New changes with technology: Word of Mouth is becoming Online Reviews

For a local business owner, referrals are gold. When your customers think highly of you, it means you’re doing something right. Once upon a time, word-of-mouth is to be where it’s at for referrals. Today, with the increased use of technology, online reviews has become the new “it” thing in referrals.

According to a study done by BrightLocal.com, 88% of consumers have read online reviews to help them judge the quality of a business. 39% of them read reviews regularly. The study also determined that 72% of shoppers claim that positive reviews lead them to trust a business more, and 88% of consumers say that they do trust online reviews just as much as they would personal recommendations.

For local business, this is great news. By simply getting more online reviews, you can grow your customer base and increase your sales. Here are some easy ways to get those reviews:

Just ask. Customers understand that reviews are important in business, and your loyal customers will understand why you need them. There’s nothing wrong with asking for feedback, but do so right away. Satisfied customers are much more likely to give feedback right after a positive transaction.

Make sure your profiles are set up. Get on sites like Google Local and Yelp and make sure that your profile is complete and current. Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews by pointing them in the direction of your profiles.

Have an incentive. Offering some sort of reward in exchange for a review does work. You may want to offer a coupon code or at small freebie for anyone who is willing to get online and leave a positive (and truthful!) review for your business.

Make reviews part of your session. Encourage your employees to solicit reviews from your customers. When checking out, have your employees give customers a friendly reminder that age get online and leave you a review. Not every customer will do so, but you certainly will get more reviews just by simply suggesting.

Today, the majority of consumers tend to check online reviews before making a purchase or working with the business. Because of this, it is so important for local businesses to maintain their online reputation and have positive reviews across the board. Make sure that your profile is set up correctly on review sites and simply start asking your customers for reviews and you will start to see positive changes.

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