Marketing in the age of technology involves more than simply getting your Spa or Med Spa in front of potential customers. It also involves managing the reputation of your business. With the click of a mouse, potential customers can find out a lot about your spa. When they search for your business, what will they see?
The Effect of the Internet on Consumer Behavior
Before the advent of the internet, you would say to another person, “Hey, I like that [insert name of item]. Where did you get it?” Armed with the relevant info, off you would go to the store they mentioned to purchase the desired item, unless your friend had reported something negative during your exchange. There was no central hub in which to check other user experiences.
Today, this same pursuit of information is happening hundreds of thousands of times per minute online. Our searches progress in a somewhat different way, however.
- People realize they need item A.
- They go online to find out more information about item A.
- They search for businesses that sell item A.
- They check the reviews and overall sentiment of previous buyers towards the businesses.
- They then select a business that they feel will give them the best overall experience.
- They buy item A from said business.
This process is slightly more complicated than it was in the past. However, it has the advantage of arming the buyer with much more information from which to base their decision. They get a feel for the business and possibly the owners of the business, as well. This increases their comfort level with making a purchase.
How Your Online Reputation Affects Consumer Decision Making
Negative Online Reputation
A study by Brightlocal in 2016 indicated that around 90% of the people who shop online check out online reviews before making a purchase. This means that if your online reputation is negative, 9 out of 10 people shopping online will see it. How do negative reviews affect your buying choices? You can be sure that negative reviews affect others in the same way.
Negative reviews can have a devastating impact on your Med Spa / Spas revenue. In a 2015 study conducted by Moz, businesses that have one negative review on the first page of Google can potentially lose up to 22% of their customers. This loss of potential customers jumps to 44% when you have two negative reviews. Have four or more negative reviews? You’ll lose around 70% of your potential customers.
Positive Online Reputation
The same study from Brightlocal indicated that three out of four people surveyed said that they trusted a local business more if it had positive reviews online. 82% of the people who visit Yelp!, a popular business review site, have the intention of buying a product or service. You can also see as much as a 9% increase in revenue from an increase of just one star in Yelp! It’s important to note that a business will typically lose 10-12% of its customers from a loss of one star.
In the age of technology, your business makes an impression before a customer even steps through the front door. Although you can do this through promotions or advertisements, nothing will beat the influence of your online reputation.
Brightlocal’s study indicated that 84% of people who buy online trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. Your online reviews influence nearly 68% of the purchasing decisions of buyers. How can you positively influence your online reputation? SpaSmart uses Review Fire to monitor and manage its online reputation.
5 Steps to a Positive Online Presence
- Make sure all your customers leave with a smile. Any contact with current or prospective customers should be approached with the goal of a positive overall experience.
- Google your business. Find out what people are saying about you. If you see any negative reviews, identify the source of the problem (such as poor service, bad marketing, or pricing concerns) and take action on solving the problem.
- Encourage your customers to leave a review online. Note that customers are more likely to leave a review when they are angry. Remember that all types of reviews, good and bad, are important. Good reviews boost your reputation and bad reviews give you valuable information to use in your efforts to improve your business going forward.
- Don’t leave “fake reviews” of your business online. Not only is this a tacky move, but most people can spot a fake review from a mile away.
- Hire an online marketing agency that can help you improve your online reputation. Experienced and ethical digital marketers can help you implement strategies to get more positive reviews and help you address negative ones.
While business has changed a great deal with the arrival and evolution of online business, one thing remains the same. A good business will always have a steady stream of customers. If you are treating your customers with honesty and respect, you are taking worthwhile steps toward a positive online reputation.