Now, more than ever, online reputation is vital. Many brick-and-mortar stores are shifting to online business models as a result of COVID-19’s impact on the retail industry. Not only is it challenging to shift sales strategies so quickly, but it can also be frustrating to realize that your word of mouth advertising must change.
Handy Store Fixtures started out as a brick-and-mortar store long before the internet was even a part of our business. However, years of working with clients nationwide and adapting to new sales and marketing strategies have taught us the value of online reviews. Today we’re helping you demystify the art of the review with six tips for getting the feedback you need to boost your online reputation.
Testimonials can make a significant positive impact on your site. Select a few reviews and place them prominently on your website. For example, our Success Stories page features testimonials from our clients. Whether you choose to feature these on a standalone page or add them to the homepage of your website, testimonials will help customers understand what makes your business stand out from the crowd.
Be Selective with Social Interaction
Social media is an important factor in online reputation management. However, some businesses make the mistake of jumping on all social media platforms at once, and that’s not necessary. Just as you have a specific clientele, your customers probably prefer certain forms of social media over others. Discover where your customers hang out online and focus your online efforts on those social channels.
Ask After Purchase
The best time to ask for a review is right after a customer makes a purchase. If you’re collecting emails, it’s fairly simple to set up an automated email asking for a review a few days later. Our tip: make it as simple as possible to leave a review! You can embed the review form in the email, or create an easy-to-click link that leads to your review site.
Reward New Reviews
When someone reviews your product or service, they’ve taken time out of their day to share their thoughts. Let them know you appreciate their input. If reviews are coming directly to you, then follow up with an incentive such as a store discount, free appetizer, or other item customers might like. Even if you can’t offer an incentive, you can thank customers for their opinion with a personal note, email, or comment - and that attention can go a long way to building customer loyalty.
Follow Up on Negative Feedback
Not all reviews will be good. Rather than panicking or firing back at an irate reviewer, reach out to see what can be done. Invite the customer into the conversation to discuss a resolution. While you may not be able to resolve every disappointment, your attention to concerns and outreach to your customers won’t go unnoticed.
Word of mouth advertising is alive and well online. If you aren’t making the most of your online reputation, you’re missing out on a significant segment of retail shoppers who are looking for the latest reviews of your business. It can be scary and frustrating to switch to primarily online reviews, but once you get the hang of it, your online presence will be stronger and better thanks to client reviews.