A one-to-one referral of a business from a customer to a family member or a friend is a beautiful thing...as a business owners one should never want this to stop.
But what if that one-to-one referral could turn into one-to-hundreds? Or even thousands?
Although this one-to-one referral isn’t dead, it is absolutely “the old way”. And that is a good thing.
Don’t make customers do all the work.
It is a good things because now when that happy customer leaves a business, that particular business does not have to simply hope that customer spreads the word about them by word of mouth. That is a lot of pressure put on these customers.
A business can actually turn that positive referral into a 5 star review on Google!
Consumers are looking online, not in their phone book.
Why should a business care about Google reviews? Because just as a one-to-one referral is the old way, so is calling up a neighbor to ask who the family dentist is or who redid their roof last year. Instead, that looking consumer is Googling for the highest rated business near them and calling who has the most and best Google reviews.
Customers are taking to the internet to read online Google reviews.
This is why Google reviews should be a business's main promoter.
Business owners can show customer service publicly.
Positive reviews left on Google need to be responded to by the business. This gives a business owner the opportunity to say thank you to the customer who left the review.
A public thank you note from a business for the customer’s review is a way to win that customer’s business again in the future. An online thank you note is a way for businesses to show they care about their customers and that they care about the reputation the business has. This is a very attractive trait for any business.
On the contrary, a business owner can also take the opportunity to respond publicly to any unhappy customers. I know it may seem like a stretch but, that way a business can make unhappy customers helpful to the business!
Each dissatisfied customer a company should see as an opportunity to show how the business handles these unhappy people. The business should take the opportunity to listen and learn from these customers.
Does the number of Google reviews match the number of customers?
I hear every day from business owners “Can’t I focus on this for a couple weeks and then stop?”
The short answer is no.
The amount of Google reviews a business has should reflect the amount of customers that business interacts with. If a business is thinks sitting pretty with 50, 5 star Google reviews, they will be surpassed by their competition in no time.
As GOLD as that word of mouth referral is from a family or friend, there has been a shift in mindset for consumers.
Instead of taking one person's word for it that the business is a 5 star business, consumers would rather see what all of that business's customers think of them.
Even with a word of mouth referral, a business can’t hide from bad Google reviews or too few Google reviews.
If a business does score that word of mouth referral, GREAT! What next?
That consumer will take to the internet for a phone number, address, business hours, etc. The Google reviews will be seen.
The Google reviews will be read.
The referral may have caused the consumer to give the business a look first but if the Google reviews are negative or non-existent, the business will have a hard time ending up winning over that consumer.
Lastly, A word of mouth referral is over in a matter of seconds...
If a business is lucky maybe minutes.
While the word of mouth referral may certainly be GOLD, the five star Google review is the lifeblood of a business.
This is because not only will hundreds or thousands be able to see what good service a business provides but also, it will live on the Google listing forever!
A business should not rely on customers to be full time promoters for them, a business should take control of their own reputation and get that 5 star Google review!