RSS

Tag Archives: Yelp

How to Get More Positive Customer Reviews, Using Get Five Stars

By Vedran Tomic –

Online reviews have become important — and positive reviews are crucial for businesses.  Two customer review trends are important to know.  First, prospective customers are increasingly relying on online reviews to make purchasing decisions.  Second, there’s been an explosion in fake reviews online.  It’s gotten so bad, that sites like Yelp and the New York  Attorney General have been cracking down on fake reviews.

Where does this leave small businesses?

Businesses have an increasing need to get positive customer reviews. At the same time, small businesses also have to keep things ethical, even in the face of competitors who may be playing dirty.  A product called “Get Five Stars” can help satisfy both of these needs.

What is Get Five Stars?

Get Five Stars is an online app or tool that guides you through the process of how to get positive customer reviews.  It helps you:

  • request testimonials and reviews from legitimate customers;
  • identify which customers are less than happy or giving negative reviews, so you can attempt to turn them back to positive;
  • encourage customers to share their positive reviews online at major review sites;
  • place reviews and testimonials on your own website in a Google-friendly way, leading to greater visibility in search; and
  • monitor new reviews on public review sites as an ongoing reputation management process, so you can stay informed and be proactive.

After all, if a customer is willing to recommend your business, don’t you want to show that review off?  And don’t you want as many other prospective customers to see it as possible?

Plus, the proactive nature of Get Five Stars helps you catch negative reviews.  That way, you can attempt to resolve any issues before they cause lasting harm.

In essence, Get Five Stars gives you a process and shows you how to get positive customer reviews.  It helps you organize and streamline the process of requesting and displaying customer reviews, and increasing their visibility online. That way you can make the most of them for online visibility and to convince new shoppers to buy from you.

How to Get Positive Customer Reviews – Getting Started

The process to request reviews from your existing customers is straight forward.  Right in the dashboard, business owners can insert customer names and email addresses.  You could add customer data from your invoicing system, a Contacts app, or a CRM database — or insert it manually.

Then, of course, you are going to want to communicate with customers.  To do that, you call up pre-built email templates (see image below).

How to get positive customer reviews using Get Five Stars

Customize your email message, and then send it to your customer requesting feedback.

It’s a two-step process with customers. As part of the process, you:

  • Ask them to rate your business privately first.
  • Then after you have a chance to review the feedback, if it’s positive you can ask the customer to go to a public review site to leave feedback there, too. If it’s not so positive, you have a chance to fix it.

The process is kicked off when the customer receives an email that looks like the image below, with an invitation to leave a review by clicking a big button “Provide Feedback”:

GetFiveStars-Feedback-Email

Simple Review Process Based on Net Promoter Score

Customers are busy.  Most don’t have the time to spend writing a long review or filling out a lengthy survey.  The beauty of Get Five Stars is that the review system is easy peasy.

Get Five Stars uses the Net Promoter approach to customer feedback.  There are just two short text fields to fill in — the title of the review,  and a brief comment with a maximum of 250 characters.

Customers then are asked one question, “How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?”  Customers then rate the business from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best (i.e., most likely to recommend).  The customer simply moves a sliding scale button to rate (see below).

Net promoter scores - how to get positive customer reviews

If a customer answers by giving a rating below a 7, then the small business gets the information and can follow up. In this way, potentially negative reviews can be addressed proactively.

Some small business owners and managers may not be familiar with the Net Promoter feedback scoring system.  The app gives the business owner a little tutorial on Net Promoter scores in a popup window.

Once the customer feedback is returned, you have a place in the dashboard where you can see all your feedback.  Then from there, you can send out another followup communication to customers that left positive feedback, asking them to leave the review on various public review sites such as Google, Yahoo Local, Citysearch, Facebook and other places.  On the app’s dashboard you choose which review sites you want to request the customer to leave a review on.  Remember, you can’t place the review on the site for them — but the app makes it easy for you to request and assist the customer to do so.

Interestingly, co-founder Don Campbell downplayed Yelp when we spoke with him.  He said seeking out Yelp reviews may not help you. “Unless the reviewer is an avid Yelper the review is often filtered out and doesn’t show up publicly on Yelp,” due to Yelp’s algorithms.  Also, he points out, the app’s language does not actually request leaving a Yelp review. It is against Yelp’s guidelines to ask for reviews.  Therefore, the app simply includes a small message in the email asking customers to visit the business’s page on Yelp.

