ONLINE REVIEWS ARE the new “word of mouth,” your silent sales team or worst critics. Everyone has the power to be an ambassador or a hater, influencing people you don’t even know to walk in your door or worse, influencing them not to.
Positive reviews give your potential customers more confidence and reduce doubts, leading to more opportunities walking in your doors and ultimately higher closing ratios. They give your store more credibility and reliability.
According to a BrightLocal survey, 85 percent of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Podium suggests that 93 percent say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions. Either way, the numbers are high, and online reviews need to be a priority in your business.
What are you doing to create five-star reviews? Do you make decisions in your service department and sales department that are based on achieving a five-star review in every interaction? Are you willing to perhaps go in the red to land that amazing review?
Sometimes, you have a circumstance where something went wrong not because of anything that you or your team did, and now you have a choice to lose money to satisfy this customer or stand your ground. Remember, this customer has the power of a review that can cost you more money than your cost to fix the circumstance. Make that customer happy at your expense, and it will bring dividends in future business because of the amazing review of their story and how you made it right! Consider any expense related to a positive review as marketing dollars well spent.
The decision to earn five-star reviews starts at the top. The store culture has to be “the customer comes first.” Sounds like basic business, but many at the top have a culture of me first, or store first, employees first, policies first or bottom line first and make their decisions based on those positions.
Train your staff on the importance of the customer. After all, without them, we have no business. Let your team have the latitude to make the decision to redo something for free because the customer wasn’t happy. Go the extra mile when you know you have a customer that is upset for one reason or another. Even with that new customer who is really happy, give them a gift with purchase or a free jar of cleaner. Give a bottle of Champagne to the newly engaged couple. Go the extra mile in every area, and you will have customers willing to share their experiences at your store in a review!
When you get a negative review, reach out to that customer via phone if possible. Hear them out and try to build a bridge. Leave a comment showing the rest of the readers that you are sorry they experienced a less than five-star treatment in your store, and the reader will see that you tried to make the situation right. After all, we are human beings, and we all have a bad day now and then.
Bottom line is, if you focus each day working toward giving each and every customer a five-star experience, then five-star reviews will come!