I just got back yesterday from the National Pizza Expo in Vegas. What an awesome time! I was able to see some old friends and meet some new ones. I believe it’s important to stay current with industry trends and what the latest-and-greatest, new profit-making products are on the horizon. For me personally, it’s also an opportunity to meet some new clients and investigate some strategic partnerships with other companies in the hospitality industry.

I am also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to speak at these events about Online Review Management. I will email you my next speaking engagement and the event details. If you are there, please stop by; I love to chat, hear about the challenges you’re facing in today’s marketplace, and discuss how I can help solve them for you.

During this Expo, I was talking with a few pizza operators from Detroit (my hometown by the way), and they were looking for a place to eat dinner that night after the show. What I found interesting was how they made that decision. Remember, these are restaurant people. Let me explain…

First, they all grabbed their mobile phones. Then, two of them Googled, “Best Italian Restaurant near me.” One already had the Yelp app on their phone searching for “Italian Restaurants in Vegas”. Finally, they sorted by the number of stars, read some reviews (2, to be exact), checked out the menu, and boom, made a reservation.

And that’s how it’s done, my friends. It’s that simple.

They didn’t check out the website (this is where the menu linked to Google, FYI), Facebook, or Instagram. They didn’t talk to anyone else, didn’t call the restaurant. All done with Google, Review Sites, and a phone. This restaurant received a commitment to buy based on that information alone. And they trusted it. Social Proof.

“Social proof is a psychological and social phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior in a given situation”, according to a definition on Wikipedia.

From a 2018 Online Review Survey by Review Trackers:

  • Google is the No. 1 review site. 63.6% of consumers report they are likely to check online reviews on Google before visiting a business – that is more than any other review site.
  • Negative reviews turn customers away from a business. 94% of consumers report that an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.
  • If your business has lower than a 4-star rating, then customers won’t really trust you. 80% of consumers say the star ratings they trust the most are 4.0 or above.

That’s pretty much it…seem simple? It is, and it isn’t. This is how people are making buying decisions about your business right now, no matter what industry you are in. If you own a business that has customers: Restaurant, Auto Repair, Retail, sell anything online, look at Amazon reviews. It’s what we do.

New Customer Acquisition Experiment For Your Business:

Google your own business and see what your new customers see about you. Would you go to your own business if you were a new customer, based on your Google business listing and review sites? Is your website mobile-friendly? Social Proof its how we buy things.

Have a great weekend!

Michael