Online Reviews Grow Business

Written by Rick Kawamura, vice president of marketing at LocBox

When people are searching for or come across a new business, they turn to reviews to see what other people have to say about their experience. It is through reviews that they read about a particular staff member, a treatment, or even the overall experience that gets them excited about booking an appointment. In fact, a 2013 study from Bright Local shows that 60 to 70 percent of Internet users are more likely to trust and use a business that has positive online reviews.

The very first step to using reviews to build your spa business is to get reviews. Popular review websites include Yelp and Google+. Once you have gotten a few reviews, what can you do to ensure that new potential customers come across them? Here are several creative ways to use online reviews that get your followers’ attention and convert more of them into paying clients:

1. Share your reviews where your clients are – your website and social media pages.
Repurposing reviews for social media posts and on your website is an extremely effective way to get your reviews in front of more potential clients. A popular method for sharing your positive reviews is through a testimonials section on your website. In your ‘About Us’ section, include quotes from your most loyal clients that demonstrate credibility and a positive customer experience.
Our creative team also discovered a great way to repurpose online reviews to target a new audience: turning reviews into engaging Facebook posts. Either post the review directly as a post or use a design software to turn the review into a picture. There is no better place to promote your reviews than on social media where people can share them with just a few clicks.

2. Build relationships with your clients by commenting and responding to reviews.
Whether positive or negative, take time to respond to reviews that ask questions and resonate with you. If the review is positive, you can thank the client and reinforce that it was a great experience having them at your spa.
The real trick is handling negative reviews. Focus on not getting defensive; simply summarize the person’s concerns, apologize, and offer a specific solution to make it right. Sometimes you can offer compensation or a refund. Other times it is as simple as offering a private e-mail address where they can get in touch to discuss the issue further.

3. View reviews as an opportunity to improve.
Reviews are so great for spa owners because they can show where there are holes or gaps in services. Perhaps someone complained about the hours, noting that the schedule was too difficult to find a time when the spa was open. As a busy spa owner, these are things that you often do not notice from your point of view; they can provide a great opportunity to welcome these clients back, and then some.

It is not just about building an online reputation – it is about using that positive word-of-mouth to convert new visitors into happy clients. Using reviews to build trust and engagement can open a new channel of loyal, excited clients that will, in turn, help you fuel a growing, positive
online reputation.

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