IN the competitive leasing broker market, online reviews have the ability to sway a customer’s decision. Reports show that 98% of people read reviews for local businesses, and that more than nine out of 10 customers are influenced by those reviews.
Jordan Baker, CEO of Sanity Marketing, has worked with a wide variety of clients, and has offered the following tips to generate those five-star reviews…
…and what to avoid.
Tips to boost positive online reviews
Have a clear complaints procedure – When customers use online reviews to complain, it can have a huge effect on the overall rating and influence potential customers. Use feedback cards and emails, and make sure staff regularly ‘check in’ with those customers; a little time can prove invaluable in improving their opinion.
Don’t just listen, you must act – If there are a number of complaints about the same thing, do something about it. It’s clear that it’s not popular with customers, whatever your opinion of it. Fix it to save your own time and theirs.
Ask for feedback – Seek out reviews; more than two thirds will leave feedback if asked.
Reward your happiest customers – Offer incentives for leaving reviews from those best customers. Discount or a freebie in the form of a competition will help them continue to sing your praises.
Encourage re-reviews – If you’ve got one-star reviews pulling your rating down, put it right. Reach out to the reviewers, showing you’ve actioned their issue, and you might change that negative into a positive.
How to avoid negative online reviews
Don’t respond to negative reviews defensively. A professional and empathetic manner will help improve the relationship, no matter how strange the issue is. It’s especially important considering almost 90% of customers read the responses of businesses. It gives them an idea of the company’s character.
It’s also important not post or buy fake reviews. They are often clearly not real and will only worsen your reputation.