Summer is right around the corner, what that means for a lot of cities, towns and communities is tourists coming through town. Some will stop for a meal, some for window shopping, some for a day, week or longer. That makes now a great time to work on your online reviews and website presence. This past week Tisha and I went to Orlando and St. Pete’s Beach for 9 days, and the majority of the decisions that we made regarding food, tours, etc. were based on mobile searches, reviews, and tweets asking our social network for recommendations.
That begs the question, “What condition is your mobile search and online reviews in?” If they’re not up for the tourist challenge, you’re sure to lose out on not only opportunity for out-of-town consumers, but new online reviews as well.
No time better than right now to begin working on getting more on-line reviews. There are, of course, ways to tactfully encourage your customers to write a review. Encourage their review, but don’t be too invasive!
Place signage where appropriate.
- Connect with your customers after an in-store visit with a follow-up email that subtly links to your online review listings.
- Add icons to your online review sites onto your email signature, website, business cards, etc. But keep icons small, and don’t put them anywhere they shouldn’t be.
- Yelp offers an entire Flickr gallery of downloadable and printable signs to put in a storefront window. The company also gives away exclusive “People Love Us on Yelp” stickers twice a year.
Respond to online reviews.
- After unlocking a business account on Yelp or claiming your listing on Google+ Local, for example, you have the option to respond publicly or privately to a review. There is much to be said about how to craft the right response, but what is certain is that there should be a response!
- Respond to some positive and some negative reviews – not all reviews. People appreciate management responses and users will see that you care. Take their criticism constructively and use it to make your small business a better place.
Provide excellent customer service.
Straight from the official Yelp blog, focusing on excellent customer service is the best way to succeed. If people are passionate about your business, chances are they’ll reciprocate the good vibes by recommending your small business to others.
We’ll be spending more time in the next couple months talking about how you can improve your on-line presence for the summer season. So make sure to hit subscribe so your website can be in true form by summer. Click here for more reading on the importance of local mobile search and online reviews.