The holiday shopping season is in full swing. With just a few short days and one weekend left in this year’s window, you are no doubt geared up to make it the best year ever. We wish you the best of luck in your Q4 totals. However, we need you to take a break from all of the hustle and bustle to read our blog on how to make the best of your positive reviews to garner more business.
Harnessing the power of positive reviews is one of the best ways retailers can improve sales. This is not only advice for the holiday seasons but can be applied all year long. But why do you need to worry about reviews in the first place? Don’t angry people write all those reviews? Quite the opposite. While this may have been slightly true in the past, it is no longer the case. No matter what kind of service a person gets anymore, they will take to the internet and share their experience. The reason for this is that the new generations are valuing online reviews more than any other has. They have grown up in a time where they have access to this information. Just a few decades ago, you had to ask family or friends. Today, more than 95% of people surveyed report that they are affected by what an online review says about a company. Additionally, up to 60% of customers between the ages of 18 and 44 say they trust the reviews they read online.
Below, you will find a few ways that you can use these reviews for effective retail reputation management.
See the Good in the Bad
Negative reviews are something that happens if you have been in business for more than a few minutes. However, they serve a vital role. They prove to customers that you are not buying your reviews in any way, shape, or form. When customers see pages upon pages of 5-star reviews, they become a bit skeptical. They wonder if the reviews they are reading are genuine. A negative review here or there can dispel this thought.
Additionally, if you handle the negative review properly, the customer will not give it a second thought. Don’t panic when you get a negative review. Remain calm, respond courteously, act professionally, and turn the negative into a positive.
As much as customers like to see positive reviews, they want to see negative reviews. It gives them a chance to see how you respond when something does not go as planned. Taking the time to respond to the negative reviews will show the customer you are willing to admit you were wrong and attempted to fix the situation. Just remember, not every customer is going to allow you to correct an error. As long as you did your job, the people looking at the reviews will notice you were doing the right thing and that the customer was unreasonable.
Showcase Your Reviews
There are many ways that you can showcase your reviews. Take the time to look through them and see which reviews go on which platform. By far, the best place to use your glowing reviews is on Google My Business. In the online world, this is the front door of your business.
As you know, anytime a restaurant or shop receives an award, they proudly display it on their front door. Well, on the internet, you don’t have a solid front door. That is why you want to show it on your virtual front door. You want all of your customers to see this when they look you up for the first time. In other words, they don’t even have to click through to reviews sites to see reviews about you. This is one of the best ways to get customers to choose your business over your competitors.
We have talked about the importance of negative reviews and the fact that you need to respond to them. You may be wondering how fast you should react to the negative review. It depends on how long it takes you to get over the devastation of the review. When responding to customers, you need to have a clear head. You do not want emotion to play a part in your response. The faster you can move on from a negative review, the quicker you can respond to the customer. Generally speaking, you want to respond to all of your reviews within 24 hours. Yes, this means you are going to have to check the reviews on the weekend. This is particularly important during the holiday season. It only lasts about a month, so you don’t have time to put it off. Yes, we know you are busy. You want to stay busy, so make sure you are responding as quickly as possible to any and all online reviews.
Ask for Reviews
The number one way to ensure that you are getting more positive than negative reviews is by asking your customers to review their experience. The more customers that leave reviews, the more accurate your business will be depicted in the eyes of those reading them. Likewise, it will give you the overall sense of how business is going when you are not there. Meaning, if you find a large number of negative reviews when you are not around, you may have to train your employees better.
There are many ways that you can ask your customers for reviews. Some of the easiest are at the cash, on the back of a receipt, or in online correspondence. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can and put a QR Code near the front door asking for reviews. When surveyed, as many as 80% of customers said they would be willing to leave feedback for a store or restaurant. So, if you were worried that you were wasting your time, you can breathe easy.
Online reviews and online reputation management go hand in hand. During the holiday season, you will have more opportunities to get a feel of how your customers respond to your store. Take time to make sure you are getting as much feedback as possible. Respond accordingly and be open to change.