Online Reviews: Make Happy Self Storage Customers Your Secret Weapon
Did you know that the wealthiest product reviewer is only 7 years old? His name is Ryan and he is a normal little boy who likes toys. In fact, he likes toys so much that he created a YouTube channel that reviews them. This channel has over 19 million subscribers and earned this little boy $22 million in 2018.
Odds are that most of your customers don’t have a YouTube channel for their self storage reviews. That doesn’t make their reviews any less valuable in building customer trust and confidence. It leads to higher conversion rates and a healthy online reputation.
Reviews and Your Online Reputation
When you patronize a business that gives you an unparalleled customer experience, featuring high-quality products and service fit for royalty, you’re not going to keep it a secret. You will share this with everyone you know, especially if you can do it effortlessly from a technical device. The same goes if you patronize a business that has low standards and a product that doesn’t last until you get it home.You’ll share that on every platform you can think of.
Positive reviews help mold your online reputation. Your online reputation is how others see you when they look for you online. According to Dan Virgillito, a Content Strategist for Massive PR, online reputation is becoming so pervasive, it’s time to drop the word “online.” Your online reputation is simply your reputation.
Marketers view online reviews from different angles. In one camp you have the group that claims that online reviews are everything to your business and you should focus on reviews and nothing else. The other camp contends that they don’t matter because reviews can be faked and people don’t rely on them. Neither of these groups is right.
Online reviews are an important piece of your marketing strategy, but shouldn’t be the dominant factor. Your marketing plan isn’t going anywhere without traditional marketing, SEO, and PPC ads. And, contrary to concerns about “fake” reviews, the majority are legitimate and very helpful.
Still not sure about the power of reviews? Hostingtribunal.com has compiled a staggering 67 statistics that will enlighten you as to why reviews are so important. Following is a glimpse of some of these stats.
- 91% of North American consumers read online reviews to learn about a business.
- 85% of consumers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations of family and friends.
- 72% of customers won’t take action until they read reviews.
- 15% of users don’t trust businesses without reviews.
- Only 6% of consumers don’t trust customer reviews at all.
- Google accounts for 57.5% of all reviews worldwide.
- Best-selling products have a 4.2-4.7 rating.
- Local businesses have an average of 39 Google reviews.
- 86% of people are willing to pay more for services from a company with higher ratings and reviews.
Create an Online Review Strategy
Here are some tips for creating an effective online review strategy.
Tip 1: Pinpoint the leading review sites and platforms. Google has the majority of search engine traffic. The reviews are prominently shown when people search for storage related phrases such as “self storage, my town.”
Tip 2: Understand review site policies. You can do a simple review policy search on Google, Yelp, Facebook and others. This is vital because you don’t want to risk getting your listing removed because of a policy violation.
Tip 3: Keep the review process simple. This is critical. People will be more agreeable to leaving a review if the process is quick and easy – no more than 3 steps. One of the best methods is software that automatically emails or texts new customers with a link to leave a review. All they have to do is select a star rating, write a review, and click “Submit.” The same link can be added to emailed invoices or payments receipts.
Tip 4: Create printed handouts with QR codes. A printed flyer is very helpful in reminding people to leave a review. A flyer with a scannable QR code that takes the customer directly to a review site makes the process almost effortless.
Tip 5: Respond to reviews in a timely manner. Responding to reviews helps people to gain trust in your business. Remember, 30% of consumers say they positively judge a business which responds to online reviews. Negative reviews are especially important. The majority of negative reviews are left for ridiculous reasons, but you need to take the high road. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Respond professionally and empathetically so that the customer feels understood and knows you want to resolve the situation. Positive reviews are easy. They give you an opportunity to mention the name of your business and focus on the compliments that customers give your team and your property.
Tip 6: Consistently stick to your plan. Once you have an effective plan in place, be consistent. Train your managers to execute the plan, keep asking for those reviews, and ask customers if they wouldn’t mind mentioning the name of anyone who helped with their storage experience. A constant stream of positive reviews will stifle negative reviews. Keep in mind that 77% of consumers think that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant. If you can add 1 to 3 reviews per month, your online reputation will stay in a good place.
So there you have it. Reviews are a bigger deal than you may have realized. More and more people depend on reviews to guide their purchases. Businesses who prioritize online marketing understand that positive reviews on your Google My Business Page help their search engine ranking. Give your facility a boost developing a consistent review strategy.