How can small, local businesses stand out against the competition with online reviews?
Your business is up--hooray! However, you’ve found yourself in deeper waters and need to make sure you stand out amongst the competition.
To help small businesses with standing out amongst their competitors with online reviews, we asked small business owners and marketing consultants this question for their best strategies. From adding an incentive for reviews to personalizing the outreach, there are several tips that may help you edge out the competition in reviews for growing your business.
The platinum rule says to treat others the way you want to be treated. In order to do this effectively, you need to know what your customers' needs are. As an experienced professional denturist company, our friendly customer care team is dedicated to meeting our patient’s needs with short wait times, a knowledgeable staff, and overall quality service. By consistently following the platinum rule, our patients appreciate the services we deliver and are more than willing to leave favorable reviews and testimonials online.
Henry Babichenko, Eurodenture
Business owners should manage and respond to customer reviews. In fact, Google lists responding to reviews as one of their recommended ways to improve your local ranking. Whether the review is positive or negative, responding to a review can help build trust with customers while gaining some valuable insight as to what is working well at your company - and what is not.
Dan Reck, MATClinics
I like to give my customers all the information they need to fully enjoy my products. I give tips such as not using oil-based mascara or cleansers when you have lash extensions. These products can break down the adhesive and cause your extension to fall out! By being a resource to customers throughout their buyer’s journey with helpful tips and tricks, they will appreciate you saving them any additional headache. It’s also a detail they will remember when they write you a great review.
Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
We feel that by combining the latest in technology with our decades of industry experience, we can deliver a service to our customers that is unmatched and helps us stand out from the competition. We are always looking for new technology that can speed up timelines, perform jobs more efficiently, and of course, provide an even better experience for our customers. If you never stop looking for ways to improve, you, too, can deliver top-tier customer service! This is one of the best ways to consistently stand out from competitors in online reviews.
Noah Downs, American Pipeline Solutions
Online requests for reviews are helpful, but they can be easily ignored. Combine these efforts with in-person requests to increase the number of reviews your business receives. To encourage this, set up tablets or laptops with review forms in easily accessible areas around your business. Then, encourage employees to politely ask customers to leave a review. This method also works at company events, trade shows, and other in-person gatherings. Widen your net of reviewers with this simple tip!
Claire Routh, Markitors
Consider sending your loyalty members a personalized, one-time, instant review request via text message. Text review campaigns can be highly successful for acquiring reviews rapidly. When you add personalization, such as the receiver's name and a request in the form of a sincere question, you show your customers that they’re not just a number and that you value their patronage and their time. Additionally, this process can be practically painless if you decide to outsource to a product/service.
Rebecca Graham, Best Company
Never leave any negative reviews unaddressed! If someone leaves you a negative review online, respond to them directly so that potential customers can see that you have excellent customer service. Be sure to monitor your online reviews weekly so that you can right any wrongs that may come about. Customers are much more likely to return to your business if you answer their feedback.
Melissa Haws, The Furnace Outlet
For online reviews, two things matter: quantity and quality. It is hard for you to incentivize a "quality" review. However, it is easy to encourage your customers to leave a review, thereby increasing the number of reviews you have online. Whether you run a B2B supplier or a consumer-facing service, find something small (that doesn't cost you much) to offer all customers who leave a review. Ask for proof of review to redeem the "prize". You will be shocked what people will do for a free 18oz soft drink, shipping, or branded sticker. Some of these reviews will be pretty straightforward, but some of these customers will leave full-blown deep reviews which will increase both quality and quantity.
Layton Cox, Marketing Consultant
People love a good story. When it comes to reviews, customer-led storytelling is a powerful tool. When people check online reviews they often first scroll to the bad ones. And those usually have a story of disappointment and frustration, specifics included (the clerk named Joe was so rude, the chicken marsala tasted like dirt). Positive reviews, on the other hand, often tend to have more general statements and lack specifics (everything was great, we will be back!). To stand out it is, therefore, essential to give your customers a good story to tell. Make their customer experience so good, they have to tell the story to the world, specifics and all (The owner wrote me a handwritten thank you note, the clerk took my groceries to the car). So use a unique approach with each customer. Give them specifics to share and watch your customer base grow.
Natalya Bucuy, LiveHelpNow
Coupled with reviews, high-quality pictures can really make your business stand out. It shows potential customers what they can expect, which then builds trust in your business. As a business owner, you can add photos to your listing. By adding photos of your store, office, team, or products, you can entice potential customers to visit you instead.
Tom Mumford, Undergrads
You don’t have to get reviews only on Yelp. We include a review option on our website along with each product page to get feedback on individual products. Viewers can choose however many stars they would use to rate the product and leave a comment, as well. The average amount of stars from all previous reviews is displayed below each product. Consider these methods so that viewers have a sense of what to expect from any given product, which they will appreciate.
Ben Teicher, Healthy Directions
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