Business is good – Your products are selling and you’re making money. That alone is a major success! But what if there was something more you could do to get the ball rolling just a little faster? Would you be even more tempted to keep reading if we told you it was free? Your current client base has all the answers you need. Utilize them as resources to support your business.

Ask for Reviews 

Think of how many times you couldn’t decide what to eat for dinner. You turned to the Internet for answers. This has become such a common practice that Facebook has incorporated an “Ask for Recommendations” feature. Actually, word-of-mouth is still one of the most powerful weapons in the business industry. This has not gone unnoticed. Facebook happily shares your response rate to messages, how many people have checked into your business, star review ratings from previous customers, and any mutual friends that have liked or recommended your company. This data looks great on your company page (as long as it’s positive), and Facebook will display it automatically.

Facebook has systems in place (such as those aforementioned) to help your business market itself. But both a Facebook and website page are crucial. When a potential client types your business name, searches usually start in Google. Facebook pages as well as website pages that match the business are the first links to appear. The more links pointing to your business puts your brand in lead with literally one click of a search button.

Offense and Defense

Reviews are critical for all businesses. Nurturing relationships with your clients and encouraging reviews is a great way to build credibility online for new and repeat businesses. However, as we know, not all reviews are good. Inevitably you will be faced with a disgruntled customer that may leave an unfair review of their experience. We have all directly witnessed how deeply brutal some reviews can be. However, the key to managing reviews is to play both offense and defense. This means replying to each and every comment left on your page, good and bad. This demonstrates you are active and involved in your business and the services you deliver. Thank your patrons for using your services, whether they had a good experience or not, and for taking a few minutes to write a review. If the experience was less than ideal, respond in a way that allows the consumer to feel like their opinion matters. Apologize for any wrongdoing, and let them know you are taking their suggestions into consideration to help better your business. Sometimes your, now, most loyal customers began as an unsatisfied customer.

Customer Retention

Your current patrons are three to twelve times more likely to purchase from your business or utilize your services than a new consumer. That statistic alone highlights the value of investing in customer nurture programs. There are a variety of ways to build customer loyalty. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • No matter how big or small your company is, customer satisfaction should always be a top priority, even on social media. Let your consumers feel heard by replying to each and every comment left not only your website, but survey sites like Yelp, Google, etc,.
  • Have your customers take a short survey about ways to enhance your business, and then send out a short email with updates about how you are improving based on their responses.
  • Consider a loyalty program! One study suggested that up to 76 percent of clients were more willing to shop at stores that offered loyalty programs compared to stores that didn’t.

Developing meaningful relationships with your customers will not only increase repeat business but also help you gain referrals (free marketing and more business). Word-of-mouth advertising remains the strongest endorsement a business can get. If your customers are recommending your business directly based on a positive customer interaction, there’s no amount of advertising that can replace that.