Place Testimonials on Your Website

The reviews you get back can also be embedded on a page on your company’s website (see below) using a small embedded bit of  javascript code.  There’s also a WordPress plugin to put the testimonials into WordPress sites.

Embeddable review unit from Get Five Stars

The embedded testimonials also appear as HTML on your website page. The reason that’s important is that when they are in HTML format, the reviews can get indexed by search engines.  Reviews are structured using the Schema.org format, a markup language that Google understands.  That means they can under certain circumstances show up in the snippet of text presented in Google search result pages.  When you have gold review stars appearing near your website name on a search page, it helps your brand stand out.

Getting too many reviews too quickly can be almost as bad or worse than too few reviews. To a search engine or review site getting too many too fast may seem suspicious. So let’s say you start using the product and do a one-time communication to all your recent customers asking for reviews.  You’re going to get a lot of reviews back.  You may not want to display them all or encourage all those customers to leave public reviews, at one time.   The business owner or manager has control over the timing.

Monitor Reviews at Public Review Websites

Get Five Stars also monitors key review sites, as part of an ongoing reputation management process. You get a dashboard that is regularly updated, to see how many reviews you have and the average rating (below).

Monitor reviews at public review websites

This way you don’t have to visit each of the review sites separately.  The Get Five Stars system will also send you an email when a new review appears.

According to co-founder Don Campbell, by being proactive you can have a big impact on how your company is presented to the world.  He described the case study of an optometrist that had just one review showing on Yelp and it was a very bad “1 star” review.  The optometrist knew this customer.  His frames had broken, but that incident had been fixed.   The optometrist KNEW the customer had been made happy.  In that case the optometrist was able to contact the customer.

The monitoring dashboard would help to let you know so that you could contact the reviewer and ask him to update the review if you know the issue has been resolved. Or you could leave a message yourself clarifying inaccurate information in the review, such as a restaurant review that gives a bad rating for a dish your establishment does not even offer.

Using Get Five Stars just as a review management platform would mean only scratching the surface of what this tool has to offer. Get Five Stars is capable of serving as a proactive reputation management mechanism.  If you use the tool to its full potential, it can pay for itself many times over.

Who “Get Five Stars” is Best For

Get Five Stars is ideal for B2C businesses with large customer bases as well as service businesses, especially professional service businesses.  If you are serious about using data to improve your systems to grow sales and increase customer loyalty, then Get Five Stars can make the end-to-end process efficient and manageable.

The Get Five Stars system is a cloud software service.  You access it and use it online.  It is designed to review a business, not review individual products.

It’s priced at $29.95 per month (discounted to $24 per month if you pay annually).  There a 15-day free trial offer, too.  No credit card is required for the trial.

This app is designed to be used by a single business, a business with multiple locations, or an agency (such as a marketing agency) managing a number of  businesses.  The individual business can also manage their reviews directly even if they get access through an agency.  Discounts are available for agencies. Even small marketing agencies managing four businesses will find it cost effective and a time saver.

The Get Five Stars system was developed by Mike Blumenthal, an expert in local search, and Don Campbell and Thomas Hasch from Expand2Web.  The company is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area.

 

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Have A Complaint About A Business? Turn To Online Review Sites

517415790_c_570_411As a consumer, there are going to be encounters with businesses that you enjoy, and then there are going to be encounters that are awful. When you have a complaint about a company, service or product, don’t keep it to yourself or simply rant about your complaint on your own personal social media accounts. Instead, turn to online review sites likeGoogle+ Local andYelp, and here’s why.

You can gain the company’s attention.

When you keep the complaint to yourself, the company is not going to know what they did wrong. And if you did complain to someone at the business, it’s likely it wasn’t to the right individual.

When you post your complaint online, you have a better chance of getting your complaint in front of the right people. More and more companies are starting to monitor their review sites, and when you post a negative review online, it will likely be seen by the right people, making your complaint more valid.

You can warn other consumers.

If your experience was really bad, you will not want other consumers to go through the same experience. By posting your complaint on the online review site, you will be warning other consumers about what they can expect if they were to visit the company or purchase a product or service from them. When consumers truly know what to expect, it can help make their own purchasing decision easier, and you will save many other people from going through the same awful experience as you.

