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We know it’s impossible to keep up with all of the news in the local business space. That’s why we’ve cherry-picked the articles from this week that matter most for business owners like you.
[Reputation] How to Get Online Reviews
Source: Bloomberg Business
Consumers trust online reviews almost as much as they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know. If your business isn’t present on the major review sites, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage with potential customers.
Here are a few ways to build up your base of positive online reviews so that local consumers can assess and choose your business over your competitors’.
- Ask customers for a review during checkout.
- Follow up with customers after they buy via email.
- Incentivize reviews with special rewards or discounts.
- Don’t tell customers what kind of reviews to leave—just let them be honest.
Why It Matters: Online review sites are often the first place potential customers will go to research businesses in their area. If your business isn’t present, or if you don’t have very many (or very good) reviews, it’s unlikely that customers will keep you in the running at they weigh their options.
[Competition] 5 Steps for SMBs Looking to Dominate the Competition
Attracting customers is difficult enough without having to worry about direct competitors. But unless your business is located in a really small town, this is usually the norm. The good news is that it’s possible to dominate your competition if you follow these 5 steps:
- Focus on creating meaningful, individual interactions rather than promoting your products or services.
- Invest in building a digital community.
- Know what benefits your business.
- Learn how to upsell customers.
- Make your prospective customers’ lives better with free content.
Why It Matters: Many times, businesses feel that the only way to dominate their competition is to go after them directly, either by disparaging their services or trying to one-up them. This won’t work. Customers will be drawn to your business if you provide a better experience for them, regardless of what your competition is doing. Invest in knowing your customers, creating meaningful interactions with them, and helping them out, and they won’t even give your competitors a second glance.
[Customer Service] Customer’s Aren’t Always Right—They’re Just Never Wrong
Many businesses have adopted the mantra, “The customer is always right.” However, this stance doesn’t reflect reality. As you’ve experienced with your own customers, they aren’t always right. But they’re also never wrong. The distinction comes in understanding that there’s a gap between your business’s performance and your clients’ expectations, and that gap causes dissatisfaction.
Here are 3 steps you can follow to close the gap and improve your customer support:
- Listen first and ask questions later.
- Own your mistakes, but only your mistakes.
- Outline how you’re going to make things right.
Why It Matters: Providing terrible service to customers is a problem, but tipping the scales and letting customers walk all over employees is not the solution. Finding a middle ground by listening closely, owning your mistakes, and rectifying problems quickly—without giving into outrageous demands or manipulation—will ensure that your staff and your patrons stay happy.
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