Reviews are an integral part of the online booking process for families! Forbes outlines that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business and 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
If you own or manage a children’s activity business, it's likely that your customers have done their research and read your existing reviews before interacting with you. Google, Yelp, Facebook, and local business listing sites are designed to collect and display ratings and reviews about your business. These reviews shape expectations, influence how people think about your company, and can have a huge impact on a prospective customer’s business selection decisions. It’s necessary for you to understand and monitor your online reputation so you can gauge these potential customer impressions.
Make sure to create a process to assess your online presence. Start by claiming your business listings on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook Pages . Next, check that the information on these sites is up to date and accurate. Look for trends in customer reviews and make sure that there is a designated member of your team that is actively monitoring and responding to feedback. When you reply to online reviews you show that you care about customer experiences and that you are on top of running your business.
Here are some tips for managing and responding to reviews:
- Develop example responses that reflect your brand’s voice and tone.
- Make sure someone on your team is responding to feedback in a timely manner.
- Take the time to say “Thank you”- a customer who takes the time to share feedback with you, whether positive or negative, is someone who cares.
- Always avoid defensive or combative language in your responses.
- Extend the opportunity to connect offline as another way to continue the conversation. Show that you genuinely care and want to make things right.
- Ask for a second chance by inviting both positive and negative reviewers to come back and experience your business again.
How can businesses leverage reviews?
Creating a culture of feedback is the first step to building trust with your customers. Having a proactive way to ask for and collect customer reviews is a valuable tool for your business and helps make the process scalable as you continue to grow. You’re already busy! Automating the review collection process can help you connect with your customers no matter how small your business is or how big it becomes.
Sawyer Tools recently released a Customer Reviews feature to collect and respond to feedback in real-time! These new Customer Reviews help you to gather feedback, manage your reviews, identify trends, and connect with customers on a regular basis.
There are a number of ways businesses can leverage customer reviews collected through Sawyer:
- Highlight reviews on your website
- Use customer testimonials in marketing and social campaigns
- Find trends in keywords used amongst your brand loyalists and start weaving commonly used phrases into your business and activity descriptions. For example, if 10 customers mention how wonderful your instructors are, you might want to highlight that on your website!
- Improve products and services - find ways to address suggestions and build feedback into improvement action plans.
Creating a process and plan for review collecting, responding to, and leveraging feedback is no longer optional for businesses. Customers look online to find and validate service providers like you. Staying on top of your online reputation not only builds trust with customers but provides a way for potential customers to know you and your business better. The more you know about how people feel about the service you provide, the more you’re able to meet the needs of your existing and future customers!
Stay tuned for part 2, where we’ll go through how to create a culture of feedback at your children’s activity business and provide tips and tricks for responding to customer feedback.