You can help the company.

While you feel miserable about your experience, it is possible that the company managers and owners don’t truly know what’s going on in their business. When you write the review, you not only get the company’s attention, but you can also help them learn what they’re doing wrong. Companies need consumer feedback like your complaint to help them become better, and your complaint may draw them to a factor of their business that they overlooked. Plus, if your complaint is valid and the company truly cares about their business, you may even entice them to make the necessary changes needed to make their company a better place.

You may earn an incentive.

Some companies take online reviews very seriously, and they know that customers didn’t have to take their time to leave a review, whether good or bad. As a thank you for your review, some businesses may offer you some type of incentive for your bad experience. You may not only earn an apology from someone important at the company, but you may also earn a free item, gift card, promotional discount or some other incentive for taking the time to share your thoughts. Yes, it’s an effort by the company to apologize and get you to come back and check them out again, but it’s still something you wouldn’t receive had you never left the complaint in the first place.

 

Charlie Adams is a tech guru and IT specialist with Review Trackers. Charlie often blogs about technology and its role within the world of business in an attempt to educate.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Working With The Competition: How Staying Friendly Makes Business Sense For Struggling Creative Freelancers

IMG_2699Whatever your story, whatever your industry, little businesses in a post-recession economy are often advised to be apocalyptically ruthless. It may work for some, but what if we all took a different approach to try and dig ourselves out of the financial hole we’re stuck in? This alternative philosophy has been successfully practised by Tenessee-based burger brand Pal’s Sudden Service since 2000, when a Business Institute was launched to provide practical advice and workshops to promote their company amongst competitors, and it has made waves in the restaurant industry, with others following suit. As the Institute’s President, David J, McClasky states, welcoming your competitors with open arms can be more than just a philanthropic gesture: “No matter where a customer goes, if they have a good experience eating out, then they eat out more often,” he says. “We figure everybody wins when businesses are run at excellent levels.”

This mantra can be especially important in creative industries and an artistic approach to the 21st century’s financial challenges could be your most unexpected source of inspiration. If you have spent time previously studying the arts, you’ll understand the importance of co-operation, critique and collaboration, so just how should that be different once you have left education?

Collaboration in Practice: The Freelance Photographer

Take freelance photography as a strong example. It’s a demanding field which requires extensive technical knowledge and relentless passion from the individual, plus an unwavering desire to achieve outstanding results for each and every client. Working alone or perhaps with a micro-team around them, a freelance photographer will be responsible for all areas of his or her business, from booking shoots and meeting clients to more mundane tasks like banking and bookkeeping. Everyone has their own strengths and being required to fill such a variety of roles can take its toll, so it’s no wonder that many photographers in this position often feel overwhelmed. If this scenario sounds familiar, discussing your business with others can help you assess your approach to your work, enable you to get to know cameras and setups for use in your own projects, tackle common working issues, or even just help you offload the general stresses and strains of working on a freelance basis. You’ll be putting your work into perspective and developing valuable bonds with others around you.

Learning To Give and Take as a Business

So why should you take the time to forge reciprocal relationships with those who would traditionally pose a threat to your business? Well, being generous enough to share knowledge, experience and, crucially, contacts may equate to naivety and foolishness in some people’s minds, but consider your own personal benefit. Networking is paramount to establishing oneself as a professional company or brand, and open, assured lines of communication inspire confidence, helping boost your income and get clients. If old friends suddenly become your competition, shunning them can be counterproductive.

Furthermore if there is an ambitious job you don’t quite feel ready for, recommending a rival photographer rather than putting your own reputation into jeopardy is just common sense. As an artist may collaborate with somebody working in another medium to execute the best piece of work, this could be applied to business. Working together on a project with a competitor will allow you to combine your specialist skills to make for a more rounded enterprise, even if it is only temporary.

On a broader scale, however, a healthy business climate needs to be at the forefront of industry for a more stable future. Shying away from banker-esque cut-throat gluttony could be the first (deceptively simple) step in achieving great opportunities for every small business.

