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The Importance of Customer Feedback

Francesca
September 30, 2014

We regularly talk about the importance of customer feedback on our blog for two main reasons, it helps current and potential customers understand more about your business and search engines want to see reviews.

Your Customers Care About Reviews

Search engines, like Google, know that customers care about reviews and in an effort to provide customers information that will help them with their searches, have been building reviews into a more prominent placement on search results pages. This prominent placement is known as a Knowledge Card, seen on the right side of the image below.

Capture

Because the knowledge card is so visual, your eye is automatically drawn to the right side of the page. Think of yourself as a consumer, your first impression of this business is generally good, but you probably won’t order the chicken wings. If you don’t have a loyalty to them, or an incentive, you’re probably not going to try the chicken wings. Of course, chicken wings are a smaller ticket item, but put this into perspective for your own business. This is a specific example of how reviews impact current and potential customers.
(Side note: We did get permission to talk about the business example above.)

According to a survey by Dimensional Research, roughly 90% of respondents claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions, while 86 percent said buying decisions were influenced by negative online reviews. Are your current reviews holding you back from selling products or services and therefore effecting your bottom line?

Search Engines Care About Reviews – But How?

Reviews should be important enough to your business because of the impact reviews have on customers, but there is also an SEO factor to consider. According to Moz’s 2013 Local Search Ranking Factors, online reviews make up 10% of your search engines rank your website.

What Can I do Moving Forward?

Make it a priority to work review requests into your everyday business practices. Of course there are right ways and wrong ways to go about this, don’t be too pushy with this request. Simply make it a point to email customers once the sale has been completed and ask them to leave you a review on a variety of accounts that you use, but remember, you can’t ask for a review on Yelp. Other than Yelp, most review sites are okay with you asking for a review, as long as you aren’t specifically asking for a positive review.

Once you start receiving reviews, respond to every single one! Don’t just respond to the bad ones. This shows current and potential customers that you are a human, it shows that you care to thank each customer for their feedback, the same way you would at the register.

Introduction of Instagram for Businesses

mhodge
April 24, 2013

“Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone and then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever. We’re building Instagram to allow you to experience moments in your friends’ lives through pictures as they happen. We imagine a world more connected through photos.” -Instagram

Beneath the app’s lively nature, Instagram provides a powerful way to market your products/services and connect with customers. Small business owners are able to grow both their customer relationships as well as their sales by connecting with customers via Instagram on a more personable level. The difference in marketing on Instagram and almost any other channel of marketing is that when using Instagram you’re not going to be selling products or services. Rather you will be focusing your efforts on:

  • “Cultivating a unique visual sense”[2]
  • “Having a distinctive view of the world” [2]
  • “Capturing things that are interesting to the brand and to the core target customer” [2]
  • “Training your eye for what makes for a great, provocative, engaging image” [2]
  • “When in doubt, entrusting the work to someone in the organization that has the above” [2]

Some successful ways to utilize the full potential of Instagram as a marketing tool would be to host a photo contest or document the projects you undertake so everyone can see your expertise. You can reward your followers for looking at your photos and reading the description using contests or including discounts and promo codes.

Instagram can also help you improve what you offer customers. Small businesses can showcase both your products as well as loyal customers of your store by requesting customers to post their own photos of your products/ services in use. This also provides a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your business with visual customer recommendations.

Instagram can also be a great tool for introducing new products or services you offer or giving directions on how to set up or use specific products.

Using these tips and techniques will allow you to be successful in using Instagram as a marketing and promotion tool. You will be able to attract, grow, and engage your customers using techniques concentrated on the visually evolving population.

 

 

 

[1] “Instagram for Business.” Instagram, 2013. Web. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <http://help.instagram.com/454502981253053/>.

[2] Meyer, Russ. 5 Tips On Using Instagram To Delight Your Customers. Fast Company, 11 Oct 2011. Web. Web. 2 Apr. 2013. <http://www.fastcompany.com/1786469/5-tips-using-instagram-delight-your-customers>.

Reach the front page of Google local searches, for free!

jarbuckle
June 15, 2012

According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. This has huge implications for your small business, and Google has provided a free tool for you to reach these consumers effectively: Google+ Pages. Creating a descriptive and personalized business page on Google+ will drastically increase your chances of making the front page of local searches for your products or services, and below we will tell you the simple steps you can take to create a free Google+ page.

Step one:

Create a specific Google account for your business. Avoid using your personal email, so sign up for an account such as: YourBusiness@gmail.com. You can easily do that by clicking here.

Step two:

Create a Google+ Page for your business. This is also very simple, just follow the instructions Google provides. You will have to verify your business through phone or mail, so Google knows you are reputable. You can create your Google+ Page by clicking here.

Step Three:

Optimize your page for search results. Google will provide you with prompts on your business page about how to create important content, but make sure to follow these key guidelines:

  1. Make absolutely sure your business phone number and address is listed exactly as it is on all your other online media sites. Google will take into account this information when it ranks your page.
  2. Add Keywords to your business description. Make sure you use only a few extremely important keywords, as opposed to stuffing many slightly-related keywords in.
  3. Ask at least one satisfied customer to leave a review on your page. This greatly increases your rankings. Make sure never to leave reviews from the same computer as the page was created, or you will damage your rank.
  4. Add a few photos to your page, as well as a URL to your website.

Those are the super easy basics! You can now leave your page unmanaged if you like, but remember Google+ Pages is a social network, just like your Facebook page. Share content if you wish, and have fun with your new free marketing tool!

The Results:

Below we see the front page search results for “Pet Food in Syracuse, NY”. The top 7 businesses listed all have Google+ Business Pages, as well as a convenient address and phone number right next to the business name!

Using QR Codes In-Store

mabbott
June 15, 2012

Coupons are an excellent way to reach out to customers and offer them an incentive to buy. However, clipping coupons and carrying them to the store in a purse or wallet can be an inconvenience and a hassle. What are customers to do when they forget their coupons at home? There is an ever-growing solution that can be simple to execute and convenient for the customer.

Smart phones are becoming increasingly popular among shoppers. A study done by Shopper Sciences shows that 57% of shoppers looked up product information by using their smart phone. Also 47% of those same shoppers searched for coupons, 43% scanned a barcode or QR code and 39% redeemed a digital coupon all using their smart phone.

Now you might be asking what can I do to reap the benefits of this new trend while helping my customers at the same time; the answer is simple. QR codes are very popular and almost everyone that has a smart phone already has a QR reader application or can download one in minutes for free. Putting coupon signs with QR codes on them in the aisles with products on sale would allow customers to scan the coupon code and be taken to the code on their phone where they could use it at the register.

This would not only save time for your customers but it would allow you to directly reach out to everyone, not just the customers who cut out coupons. Printable coupons are still effective and you will always have a customer base that will want the paper kind, but it is time to start thinking about the new generation and their paperless ways.

*Statistics gathered from http://www.shoppersciences.com/storage/Holiday%20Shopping%20Trends%202011.pdf

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