Whether you’re looking to build or maintain your brand as a pet spa, your online reputation matters greatly. It matters how people see you as a business and what they think of what you offer.
It’s only natural for people to turn to friends and family if they need a particular service or a new company, and online reviews are simply an extension of this. In fact, according to Review42 “78% of people trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend or a family member.”
Everything you do online can be seen and judged by people you’ve never even met, and it all builds a picture of what people think your business is like and what they can expect if they book an appointment with you.
You can shape your reputation by being highly attentive to your audience online, and responding to online reviews and any comments you get on social media. You can also shape what people think of your pet spa by sharing quality content and images and providing answers to audience questions. In fact, building and maintaining your reputation really is about providing quality customer service and an excellent customer experience from start to finish.
But you really can’t forget about your online reviews. You must regularly ask for reviews from happy customers and ensure that you respond to each and every review you get, even the negative ones. This is just as much a part of reputation management as how you appear online.
In this article, we’re going to look at why your reviews are important and how you build that 5-star reputation, including how you can respond to your reviews. We’ll also take a look at Surefire Local’s reputation management platform for pet spas to see how Surefire Local can help you manage and maintain your online reputation.
Managing your reputation in today’s customer-driven world
We all know how far words on the internet can go and how long they can last. One review by word of mouth in your local area might have reached perhaps 20 – 30 people, but now, with online review sites, that number could be in the hundreds or even thousands. And that goes for negative reviews as well as positive reviews.
It’s no longer enough to be satisfied with collecting reviews on an ad hoc basis. As a pet spa owner, you need a plan and a way to consistently collect your reviews regularly. And you also need to be able to respond to them and to manage your online reputation.
The customer is king, as they say, and they certainly can have an impact on how your pet spa is seen online.
Why reviews are important
We’ve touched on this above, in terms of the impact a really positive or negative review can have and the number of people it can reach. But also, people rely on reviews a great deal, whether they are from people they know or from online review sites.
There are so many fakes and scammers online and the main way for people to be sure that they’re spending money with a reputable company is to look at reviews and see what existing customers think.
What people need, though, isn’t just any review. They need recent reviews from at least the last couple of months because they need the reassurance that your pet spa is still performing well and delighting both pets and owners alike.
Your reviews really do matter, and recent reviews even more so. But your replies to reviews matter equally. You can’t simply collect reviews and hope for the best. You need to read them all and respond to them, even if you only add a quick “Thank you for your review.” Why? Because you’re putting your best foot forward and creating more of a customer experience for your reviewers. They’ve taken the time to say what they think and provide feedback good or bad. A nice response from you can make them feel even better about your business, if it was a good review, or put things right and change a negative into a positive if the feedback wasn’t quite so good.
For potential customers, your reviews and your responses are a window into your business. They let people see what it might be like to book an appointment and leave their precious pets in your capable hands. This is then more than just reputation management and part of your general marketing as well.
How to build a 5-star reputation
You can see why collecting and responding to reviews might be high on the list when building an excellent online reputation, but really everything you do online and in person adds to your reputation.
It’s built into the way you answer the phone and the way your website works smoothly when booking online appointments. It’s built through excellent customer service for both existing and potential customers, and responsiveness and interaction with your audience online.
You build your reputation every time you post top quality, helpful content on your website and your social media.
You convince people to leave glowing reviews and high star ratings when you look after their pets beautifully and give them high quality care and treatments.
And yes, it’s built by requesting and responding well to both positive and negative reviews.
Everything matters when it comes to your online reputation.
Rules of thumb to follow when it comes to responding to reviews
- The most important rule is that you have to respond to every review, no matter what it says and whether it’s negative or positive. The only exception to this is if it’s obvious trolling or clearly a misplaced review that isn’t meant for your business. Why do this? Because people want to see how you respond to them and how you make them feel. They’ll use this to see what it might be like if they book with you.
- Save yourself some time and effort by setting up some standard responses you and your staff can use for replying to reviews. You can create a Word document for this, or if you use Surefire Local’s marketing platform, you can add these responses to a drop down menu for selection whenever you want to reply to a review.
