How do you get your hearing practice noticed in your local area? These days, it’s not as much about TV or newspaper ads, but more about the opinions of people around you. Consumers are relying more on online reviews to assess local businesses than ever before.
Reviews are so important that there are companies out there you can pay to write fake reviews for you. While we obviously don’t recommend this with your business, it does show that some unscrupulous businesses care so much about them that they are willing to acquire them dishonestly.
Here are some figures complied by the marketing company Invesp and what they say about your hearing aid customers.
The number of reviews posted every minute by Yelp users is 26,380. The percentage of Yelp users that have made a purchase at a business they found on Yelp is 98%.
Don’t be surprised by the first figure; customers love giving their opinion on products they have bought. The second figure shows just how influential Yelp is as a place to find local business.
For nearly 9 in 10 consumers, an online review is as important as a personal recommendation.
They say the best kind of market is through word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. But this figure shows that the opinions of people that your customer doesn’t know personally are becoming just as influential.
72% say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
This is a no brainer; positive reviews will make any business look better. But the reason why it is significant for your practice is that reviews are one of the few ways in which potential customers can learn and form opinions about your local practice. We assume that you don’t have the budget for nationwide campaigns on billboards or TV that larger companies have!
92% of users will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating
Again, this statistic highlights the importance of positive reviews in building local brand awareness for your practice. But it also shows that your reviews don’t have to have perfect scores every time. It can actually be an indication of authenticity if your list of reviews isn’t solely populated by beaming five-star reviews.
86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.
This is where reviews can seem to be a double-edged sword, able to improve footfall into your practice as well as scare people away. Negative reviews can happen and we don’t underestimate their potentially damaging impact on your business.
Dealing with negative reviews
Local hearing aid practices up and down the country fear that dreaded one-star review. But with a little humility and tact, your business can recover from it. Here are our tips for responding to negative reviews:
1. Respond fast
As soon as that review is posted, it is vitally important you respond as quickly as possible before other people have a chance to read it. This makes it less likely that people will get a one-sided opinion of your practice.
2. Be honest
Customers know that the people who run business are also humans, and are prone to occasional mistakes. The important thing is to highlight your failings and offer a way to resolve the situation, if not for the customer, then for future customers.
3. Set the record straight
In addition to expressing opinions (which are allowed) the reviewer might also give inaccurate information. Responding to reviews lets you correct any factual inaccuracies, but make sure you stick to the facts and don’t contest the reviewer’s opinion.
4. Be human
The best thing about responding to reviews is that it shows that your business cares about customers and what they think, and are taking the time to respond personally. This helps your practice appear responsive to customer needs and personable in your approach.
5. Offer a way to make it right
If you feel it is necessary, then have an offer prepared which may help the reviewer update their review to something more positive. Use this tactic carefully however, as it could backfire on you.
We hope that we’ve convinced you just how important online reviews are. For more help in growing your practice locally, contact us! At AuDStandard, we use only the most effective digital marketing strategies to help your hearing practice thrive in your local area.