Where would we all be without a little help from our ‘friends’? Anna Layne knows first-hand the tribulations facing small businesses and how important it is to glean as much help and information from her competitors. She currently works on behalf of Trinity Photography, a Glasgow-based wedding photography firm that’s risen from small foundations to achieve a great reputation in the local area.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How To Make Sure Your Staff Are In It For The Long Haul

tug-of-warThe best businesses have loyal staff that have been there since day one. They know the company like the backs of their hands and no situation or problem is unfamiliar to them. The longer you have worked somewhere the better you know the role and the company and there for the better you do your job. Every employer would love to have staff stick around for years to come but people often become bored and move on. So how can you ensure your staff stick with you through thick and thin?

Set Out  A Clear Career Path

Many companies loose staff because of the lack of progression they offer.  People do become tired of doing the same thing over and over and if there is no opportunity to move forward they will seek opportunity elsewhere. As a business owner you should encourage your staff to apply for promotions and work their way up in the company. In order to keep staff happy and motivated you should set out a clear structure when it comes to moving up the ranks.

Offer Rewards

It can become very tiresome for staff if they work hard and that hard work constantly goes unrecognised. A simple thank you or well done is a good start and goes a long way, but a great way to really keep staff happy and motivated is to offer small rewards for good work.

Consider monthly awards in the form of a title and a small gesture such as a bottle of wine or vouchers, for example ‘employee of the month’. This means your staff will get the recognition they deserve and is an excuse for a fun monthly get together.

Consider Staff Quarterlies

A great way to say thanks is to host an evening of fun once every three months. It is something for staff to really look forward to and is a great way to encourage staff bonding. You don’t have to do anything huge, maybe just put some money behind a bar or book a meal. Tell everyone the date and time and see your staff let their hair down for a night of fun.

Offer Bonuses

At the end of the day your staff are there to earn money, and money does make people happy. A great way to encourage staff to go above and beyond at work is to offer bonuses measured by how well they are doing.

Staff really appreciate being paid on time and the right amount. Mistakes do happen but that can cause great problems when people are expecting money. Ensure these mistakes don’t occur by making use of payroll services to keep staff happy.

Eilidh MacRae works for Trace Payroll who offer payroll services.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Getting Respect Working From Home

BG_SB_PurchasePowerLeasing020413

How often have you been working at your home office, when your brother calls you wanting to chat, or a friendly neighbour comes over to ask you for some help? You’re working at home, but everyone seems to think that your work involves sitting around the home doing nothing all day but answer some emails or occasionally talking on the phone.

What can you do to stop these distractions so you can work, and even get some respect for your home business?

Set a Schedule at Home

If you have regular working hours, you can post them on your office door, inform your family and friends, and if anyone comes over to chat during your scheduled work time, you can politely ask them to leave. This schedule will help people realize you are working, and make your business look more professional.

Even better having these regular working hours will help you be more productive if used properly. By focusing on your work at a regular time everyday, you train your mind and body to go into working mode. If you you plan your work hours when you have the most energy, it’s even better.

Remember that this doesn’t have to be a 9-5 work schedule, play around with it at first to find out what hours are best for you, and then stick to it.

Dress for Success

Since the inevitable stereotype of working from home is a person working in his or her pyjamas, try to break the image by wearing comfortable business casual clothes.

You want to be comfortable while you work, but wearing clothes that are too casual, will make you appear less serious, and can make you feel a bit too relaxed to work at your peak efficiency. By wearing business casual, you keep the comfort, but if a neighbour, client, or family member drops by they’ll see that you are treating your work professionally and it gives you an advantage. If they see you wearing old jeans and a sweatshirt or worse actual pyjamas, it will be very hard to convince them that you are working.

Learn to Say No

Sometimes people don’t take a hint, you can tell them that you’re working, print up a super-sized schedule for your door, explain that you’re about to talk to an important client, but they still want to talk.
In this case, you have to firmly tell them that you do not have time to talk, go out for coffee or even let them in your front door. Try to be polite but firm when you do so, don’t tell them you don’t want to talk, simply say you are working but can talk to them when you are done. Give them your schedule and explain that between certain hours you are unavailable, but you’d be happy to talk after work.

Your at home business is important, and people need to realize that working from home actually involves working. So treat your job like a regular job and insist others follow suit, even if they disagree with you.

Dan Clarke is a business coach, specializing in helping people who work at home expand their business, solve problems and find a great work/life balance. Find out more about him at his website, Be Happy Working at Home.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dealing With Changes In Companies: What’s The Best Solution?

