Information found online is increasingly driving consumers’ daily purchasing decisions. Reviews are a critical aspect of your online reputation and the information consumers learn about you and your business, service, or product. Reviews require your attention and management. Consumers review both products and services. And your potential new customers are paying attention. Amazon is a great example. If you go to Amazon, you can easily compare products by looking at:
Quantity- the sheer number of reviews
Quality- how many stars on average
Detail- you can drill into any review and read what the reviewer had to say about the seller, customer experience, or product.
The online review process is the same with local businesses.
Salons are in a particularly good position to ask for and capitalize on positive reviews. Stylists provide a service that has a strong emotional component for the customer. As a salon owner, you have the unique opportunity to tap into this aspect of consumer excitement. A great cut, color, or style will generate more emotion and excitement than a car repair, no matter how professional and competent the mechanic. So take advantage of the excitement!
Why are customer reviews important?
Online reviews are the equivalent of a referral. They are basically a powerful word of mouth recommendation that can build trust and can work for you 24/7. Good reviews can increase your rating with Google and can help your local ranking.
Also, in years past, this excited referral was limited to pre-internet word of mouth. You are online as much as your customers, and you know what the internet has done to exponentially increase this kind of customer awareness.
You’ve got two things working for you. The emotion associated with your service, and the power of reaching so many potential customers online.
So how can you manage this Review process and harness this power to your advantage?
As we have discussed, online reviews are the equivalent of referrals on an exponential level. They are a powerful recommendation that can build trust.
Realistically, all of your reviews will most likely not be 5 stars, which is fine. Some reviews will be less than desired, as you can’t please all of the people all of the time. However, your goal should be to have more good reviews than bad to offset/buffer your business from the bad ones. This will paint a realistic picture that at the end of the day will build confidence and trust with your customers.
Learn from customer reviews
No one likes to get bad reviews. If you do get a bad review, take time to read it and treat it as customer feedback. You may learn something about your salon that could be improved for the future. Even if the complaint is legitimate, always respond professionally.
Set up your review sites
- Google My Business – You should have a Google My Business listing which allows customers who have a Google account to post a review on your listing.
- Facebook Page – Create a Facebook Page. Customers with FB account can review on page.
- YellowPages.com – Create an account. Customers must create an account at end of review process.
- Yelp.com – Create an account. Customers must create an account at end of review process.
How to ask for reviews from customers
We have a few strategies on how to ask for reviews. They are listed below:
- People are busy. Try asking for a review when your client is finishing up at the register.
- Hand out a review card as your client is leaving asking them to go to the review sites listed on the card and leave a review later.
- Have your stylists ask for the review.
- Email your client shortly after their appointment with your review site links in the email asking for a review.
- Do not ever offer anything to a customer in exchange for a review. This is against the terms of service for all review sites and it’s not worth it. If they find out, you will be penalized.
Remember the importance of salon reviews
Create accounts with the review sites. Train your staff on how to ask for reviews. Watch reviews as they come in. Listen to feedback.
Reviews can increase your online rating, build trust, and ultimately boost business. They are an important part of a salon marketing campaign.