless. The most seamless way to send an invitation is through SMS text messaging. Emails from retailers only have an open rate of 21% while texts have an open rate of 99%! Send your customers a link through text and they are far more likely to send some feedback your way.
Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help your business use text messages to invite your happiest customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business collect 15x the reviews that traditional platforms produce, which in turn will improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.