If you haven’t created official profiles for your business on Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, Twitter, and others, what are you waiting for? Your customer’s reviews are crucial for growing your business, whether you manage an agency, restaurant, home services, real estate, car dealership or sell goods.
Statistics show that the number of consumers who read reviews before booking or making a purchase is on the rise. A Dimensional Research study in 2016 showed that, 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a physical business.
If that’s not enough, here are more key findings about the importance of reviews for your business:
- 85% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
- 73% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
- 49% of consumers need at least a four-star rating before they choose to use a business.
- 97% of consumers used the internet to find a local business, up from 95% in 2016.
In light of the above information, working on enhancing your profile and reputation online is key to nurture your business and distinguish yourself from competitors. Here are best community management practices that guarantee business growth:
1. Encourage Your Customers To Leave A Review And Follow You On Social Media.
Good news! Google maps is doing most of the job for you. Users often receive notifications from Google asking them to review a place they recently visited.
Yelp doesn’t recommend business owners to directly ask for reviews from their customers, friends or relatives. They suggest that most ethical way to encourage your customers to review your business is to ask them visit your website and follow you on social media. About 68% of consumers left a review after a local business asked them to personally. Good ways to do this are using stickers around your stores, icons on your website, and banners on your social media pages to tell your customers “Find us on Yelp”, “Check In on Yelp” or “Check In on Facebook”.
Don’t be afraid of reviews. While many business owners think that customers only take the initiative to leave a review when they’re dissatisfied, studies prove otherwise. 63% of consumers have written positive reviews for local businesses, while only 32% have left reviews for negative experiences.
2. Respond To Reviews And Comments ASAP.
Community Management is proven to be important for businesses. Customers expect to receive a response within seven days after leaving a comment or a review. The importance of businesses responding to reviews has increased to 30% since 2016. In fact, the best way to turn a negative review into a positive one, is by responding promptly.
So, how should you deal with negative comments?
- Respond promptly.
- Be real and admit your mistakes.
- Correct inaccuracies.
- Highlight your strength.
- Write like a person not a robot.
- Always respond publicly first before taking it to a private message.
- Provide restitution if it’s warranted.
Here is a good example of a business owner’s response.
4. Use Social Media Listening Tools.
There are many affordable tools available that can help you listen to what people are saying about your business all over the internet such as Sprout Social and Hootsuite. Do thorough research, book a demo and compare all the features and plans before settling on a social media listening tool. These tools can also help you listen to what customers say about your competitors which may lead you to take different directions in managing your business.
5. Create A Guideline Not A Script.
Make sure your Community Manager(s) or Social Media Manager(s) fully understand your brand. Your brand’s “Why”, capabilities, what makes you different, and mission must be included in your guideline.
A growing number of consumers read more than 11 reviews before they trust a business. With that being said, provide your customers with a “human response” as more and more consumers shift away from robotic-corporate responses.
Here is a good example of a sincere, non-robotic response
6. Offer Freebies and Discounts.
Everyone loves giveaways. Here are some recommendations to show generosity to your customers:
- Tell your customers about your latest promotion on your social media pages.
- Offer a refund or a discount for a dissatisfied customer.
- Start a challenge on your social media pages to win a free product, service, or meal.
- Make an initiative to help the community. Read about Which Wich PBJ initiative.
Following these few steps will set you on the right path towards positive customer reviews. With online presence becoming increasingly important, every review and customer matters in every business field.