In this ultra-competitive environment, in this ever-changing world, you can almost guarantee that there are 101 other people doing exactly what you’re doing, but claiming that they do it better!
So where does this leave your valued consumer? Usually overwhelmed, confused and unsure as to who or what would be best option for them or their needs. To add to this confusion, the dramatic expansion of the internet over the last few years gives us so much more choice, only adding to the difficulty of selecting the right option…or does it?
Although the extra choice and availability can be overwhelming, there are simple things you can do to help consumers choose the best option. One of these includes making sure that you provide sturdy trust points (reasons to trust your business). They may not realise it, but something as simple as a honest, truthful review of your club and lessons can be the difference between re-affirming a potential customer or student that you’re not some half hearted, ‘back street’ organisation, but that you’re a reputable establishment focused upon the delivering excellence to your students.
With this insight, the very next question you need to be asking is how can I get online reviews and where can I use them?
Well, recently the number of places you can feature reviews of your business online has increased considerably. Even Google have jumped on board, with extensions such as AdWords Review and Google+ Reviews, as well as other independent websites such as Yelp, Facebook and Trip Advisor to name a few.
Despite the ever-growing number of review websites, it’s up to you to find out where your audience heads to review your business, so that you can find out the honest truth about what people are saying. This might not be the most appealing thought, however the benefits of this are easy to see:
- You can see (from an unbiased perspective) where you can improve your school, lessons, and more
- With the correct permission you can use the positive reviews to help advertise your club on posters and flyers etc
- Positive reviews increase the likelihood of someone attending your club for the first time
- Online reviews can improve your ranking on different search engines
- They can also help your SEO as keywords used in the reviews can help your business have a more prominent online presence
- Reviews also help create customer loyalty and engagement helping to maintain a healthy attrition rate according to the onlinedepartment website.
Although there may be the odd review that you do not agree with, as long as the majority of them are positive, this will have a significant impact on people’s decision to attend or book a trial lesson. Additionally, a few negative reviews or constructive criticism about your club, can help your company seem real…after all everyone knows that one size never actually fits all.
So… what are we missing?
In order to benefit from reviews, you actually need to have reviews in the first place. If you have reviews, it’s important to continue gaining them as an excellent review from 5 years ago, doesn’t really say anything about your club and how it is now.
This need not be a labour intensive exercise, but by following some of the suggestions below you can begin collecting meaningful reviews almost immediately;
- Have a visitors book out for reviews to be written in
- Ask and direct current customers to places where you want them to leave reviews on your business. i.e. Facebook, Google+ etc
- Have a box or form where people can leave reviews on your website
- Post on social media asking people to leave reviews on your business and inform them of how/where to do this
- Post reviews and testimonials to your website so people can see what you’re doing with them and to show they are being used and are valued
Once you begin collecting your reviews – especially online reviews, it is important to monitor them. As mentioned previously by monitoring your reviews you will be able to better understand and serve your customers/students, allowing you to create a more successful business.
Remember… you (and your staff) are the people who have the power to better someone’s visit. A professional phone greeting, well presented reception area and a club that doesn’t smell like feet, can go a significant way to creating an enjoyable and welcoming experience, not only that people will write about, but also encourage them to come back!
Last but not least, once you have these fantastic reviews… don’t forget to use them. According to Search Engine Land, “88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more” so it’s clear that they’re worth their weight in gold.
We offer more than just a direct debit collection service for Martial Arts schools. To find out how we can help your martial arts business call us on 0115 945 5030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.