93% of Consumers Read Online Reviews Before Visiting a Business
What people say about your business matters, and they are talking on review sites about you every day! There are dozens of review sites that have reviews about you, so it can be a challenge to keep up with what your customers are saying about your business. Making an effort to monitor your online reputation will let you know right away if your reviews are drawing customers thru your doors or keeping them away.
Staying up to date on these reviews can be tedious unless you put a system in place.
There are several services that can assist you in this process, with some that specialize in bowling reviews. Reading your customer’s impressions of your business can be eye-opening, reassuring, and sometimes frustrating.
The key is to respond to every review. Even a simple ‘Thank you for that great review!’ is important, whereas a bad review can be handled best by expressing your concern for their experience and asking them to contact you directly. That tells everyone that you care and gives the customer an opportunity to vent privately to you, away from the review site. Our experience is that very few dissatisfied customers will actually contact you, and the ones that do may have a legitimate complaint that you will want to address.
Did you know:
· 93% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
· 84% believe that reviews older than 90 days are irrelevant
· 47% of consumers will not use a business with less than a 4-star rating
· 97% of review readers will read the businesses’ response to reviews
What does all this mean for your business? You must monitor your reviews, keep gaining new ones, and respond to EVERY review if you want to draw new customers to your facility.
The easiest way to keep up to date on all your reviews across all review sites is to use a Reputation Management service. Things to look for when choosing a service are:
· an app that gathers all your reviews in one place
· ability to respond to the reviews right from your mobile device
· email campaigns that solicit reviews from your database
· website widgets that will auto feed only your 5-star reviews onto your website
A Reputation Management service can send regular email campaigns asking for new reviews, target your website visitors (using a pixel) with Facebook and Instagram ads to encourage repeat visits, place review requests into your social media feeds, and deliver all of your reviews into an app on your mobile device.
While there are several top review platforms – like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Trip Advisor - the one you want to focus on is Google. Generally regarded as the most reliable review platform and widely used by other sources, Google should be where you direct people to leave a review. One of the best ways to get more reviews is to simply ask for them. Ask for them in your email campaigns, text blasts, social media feeds, party thank you letters, and on your website. Each request should have a direct link to your Google My Business (GMB) review page, so your customer doesn’t have to search for a place to leave you that 5-star review!
Whether you choose to try to keep up with your online reputation on your own, or use a service, remember to respond to ALL your reviews, as it tells everyone that you care about your customer’s experience. When it comes to online reviews, perception is reality!