Small Business Owners…Ask Your Customers and You Will Succeed

Having customer data and feedback that relates specifically to your small business is one of the most vital pieces of information that you will hold. Finding different ways to obtain this information efficiently and effectively is where many small business owners fall short. Here are four different ways that my clients use every day to gather, use and analyze their customers for the future success of their business.

With the internet growing at such a rapid pace, you need to make sure that your potential customers are getting the proper vision of your business. One of the tools my customers use to make sure that their customers are going to see them in the right light is “Google Places” reviews.  Google Places is where you can list your business on Google for free so it shows up in local search results. Below is an example of the results for a Google search I did for “bed and breakfasts in spotsylvania virginia” which would be considered a “geo targeted”(meaning to a specific local area such as Spotsylvania) search.


This person searching IS most likely interested in Bed and Breakfasts in Spotsylvania, Virginia, so if you own a B&B in that area this could be a great lead. Now the potential customer sees the bright yellow stars that Google has so kindly given us and it shows them that your business has “4.7 Stars” and “45 Reviews” YAY, while your competitor has 3.5 Stars and 8 Reviews NOT SO YAY. Now the individual that was searching has a choice to make but they also have information to help them make that choice. This information lies in all the reviews that the past customers have left. Now, armed with the information that Google has presented, the individual will most likely click the business with the highest number of stars and reviews to begin their search for a place to stay. This is a simple thought and it converts. Here is what the Bed and Breakfast above is doing to get so many good reviews.

Stevenson Ridge is a client of mine at Top of the Burg SEO and Web Design in Virginia and they benefit from Google Places every day. They make sure that their customers enjoy themselves and at the same time explain to them how important their feedback and review input is in this type of business. At checkout the guests are given special rack cards that give them step by step information on how to review their stay online, there is also an incentive for being a past customer and giving a review. Incentives help get reviews out of the indecisive type of person that “does not have the time” to give a review.  Email marketing is another great way to get your customers to review your business. A platform like constant contact is a great way for the novice to setup some advanced email campaigns. A simple follow up email after you have made the sale that asks your customer about their experience and provides them with simple links and instructions on the review process can be a crucial step to growing new customers for your business efficiently, while using current and past customer experiences.

In Part II I will show you yet another simple way that small business owners can connect with their customers and use that connection for future business leads.

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