Positive reviews can work wonders to increase business. In a time when many people use their smartphones to help them determine where to eat, shop and stay, and even which home service providers to use, social proof is more important than ever to the health and well-being of your small business.
Social proof drives small business success
According to a recent Nielsen study about referrals, respondents indicated that word-of-mouth isn’t just effective for specific industries. More than 80 percent of Americans actively seek advice from family and friends on major purchases. Nearly 70 percent say they are somewhat more likely to make a purchase after a family member or friend shared their experience on social media.
If your target market is younger, social proof is especially important to business growth. Regardless of the industry, 92 percent of survey respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 say they want recommendations from friends and family before a product purchase.
Americans with household incomes over $100,000 are also more likely than the average consumer to seek the opinions of others before considering a new product or service.
Use review management and monitoring tools to reach customers
Monitoring and managing customer reviews online can quickly blossom into a time-sucking monster. Neglecting unhappy customers isn’t an option for businesses who understand the importance of social proof.
It’s not difficult to turn around a negative experience and even create a loyal customer by handling their complaints with grace. Responding in a timely matter is crucial, and in an online review platform like Yelp, Facebook or Twitter, you have a wide audience.
Review management tools can help you reach unhappy customers before their comments damage future business opportunities. Monitoring all reviews in one place is a real time-saver for small business owners and managers.
It’s not just the unhappy customers that require attention. People who leave positive and in-depth reviews that will help others decide to use your products or services deserve your swift and sincere thanks.
Review management and monitoring tools handle the heavy lifting for you. Logging in to one platform allows you to see all reviews across all social media outlets. This makes responding quickly a simple task.
Let customers know their opinion matters
Businesses who actively seek reviews are better able to offer sought-after social proof. They can tweak their products and services to better serve their customers and keep positive reviews rolling in.
There are several ways to solicit customer reviews that are simple for small businesses to immediately implement. The review funnel tool sends automated emails to customers with a request for a review. When your customer clicks on the “Review Us” button, they have the opportunity to quickly and easily leave comments about their experience with your company.
Another way many small businesses successfully solicit reviews from customers is through a printed review invitation. This tangible reminder is simply a small card that thanks the customer for their business and asks for a review of their experience. A QR code lets the customer leave a review using their smartphone in real time.
Social proof is an important part of every small business, and new technology offers the opportunity to stay on top of customer praise and complaints without letting it take a huge bite out of your day.