45 percent of customers say they’re more likely to visit businesses that respond to their reviewsOnline Reviews Survey
Today we want to spend a little time talking to you about potential customers and business opportunities that might be falling though the cracks due to failure to stay on top of all your review profiles. Businesses tend to fall into the trap of taking the path of least resistance, often neglecting opportunities that are free and require minimal effort once we have included their business paths as part of our overall strategy. Let’s spend a little time identifying potential leads that might not be receiving the attention they deserve.
Reviews That Include Questions Related to Future Business Opportunities
This is the most obvious but least utilized source of leads. We take for granted that customers that take the time to review us have tremendous potential for loyalty and interactivity.
To help you best understand this concept, consider a five-star review where a customer enjoyed your hotel or tour company. Let’s say in the review the customer indicates looking forward to visiting you again. Why not make it a point to follow up via private message, and extend the customer an exclusive offer or deal aimed at incentivizing his or her next visit? This approach reinforces customer loyalty and is likely to earn you a great review resulting from subsequent visits.
Yelp Messaging Feature
Hidden within Yelp administration tools, there is a powerful app that Yelp power users utilize quite frequently: the Yelp messaging feature. It works exactly like an inbox, but it keeps communications limited to the Yelp environment.
Many businesses lacking the discipline to check their Yelp for Business on a daily basis are often surprised and heartbroken to find many emails soliciting reservations or appointments for their services. The Yelper who has reached out using this tool assumes the business owner or management has access to it in real time, and is greatly disappointed when he or she fails to get a response.
Usually, after reaching out once, people no longer attempt to contact businesses, assuming they are busy and not available to take care of their needs. Contractors, tour operators, catering businesses, and hair salons need to be very cognizant of the potential of this feature.
TripAdvisor Questions and Answers
Businesses catering to the travel segment need to be hyper-aware of the value of the TripAdvisor Q&A feature. This feature allows shoppers looking into particular profiles to engage with businesses by asking questions that are not readily addressed on their TripAdvisor business profile or their website.
By serving as an educator for your business and providing prompt and accurate responses, businesses can set the stage for a profitable relationship with an eager shopper. Don’t underestimate the value of building rapport with those interested in what you have to offer. The TripAdvisor Questions and Answers feature is an invaluable resource to get to know and serve your shoppers at a very personal and relevant level.
When people engage with a business via Facebook, be it via comment or review, there is an implied expectation of interaction with the business. Carefully reading reviews and comments can provide a business with insights that point to the specific needs of certain segments. Manage every Facebook interaction in a way that invites the reviewer to engage with your brand in the future. Each review response on social media sites should look and feel like an open invite to patronage your business again and again.
Positioning yourself as an expert in your field can result in increased lead flow and set the stage for solution-oriented customer-service experiences.
MerchantCircle Advice has a forum format that permits shoppers to engage with several businesses at the same time and secure a variety of expert responses tackling a question or concern that could potentially result in a business opportunity. Scanning these forums and taking the time to engage with the more relevant and business-conducive leads are things that many businesses neglect. If you are ready to pick up leads that are ripe and ready to close, then don’t neglect MerchantCircle.
Poor management of your direct-reservation system can result in many missed business opportunities. If you are a restaurant, making sure your POS is working and proactively confirming every reservation generated by OpenTable will significantly increase your number of confirmed covers.
The number of review sites that permit business owners to interact privately and publicly keeps growing by the minute. Feature-sets within said sites are updated and enhanced frequently to improve the way vendors engage with customers. By staying on top of the latest news in the reputation-management industry, businesses can identify the best places to engage with potential customers by providing solutions. Additionally, directly responding to requests for services, such as OpenTable Reservations, can mean the difference between average sales performance and having an extraordinary year with significant business growth.
Responding to inquiries about products or services is beneficial to all businesses but especially important for small to medium business organizations with the potential of establishing a repeat high-value relationship. Consumers develop loyalty and trust specific to high-touch service providers such as carpet cleaners, remodelers, plumbers and other trades. Your first interaction via a review website will set the tone for years of repeat patronage. If you have not yet implemented a review and reputation management plan this is a great reason to start looking at your review profiles today.