Online reviews or social proof is what drives business today and is as important as family or friend recommendations were a few decades ago. If you own a pet grooming business today, it is most likely that your clients have researched you online and read all the reviews before deciding to trust their pet in your care.
BrightLocal recently posted their findings on how consumers find businesses. Interestingly 90% used the internet to find local businesses in 2019 and 82% read the online reviews. According to the findings at BrightLocal, the average amount of reviews a consumer reads before deciding on supporting a business is 10, while 52% of people in the 18-54 age group always rely on the reviews.
Moreover, it is interesting to read that consumers not only read reviews, but also read the business owner’s response to them. That’s why it’s important that as a business owner you always encourage your customers to leave a review.
Popular platforms for online reviews
Depending on the type of business, there are many platforms where people post reviews. However, Google is where everyone, no matter the type of business, is most visible. If a business is listed on Google My Business, then it will appear in a regular Google search showing your business hours, contact details and reviews.
Search results are also linked to reviews. The more reviews that your business has and the higher your business’ average star rating is the more likely it is to appear in search results. Each review that is posted online for a business is an opportunity to help it with organic search engine optimization (SEO) because its content is unique.
With 1.5 billion people logging into Facebook every day, it was one of the first platforms to popularize reviews back in 2013. If you have a presence on this social media platform then you must know that it offers a huge audience and you need to respond to customer reviews here too.
Monitoring and managing online reviews
Digital marketing specialists always stress the importance of monitoring and managing your online reputation. You must always respond to all reviews, whether they are positive or negative. One of the most important reasons for responding is that it gives you, the business owner, control over the first impression that your business makes.
Another tip marketers offer is the importance of monitoring how your competitors in the pet grooming business are perceived online and to act on that information to improve your business.
Managing positive reviews
Encourage pet owners to leave reviews on your website every time that they bring their pet in for grooming. You can even offer an incentive like a discount or gift, encouraging them to remember to submit a review. Don’t hesitate to share positive reviews on your social media as these are a great way of increasing your customer base, add to the reputation of your salon and greatly improve its marketing efforts.
Take note of what each review says and use any useful tips from them as an opportunity to improve some of the services that you offer.
Managing negative or neutral reviews
If a review that is not so good appears online you need to take immediate steps to implement damage control.
One of the most important things to remember is that no matter how you decide to respond, be kind and understanding. If you have really made a mistake, you are just as human as the next person, don’t become defensive. Rather own up to the mistake, apologize and explain to the pet owner how you will remedy the situation.
Customers do really appreciate honesty and transparency and will usually be willing to give your business a second chance. You could compensate by offering them an appropriate gift, according to how serious the mistake was. It could be a discount for the next grooming session or even a free session.
As a pet groomer, you know more than anybody else how special the relationship between human parents and their pet children is. Extend an invitation to them to contact you personally by phone or at your business to discuss the issue at their earliest convenience.
In response to the review point out what your strengths are as a professional pet groomer but also make sure to fix the problem now that you are aware of it.
Business as usual
As the provider of a very important service to pet owners you can continue offering excellent service to you furry clients and their doting parents. Don’t fret if you get a few negative reviews, respond wisely and use them to improve. Now that you know that reviews are an important opportunity to make more people aware of your business use them to stay ahead of the competition.
Pet Groomers Finders is the new website that allows pet owners to find reliable groomers near them and pet groomers to find new clients. Pet owners will be able to use the website to see the available facilities at each pet grooming salon, book appointments and most importantly, read and write reviews.