Why Local Business Reviews?
Local business reviews and ratings are all the rage online these days for potential patients, clients or customers, and for good reason. More and more ready-to-buy consumers use these reviews as an influencing or due diligence factor when choosing between competing local businesses. But many small business owners are either uneasy or misunderstand the full scope over what customers are saying about them online.
Most business owners know that the best marketing tool is good buzz or word-of-mouth, and that bad word-of-mouth can spread faster than good news, negatively affecting your business. In the internet age, word-of-mouth is now in the form of, postings on internet reviews and rating websites, such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, Citysearch, Insider pages and the list just goes on. Studies show that the internet is now the number one source of consumer information, way ahead of newspapers, TV and even friends. In other words, when people think about using a service or buying a product, they first do a web search to see what they can find out to help them make an educated decision.
You may already be using the internet to promote your business via your local business website, local business online directories and e-mail lists. While you can control and target your website and promotions, you can’t control what is said about you on other review sites.
If you’ve got reviews online (known or unknown), your local business listing may show some of your local business ratings and reviews from around the web right next to your business name in search results, mainly if the search was performed with your business name. If you have ratings and reviews, on business listings sites, searchers will even see rating stars and the number of reviews in-line with your business name in search results. Overall really this is a good thing, when they are all positive, but bad if some or all are negative.
Naturally, ratings and reviews are giving the choice for potential patients, clients or customers to likely view your local business listing before clicking on your homepage of your local business website, as people want to see what others have to say about your business – good or bad. Now this is the biggest mistake that most business owners do; Is Nothing! Yes, this is not glamorous to do, but is the most important part, is to Engage these reviews showing you care about your patients, clients or customers and how your business performs in the local community, which ultimately reflects in your revenue. Even if you had the best looking, current and interactive website, this means nothing at “This Stage – Inception”, which really people can’t get the sense of your business’ rapport they need for their due diligence.
When people feel that they can trust your business, they are far more likely to become a patient, client or customer. Building trust online is a big factor when it comes to making your phone ring and bringing potential patients, clients or customers through your front door.
Consumers appreciate when a business is proactively listening and responding to their feedback. When a small business asks for feedback, customers are much more likely to share their experiences, resulting in positive word-of-mouth (in today’s world is online) which will fuel more sales for your local business.