If you don’t have a process for gathering customer reviews, you’re missing out on a big opportunity for your business. Customer reviews matter. Here’s why.
Customer reviews help you engage and understand your customers, improve your online visibility in search engines like Google and use third-party validation to persuade new customers to try your business.
Engage and Understand Your Customers
You know your customers. You and your team work with them directly, and you’ve been doing it for years. Plus, you’ve been using your CustomerLink smrt™ report, and you know everything there is to know about their interests, income, hobbies and what makes them tick. But things are usually pretty busy, and you don’t get a lot of time with most customers to find out how they feel about their service after it’s complete. Are they happy with how long it took to complete? Do they feel they received honest and fair service? Do they think the price was too high? Or maybe they think it was a bargain? How would they rate the service at the counter?
If you knew the answers to those questions, how would they influence your decisions about things that impact your customers? Would you be able to make more informed decisions and prioritize things based on what matters most to your customers? You bet you would.
Furthermore, with the extra customer communications you get from automatic reviews, you’ll find out if customers are unhappy with something. This gives you a chance to resolve their concerns and keep them happy. Plus, you can often turn those negative reviews into positive ones and build loyalty by being responsive to customer feedback.
All other benefits aside, with a steady stream of customer feedback coming in from automated reviews, you’ll get to know exactly what your customers like most about your shop. If there’s anything they don’t like, you’ll hear about that too. All of which help you make smarter business decisions.
Improve Online Visibility (Get Found Online)
With a steady stream of reviews, your CustomerLink customer review site and your website will have a constant stream of fresh content. Quality and freshness of content are major considerations for search engines like Google and Bing.
Potential customers investigating your business can also find you on a number of review sites. By having great customer reviews, you make it easy for them and give them a reason to trust you right from the start. See a more in-depth example here.
A quick note about negative reviews: most review systems, including ours, work with a five-star system, with your customers giving you one star if they’re really unhappy, and five stars if you knocked their socks off with amazing service. Based on hundreds of thousands of reviews we’ve gathered for our customers over the last couple of years, most of our customers have only a handful of negative reviews and lots of positive ones. The average star rating across the board is 4.6 out of 5. If you’re worried about negative reviews, you probably don’t have as much to fear as you think.
Use Third-Party Validation to Get New Customers
We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: online reviews are the new word of mouth. Potential customers want to know how others rate your business before they give you a try. Make it easy for them to find out by posting plenty of fresh customer reviews, both good and bad, in an obvious place on your website. For example, here’s how Philips Motors in Columbia, SC does it. They use a scrolling widget to display real-time customer reviews on their site.
Any potential customer looking at that site is going to see all those positive reviews. Since people generally trust the judgment of others, that potential customer is immediately going to feel a level of trust in Philips (and in your business too!). (Note to our customers: if you’re using our automated customer reviews and you don’t have either a link to your customer review site, or the CustomerLink widget that automatically feeds your reviews to your website, contact us and we’ll help you set it up!)
In conclusion, whether you run a general auto repair, tire or specialty shop, customer reviews are a big part of modern marketing. They’re critical for engaging your customers and understanding what keeps them happy, as well as addressing anything they don’t like. They’re also fundamental to getting your business found online. And when you are found online by new customers, customer reviews are essential for providing third-party validation needed to win new customers. Now is the time to incorporate customer reviews into your marketing strategy. Especially with systems available that gather reviews automatically while you run your business, what’s stopping you?