Business NetworkingIn both our professional and personal lives, a certain amount of change is inevitable. These can range from the minor, such as a favorite television show recasting one of the characters, to the major, such as an undesired change in your relationship status. One of the key areas of change that can impact heavily on an individual’s life is the concept of change in the workplace, whether it’s from a corporate takeover or a seemingly straightforward rebranding. Let’s explore some of the key methods that will assist with dealing with change in the workplace.

How Severe Is The Change?

Change in the workplace leads to a sense of uncertainty. This sense of uncertainty can often be overcome in a fairly organic way; if the change is merely a modification to a business process, or perhaps a new software system, then the new system or method quickly becomes normality. It’s hardly something that will cause undue stress, although management should certainly take steps to ensure that all employees are familiar with what is expected of them in relation to the new processes.

Employees Will Feel The Fear

In some instances, the sense of uncertainty can become overwhelming and can impede a corporation’s operational capability when it’s a large-scale merger or takeover. There will undoubtedly be changes at all levels of operations, and this can lead employees to question the safety of their own employment. It’s important for management to handle the situation with as much transparency as is possible in a scenario such as this one. If there is to be restructuring that will lead to layoffs, then this decision needs to be made and executed as soon as possible. Resolve the matter in as straightforward a manner as is appropriate, and then a new normality will rise from the ashes, leading to employee peace of mind.

Negative Ways of Coping With Change

Management should be a little sceptical of employees who seem to warmly (and indeed, blindly) embrace large changes in a company. It’s perhaps possible that these employees are being enthusiastic about a change in policy, operations or ownership, simply because they believe it’s what their supervisors want to hear. This is unhelpful to the overall aims of any corporate change, and is on a par with avoidance coping, where an employee essentially tries to ignore the change and undertake their employment in the way they always have, which is often inappropriate.

Positive Ways of Coping With Change

Ideally, management will gently ease employees into any kind of change in the workplace, utilizing change management training that will allow employees to feel in control during the process of change. It goes without saying that it’s beneficial for management that their employees make a smooth transition during whatever change the company is going through. Management cannot dictate how an individual should feel in response to a change, but they can set the tone about what’s appropriate, essentially by being available to answer all enquiries, and to clearly outline what’s expected of employees. Unsurprisingly, any kind of change in a company generates a huge amount of paperwork when new guides and manuals are published.

Change can be a huge problem for many employees, and it’s hardly a stress free time for management either. But management needs to ensure that their employees feel like they’re part of the solution.

Kate Simmons is a business developer, management coach and freelance writer. She is mostly interested in topics related to leadership, management and business structures.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ordering Office Supplies For Your Small Business

AdobeCreativeCloud_promo122412In these tough times for the economy as a whole you certainly won’t want reminding of the need to remain afloat while other firms falter around you. This has not just affected small online companies but big names on the high street too. So it is now more important than ever to keep track of your spending on essentials such as office equipment and stationery.
Whether you run the enterprise from the comfort of your own home office, rent out premises in the city centre, or have rental space in a building on the outskirts of town, it is necessary to fit the place out with all you need to ensure the smooth running of the business.
No matter if you sell products direct to the customer, or supply other firms with the parts they require in keeping their operations going, you will be expected to maintain a tight ship with regards to your paperwork.
This means that you should take stock of all you own and the equipment pertinent to your organisation. Printing is a requirement for nearly all firms, in all industries (even if the majority of business is conducted online), so your printers need to have spare cartridges ready and the mail ready to send out, without any delay.
Office furniture and hardware is another consideration for any SME, irrespective of its sector. Staff will have to sit somewhere and if your company ever invites customers or prospective clients to your offices it certainly pays to devote time and effort on the right décor, in fitting with your brand image.
Personalised stationery may not be a must, but in some cases it can really help to get your message across to your audience. These are the kinds of decisions you will have to make as you contemplate what will be beneficial to your firm in the long run.
Even if you conduct your business at home, it is recommended you differentiate this room to the rest of your house as this can have a psychological effect on your work and how you go about it.
So when ordering the supplies you need from a dedicated office products and services company, make a definitive list of the things which are essential in maintaining the smooth flow of your operations. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you will be expected to invest in all the right areas, including the physical office space.

Article written by Shane Peters who recommends http://www.mgmofficesupplies.ie for office supplies.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: