It’s the most magical time of the year. When you’re all swaddled in your sweater and sipping hot cocoa in front of the fire, you’re not thinking about the online reputation of your business. (Nor should you, you deserve a break.)
But while you are enjoying those extra marshmallows, there could be someone (a former customer, perhaps?) sitting in front of his laptop. We’ll call him Mr. Grinch. There is no cocoa. There is no fire. The only light flickering on this guy is his screen, which is parked on Google reviews. And there’s the name of your business. And he’s writing. Oh dear, there are a lot of exclamation points. But very few stars.
We really want you to go on enjoying that cocoa. But we also don’t want what Mr. Grinch wrote about you to hurt your business. Don’t let him steal your Christmas. Because you still have time to save your online reputation.
Here are 4 reasons why you shouldn’t wait until the new year to improve your online reputation:
Reason 1: 92% of consumers read reviews before choosing a business.
You do it too. Before choosing a movie, you consult online reviews to ensure you don’t waste the next two hours of your life. You look at Yelp before you try a new restaurant. You consult those star ratings on TripAdvisor to ensure your next vacation does not include bed bugs. Face it, you use online reviews to make decisions every day. And so do your (potential) customers. When you’re looking for that oceanfront suite on TripAdvisor, are you going to use your hard-earned dollars on a place with less than a 4-star review?
Reason 2: 71% of consumers buying new services/products start their research with Google reviews.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if:
- Potential customers looking for what your business offers actually finds you on the first page of Google (reviews help Google find you, by the way)
- Those customers read really great things about your business
- They are really impressed by how you respond to your customers who take the time the write a review. So impressed that they chose you over your competitors?
And wouldn’t it be even more magical to have of all these steps happening to your business right around now: before the holidays; kids are out of school; lots of gifts to be purchased and dental appointments to be scheduled? Then you’d have more money in your pocket to get that deluxe, oceanfront suite with the balcony.
Reason 3: 77% of consumers say reviews have to be written within the last 3 months to be relevant.
Sure, you could make it your New Year’s resolution to improve your online reputation and grow your business. But those people researching you and your competitors want (and trust) reviews written within the last three months. Those reviews from last January–that last time you resolved to get more online reviews–aren’t going to cut it. Online reviews have a shelf life, so you need to be getting those reviews now in order to harness their power after the holidays.
Reason 4: Focus on your online reputation and see an 8% increase in revenue in 6 months.
Businesses that actively used Birdeye, an online reputation management tool, to automate their review collection for at least 6 months grew a whopping 8%. Yes, Christmas can come early this year. Birdeye will take care of managing your business’s reputation for you–from managing your reviews to responding to your reviews to asking your customers for reviews. See, you can have a stellar online reputation and your hot chocolate too.