Turn Happy Customers Into Online Ambassadors

It’s no longer enough to make customers happy, or even get them to praise your good service to your face. What you really need is for your customers to share their positive experiences with others, and to do so in online reviews.  
  
Clearly, our internet-based society is relying more and more on sources like Google, Facebook, and Yelp to decide what companies we should trust with our business. According to research, a whopping 97% of consumers read reviews about local businesses, and 89% of consumers who visit review sites make a purchase within a week.   
  
And while friends’ opinions count, reviews from strangers still carry a lot of weight; in one Zendesk survey, 88% of customers say a review influenced a buying decision. So, since consumers are searching for positive reviews, make sure they’re out there.   
  
Interestingly, almost 75% of consumers say they don’t write reviews; encourage your customers to share their good experiences online by incorporating this process into your business plan. Set up profiles on review sites that are relevant to your business, and provide links to reviews on all your online customer touch points. Most importantly, turn your customers’ verbal kudos into reviews. If they’re happy, ask them to write a review.  
  
Finally, says Forbes contributor Nellie Akalp, you can offer a small incentive for writing a review. (Enter all monthly reviewers in a giveaway draw, she suggests.) But don’t specify a “good” review, and don’t buy it.   
  
If your service is great, your customers should be more than happy to become your online ambassadors.  

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