It goes without saying that if you run a business, you should consider customer satisfaction as one of your top priorities. After all, unsatisfied customers won’t call you up for service in the future, and they certainly won’t be telling their friends and family members to give you their business, either. Generating positive online reviews from your customers is one of the most effective ways that you can bring in more prospects and win more sales. In fact, 89% of respondents in our annual pest control industry study considered word of mouth and customer referrals to be among their top three sources of new customers.

For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), ensuring that customers are satisfied is particularly important. This is especially relevant considering many of your customers come from the same local communities; think town Facebook groups, neighbor recommendations, and even local directories. It’s only natural that you might not have the same name recognition—or marketing budget—as a nationwide enterprise, which means word of mouth can play a big role in bringing new customers to your business.

A Changing Landscape

Genuine word-of-mouth interactions are certainly good for business. If you make an impression on Jill and she recommends you to her neighbor John when he’s in the market for the service you provide, that recommendation may very well be what motivates him to give you a call.

These days, though, online reviews have surpassed personal recommendations for many consumers. In fact, recent studies show that over 75% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they do a recommendation from someone they know.1 With this in mind, it’s easy to see that having positive online reviews is a key component when it comes to closing more sales. But how do you earn more reviews for your business?

Leave a Lasting Impression

Generally speaking, the average consumer won’t leave an unprompted review for an average experience; they’ll leave a review for an experience that they feel is an exception to the norm. Put simply, most consumers will only be inspired to leave a review when they feel that you’ve done an exceptionally good or exceptionally poor job.

With that in mind, it’s crucial that you work with your employees to ensure that they’re trained to provide a customer experience that exceeds expectations and makes an impact. Providing quality first-time service is particularly important, as it not only inspires repeat business and recurring revenue but can also inspire a new customer to leave a positive review. By communicating with your customers throughout the service process, you can let them know that you value their time and their business and make a great first impression.

Consider letting customers know when you’re on the way when the service is completed, and even providing before and after photos to keep them informed. Many homeowners will schedule service for a time that they’re not home, which means finding ways to communicate is essential for creating a personal feel. Also, put thought into flexible scheduling and payment options, since these will be the most significant interactions on the customer’s side of things.

Acquiring More Online Reviews With Automation

When it comes to getting reviews from the customers you’ve impressed, you can do more than just cross your fingers and hope they’re inspired to spread the word about your business. In this situation, good things come to those who ask for them: studies show that 76% of consumers will leave a review if asked to do so.1

Manually reaching out to each and every one of your customers after their service is carried out, though, is labor intensive and quickly adds up and detracts from your operational effectiveness. Choosing instead to automate your review generation with WorkWave Online Reviews frees up time for more demanding tasks.

By automating the process of requesting reviews, your business can build a solid digital foundation that continuously works to help you bring in more future sales. Online review automation and reputation management are crucial components for any contemporary business, regardless of size or industry.

Online Reviews go beyond customer service automation and automating review requests. Besides allowing customers to reply to positive and negative reviews directly with the app, Online Reviews offers the added value of keeping key information in one place. Along with their review and your public response, Online Reviews also tracks the services you provided for the customer, satisfaction survey results they’ve provided in the past, and any direct communication you exchange with the customer while responding to the review.

The result is a scenario in which any member of your staff can quickly and easily take stock of the situation even if they’re new to the interaction, allowing them to effectively enter the conversation and take the next step toward turning a negative review into a positive experience for both your customer and your company.

73% of consumers who read online reviews also read a business’ replies to negative reviews.1 This is your golden opportunity to portray the true nature of your business, show that you’re working to improve, and make it clear that you’re willing to go above and beyond to deliver an exceptional experience—even when a customer is initially unsatisfied. By automating your online customer reviews process, you can ensure that negative reviews are addressed appropriately to maximize your positive exposure online. There’s no denying the importance of online reviews for modern SMBs, especially when it comes to bringing in new customers and winning new business. You’re already going above and beyond to provide quality service, and an automated system for online reviews is the best way to capitalize on happy customers to help your business reach its full potential. To learn more about WorkWave Online Reviews and how your SMB can thrive with automation, don’t hesitate to contact our team today!

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Brett is a Content Specialist at WorkWave with over a decade of professional writing experience. When he's not glued to his keyboard, he enjoys playing music, reading, playing video games, and just about anything that takes him outdoors.