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Small-Business Reputations Can Attract Customers

Customers are increasingly using online searches to decide where to do business. Reaching the top of their search list can be relatively simple.

Avoid Negative Reviews

Customer reviews are an important factor in selecting where to do business for a growing number of consumers. Negative reviews can carry an extraordinary amount of weight with these consumers.

While it may be true that disgruntled customers are exaggerating their complaints, their complaints are being read by other potential customers. With so many choices available to consumers, some will undoubtedly prefer not to do business where service was poor, or the quality of the products or services was low.

To avoid negative reviews, business owners should consider focusing on delivering consistent customer service. High quality can be ensured when a consistent process for delivering products or services is achieved and maintained. With consistent customer service, the chances of a negative customer experience are minimized.

Request Positive Reviews

Many service professionals, such as real estate agents and others engaged in the financial services sectors, have long understood the value of referrals. Asking a satisfied customer to tell their friends about their experience is a simple way to advertise to those most likely to buy.

A referral is also likely to carry more weight in the decision process of many consumers than a mass media advertisement, because the referral will come from someone they know and trust. Another reason these professionals seek referrals is because they are the least expensive means of acquiring new customers.

Online, referrals can take the form of positive reviews at websites like Yelp. Satisfied customers may not think about the value of their review to your business. Asking them to take a few moments to post a comment about their experience could show the customer that you value their opinion, and could help new customers learn about your business.

Author:

Michael Carr is a small business expert who has been involved in the successful development of three small businesses.