Fast forward 25 years and so much of the marketing is now done online. With an ever-increasing list of social media platforms we should use, it can all seem like too much. Our “marketing” hours become thinly spread. And our task list can get out of control. The result can be that none of our marketing is optimised. “Marketing projects” become works in progress.
Let me ask you a question.
Would you buy from a store that looked like a “work-in-progress”?
Or would you instead shop at the competitor. The store with beautiful merchandised products, great lighting and a queue of customers?
How great a business looks affects the customers buying decision. And there are many studies that support the importance of social proof.
And just recently I came across a business that was doing it well.
Twelve months ago, I moved from Brisbane to the Gold Coast. The move meant that I had to replace all my favourite service providers with new local choices. The search began.
Some of you reading this may understand when I say, I was dreading finding a new hairdresser. A hairdresser is like a best friend and finding a new one to replace one that you love is a task you just don’t want to do.
So, I turned to Google for assistance. And pretty soon I had narrowed my search down to three choices. But one of them was a standout. They had almost double the amount of reviews on Google than anyone else. I checked them out on Facebook and they had great reviews there too. Their Instagram account was impressive too. All online sources were telling me the same story. I was sold. I had found my new hairdresser.
And so my relationship with my new hairdresser began. And I’m pleased to report that all is going swimmingly. And now I have added my own “Google Review” to their list. Why?
Well, they asked me too. It’s that simple. And since I was loving their services, I was more than happy to support their business. to be honest, I was actually impressed that they asked me to give them a review. So many businesses just leave that to chance.
My hairdresser told me that every time one of the team got a genuine new 5 star review they received a small bonus. In my opinion this is cool for several reasons.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
This business understands that potential customers don’t just want service promises, they want proof. With so many consumers now taking to Google, it’s critical that you look good online.
In 2011 Google released a report titled “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth.” They concluded that 88% of (US) consumers researched online before buying a product.
Other studies have have reached similar conclusions. In a nutshell, your online “first impression” is critical.
IT TAKES COURAGE TO ASK FOR FEEDBACK
When you ask a customer for feedback, you can never be 100% certain that you are going to get what you want. Sure, you can ask your best customers but none the less you are exposing yourself to public criticism. This takes courage and a commitment to delivering the best service levels.
SYSTEMS CREATE RESULTS
Every day this salon had many clients visiting. The timing of asking a customer to review you is critical. Let’s face it, we all live busy lives. Giving feedback (unless we’ve had a negative experience) is not always our highest priority. This business had developed a system (when and how) to ask for the review. They also incentivised their team to uphold the system. A real win-win for both the team member and the business.
Their goal to dominate in the online search was supported by a system. Because they were focusing on this, every team member had to bring their “A game” to every customer. What het’s measured, gets managed.
So, what can we take away from this?
Well first, ask yourself, how good do you look online? Would you buy from you?
Do you have testimonials? Do you have reviews? Do you have 5-star ratings? These are all things that will influence a new customer to buy from us. This type of marketing is not only powerful, it’s free.
A recent study found that 60% of consumers are influenced by blogs and reviews. The same study reported that on average, they expected to read 5 reviews before making a decision.**
We live in a world where likes, hearts, comments, ratings and reviews are now part of the norm. Social proof does have an impact. Do you look good online?
Do you have testimonials on your website?
Do you have ratings on your Facebook page?
Do you have recommendations on your Linkedin profile?
Do you have Google Reviews?
And do you have enough?
If you haven’t maybe it’s time for you to put systems into your business to collect the feedback you deserve. This feedback will help you to become more magnetic to nyour ideal customers.
**The Australian Sensis Report (2016)