When it comes to increasing your sales, the most essential element is trust.

In fact, loyalty for most consumer goods is principally rooted in a customer’s conviction of reliability. The very nature of a business is based on its ability to build affinity paired with credibility in the heart, mind, and wallet of a customer.

Until just a few years ago, this was achieved through slowly building a business persona and reputation via word-of-mouth.

Nowadays, even small businesses have the potential of quickly growing sales through leveraging online customer opinions voiced in popular review sites such as Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, and Facebook, among others.

Reviews are the new word-of-mouth marketing that you can control, influence and leverage.

A good starting point for building a trustworthy reputation is to work on having clear and consistent messaging across all your review site profiles. Depending on your niche, this may include operational details such as hours of operation, most updated menus, carefully drafted descriptions of your products, or expanded descriptions of the services you offer.
Ensuring addresses, phone numbers, and emails are accurate may mean the difference between a seamless customer experience and a frustrated first-time customer. To get started with your review site profiles, follow these steps:
Identify which customer review sites are most relevant for your industry.
Take ownership of your review profiles.
Create standard descriptions to syndicate across all review sites.
Validate existing information such as address, phone number, and business hours.
The next step after claiming your profiles and ensuring your message is consistent is to put a plan together designed to monitor the frequency, content, and nature of your reviews, and engage with your reviewers.

Responding to online reviews is not only a good move in terms of customer retention, but it is also a fantastic way to communicate customer commitment to customers browsing your profile and considering doing business with you for the first time.

Responses to both positive and negative reviews can boost your credibility and serve to connect with your customers. Many studies point to responses to negative reviews as the trigger for second chances, and the foundation for increased customer loyalty.
Grab the bull by the horns and start doing what it takes to help your business thrive by leveraging review sites to get more new customers.

Have a great week