When you're running a business, planning is key. And while many entrepreneurs are great at setting goals for their company, creating a solid brand, and implementing an effective marketing strategy, one key factor that will drive business growth that is often forgotten is getting feedback from customers.
It's easy to get bogged down by the key areas of business that focus on who you are, what you have to offer, and how you can grow from an internal perspective, but it's important to remember that without your customers, your business wouldn't exist.
There are many benefits to gathering customer feedback, and encouraging online business reviews is the easiest way to do so effectively. Here are just some of the benefits of business reviews, and why you need to work on getting more now.
1) Word of mouth is still the strongest marketing tool
Digital advertising continues to grow as an effective marketing tool, but it's a saturated marketplace, making it more and more challenging to get your message heard by potential customers.
While investing in social media is important for connecting your brand with potential customers online, it's what they have to say about your product or service to friends and family that will make the biggest impact.
Encouraging reviews for your business is like asking them to tell their friends and family about why they should also try out what you have to offer, and shows other customers (just like the ones who have reviewed your business), that your brand can be trusted.
2) Online business reviews will help your SEO efforts
When it comes to getting more people to visit your website, search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to get online traffic. Having reviews written about your business online shows Google that your business is a trusted source, and the most people talk about your brand online, the more traffic will be directed to your site as a result.
Customers love to see that people they know have trusted your brand too! Here, American Idol contestants have fun with the TapSnap Luna photo booth
3) Your brand promise is backed by real-life evidence
You can spend all day talking about how great your business is and how much customers love you, but nothing backs up your brand like testimonials from real-life customers who have experienced it themselves.
4) Have references on hand to share with new customers
When you're presenting your business to new potential customers (through a presentation, at a trade show, or by email), it's important to be able to back up your brand by providing testimonials from past customers. Having references on hand shows that you're prepared, and value the opinions of those who have invested in your business.
Convinced by the benefits but not sure how to get more reviews for your business?
Whether in person, or through a follow-up email, the best place to start is to simply ask. When asking in an email, be sure to include direct links to your company's review pages (Yelp, Facebook, Google+, TripAdvisor - whichever applies to your business), and be sure to follow up quickly - before your customer has forgotten about their experience.
When you're putting together your business growth plans, don't forget to include ways to incorporate the opinions of those who matter most: your customers.
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