Many people have friends or relatives who can build websites that perform well. However, we often hear from customers joining us that it didn’t work out as planned. Click here for the pitfalls we hear about most often.
We’ve mentioned before that online reviews are a critical part of your online presence, and great reviews will draw new customers to your shop. To maximize the impact that online reviews, have, however, you need to do more than just check online every few months and see if you’ve collected some new ones. A recent Ratchet and Wrench article covers several ways to improve the impact of your online reviews – here are the two most important ones.
#1 – Engage with your customers before they leave the shop
A customer’s experience with your shop is front-of-mind as they’re checking out of your shop. This means two things. First, this is the time customers are likely to mentally summarize how their experience was, and decide what to do about it. Second, this is the time they’re most likely to mentally commit to leaving an online review for your shop.
Don’t miss the opportunity to use both of these facts to your benefit. Ask them if they’ve been happy with the service they’ve received. If any part of the experience was negative, try to address it to their satisfaction before they decide that their experience was negative and they’re not going to visit again or recommend your shop to others.
If they do indicate they’re happy with the service, ask them if they’d be willing to review your shop. While it’s a great idea to use a third party to assist with the review process, don’t leave the entire process to them! We provide a service that makes it easy for customers to follow an email link and leave a review, but we still encourage our customers to personally ask customers for reviews while the customer is still in the shop. The customer is more likely to leave a review if shop staff requests it face-to-face, and they’re more likely to believe that their opinion really matters to the shop if the shop takes the time to explain why it is so important to them.
#2 – Engage with your customers after they leave the shop
Most online review sites, such as Google and Facebook, allow companies to provide responses that are publicly visible just below the review. When customers do take the time to leave reviews, make sure to take the time to provide a personalized response.
Responses to reviews are valuable regardless of whether the review is negative or positive. If it is a positive review, a response shows anyone reading that review that you appreciate your customers and take the time to thank them for their business. If it’s a negative review, your response is an opportunity to show that you want to reach out to your customers and make things right.
A negative review is not an opportunity to “set the record straight”. Unless the customer is attacking people personally or going way outside the bounds of common decency, be careful not to respond in any way that seems like an attack. Otherwise, everyone reading that response (even good customers) may worry they’ll be treated the same way and steer clear of your shop.
Do you want to learn more about how Repair Shop Websites can help you improve your online image and bring new customers to your shop? Call us at 866.665.1605 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.