If there’s something good to come out of COVID-19, it’s that it’s given many business owners the increasingly rare opportunity to pull themselves from the trenches of daily operations and instead, begin focusing on their business from a bigger picture, bird’s eye perspective. This is key. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that!
Among other things, part of this perspective means evaluating your online presence in preparation for when things return to normal. This is a great opportunity to check the following: are my photos and website up to date? Does my messaging reflect a tone that is consistent with my brand? Am I posting to my social channels regularly? These are all important factors that influence your Client’s perception of your business, but they’re still not enough to stand out. This is where your online reviews come in.
Now, I probably don’t need to convince most of you of how reviews have become the de facto standard of online reputation and authority management (if you’re still not convinced, check out my colleague’s article: the importance of online reviews and how to ask for them); but for the uninitiated, here are a few interesting stats:
- 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses,
- The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business
- The average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading reviews before making a decision
- Among consumers that read reviews, 97% read businesses’ responses to reviews
Source: BrightLocal Survey 2019
With everyone hunkering down as a result of the current stay at home order, this is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with previous clients to ask them to leave you a review. Tell them how important their reviews are to your business (especially during times like these) and you’ll undoubtedly find that most clients respond quite favourably. Perhaps even more important, is that your future clients will respond favourably as well!
When it comes to booking new clients, the importance of gathering favourable and consistent online reviews cannot be understated. Be sure to use your “new-found” time productively and reach out to some of your previous clients. You’ll thank yourself when the dust clears.