- Be consistent about responding and do it quickly and regularly. People don’t want to wait weeks for a response to their review. Set aside some time each week to check your reviews.
- Reviews offer the opportunity to get great feedback that might give you new ideas for your pet spa and ways to improve it. It’s worth spending some time going through them to see what people think and what you can learn.
- You will get a negative review at some point. No one can please everyone all the time and somebody will find something to fault you with eventually. Again, with these, it’s still worth reading to see what you can learn and if they have a point, but try not to take them to heart. Read them, respond appropriately, and then move on. Don’t let them drag you down.
- When you respond to a negative review, try to take the conversation offline to a phone call where you have more chance of resolving the problem and you can do it without having a public argument on a review site. You may even be able to convince your reviewer to change their negative review to a positive one with some good customer service.
How Surefire Local can help you get more 5-star reviews
Our professional business intelligence software is designed to help you manage and respond to your reviews in a timely manner, while taking away at least some of the effort involved and freeing up your time.
You can request reviews right from our platform, and respond to them without leaving our software, and it’s easy to see where you are up to and whether you have any new responses or need to send any reminders.
Our reputation management platform for pet spas is the right software to give you a head start and keep consistently getting and responding to your reviews.
1. Connect with the top review platforms
Surefire Local’s platform is designed to connect directly with the top review platforms, like Google Business Profile, Yelp, and Facebook. Instead of having to log in and out of each individual platform to request and respond to your reviews, you can see all of your online reviews in one place as a timeline view. This gives you a clear overview of what reviews you have, dates received, and if you’ve responded. It’s then easy to pick up any reviews you haven’t replied to yet and comment.
2. Send review requests to happy customers via text message or email
Again, without leaving our platform, you can easily send review requests and follow up with reminders via text message or email.
This is a huge time saver because you can rely on the software to send the requests and to send reminders if you don’t receive a review.
You don’t have to type individual messages on your phone. Just use our platform and it’s done.
3. Write and post responses to reviews from within the Surefire Local Marketing Platform
You can quickly see where you are up to with your responses to your reviews right from our platform, catch up with replies quickly and then go straight to any other marketing tasks you might have, without leaving our platform.
4. Send reminder emails or text messages
When you’ve already requested a review, it can feel like a lot of work to remind people if they haven’t posted a review, but it’s easy to send reminders from our marketing platform. We know it’s a great time saver and it does make managing and reminding your reviews a lot easier.
5. Save time by staying on the same platform
You’ve seen just how many things you can do with your reviews from our platform, and you save time every time you don’t have to log in and out of yet another review site.
But you also save time because Surefire Local’s business intelligence platform does far more than just help you manage your reviews. You can manage every other important aspect of your marketing right from the same dashboard.
6. Measure brand sentiment
When you use our marketing platform, we provide you with a word-cloud graph that shows you the most frequently used words from customers in their reviews. This gives you a quick snapshot of what people think of your pet spa and what words and language they use to describe your business. This is priceless from a marketing point of view, because you can then use this same language when talking to your customers and potential customers online, making them feel that you really relate to them.
7. Optimize your brand presence across all review sites and on more than 80 local business directories
How many hours a week would you say this particular feature saves you? Think about how many review sites and directories you have your business listed on and how long it would take you to log into each one and update it individually.
Well, you don’t have to do that. Without logging out of our platform, you can update your review sites and directories all at once. You can update opening times, ensure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information is consistent on every site, update quality images, send out special offers, add new services, and so much more.
Attend a Surefire Local Marketing Platform demo
Surefire Local’s Business intelligence marketing software is about far more than simply managing your reviews online. While you can certainly do that, you can also manage every important part of your marketing smoothly and all in one place, without having to use multiple pieces of software.
Manage your email marketing, your paid ads, content marketing, social media marketing, and more, all without logging out of our dashboard.
Save time, and gain a highly detailed overview of your marketing, with quality reports and analysis. You can see how each part of your marketing is working and see how that fits into the big marketing picture.
It’s straightforward and easy to use our dashboard and improve your marketing results.
Why not request a demo and see how we can help your pet spa grow and build your online reputation?