It’s no secret that in 2016, online reviews are more important than ever before. In fact, a recent study shows that 88% of consumers trust online reviews.

I personally take them into strong consideration before I decide to go to a new store, restaurant, etc. Not surprisingly, as many as 70% of consumers do online research before heading to a store. With that much of the market going to, and trusting, what they read online, it is crucial you are doing the most you can to influence what they are reading about you.

The question you might be asking yourself is HOW do I start getting reviews, and more importantly, good reviews. Luckily, not only is it pretty easy, but you’re probably already doing some of the right things. Today I will show you one of the ways to set yourself apart.

1. Provide excellent customer service. Duh. Sounds simple, right? The problem is, however, what consumers these days expect is slightly different than the buying generation before them. Having done most of their research online prior to coming in to your store, they expect a similar technological approach from you and your sales staff.

Picture this; Consumer A comes to your store. They are greeted by a friendly sales rep who takes down their info on a piece of paper. They leave the store, not ready to purchase yet, after checking out a few samples and saying they will be back in a few days. The sales rep puts that piece of paper on their desk. A few days go by, Consumer A hasn’t been back yet, and no one followed up with them. Finally, someone decides to pick up the phone and check in on those samples Consumer A checked out. They may or may not return with your samples; and they tell you they bought elsewhere. When you dig a little deeper, they tell you they found a better price online and purchased there. Sound familiar at all?

Now picture this; Consumer B comes to your store. They are greeted by the same friendly sales rep who is now carrying an iPad and has their CRM system up and ready to rock. They grab the same pertinent info from Consumer B, but instead of writing it down on paper, they enter it in to their CRM. Check the samples out, and send the consumer, who is still not ready to purchase, on their way. By the time Consumer B gets home, they have an email in their inbox from the friendly sales rep detailing everything they went over today in the store, including details and pricing on the samples that were taken. Two days later, the CRM system reminds the friendly sales rep to follow up with Consumer B. Showing that you truly do care about their business, Consumer B is now excited to come back in and have a final consultation with the rep and get a measure scheduled. Do you see the difference in this approach? Same staff, same products, same price; different approach and process.

Having started their entire buying process online, consumers will finish the process online as well.

Which one of these is most like your current show room experience?

Price is only an objection when all other things are equal. When a caring, friendly sales rep spends time, not just in the store with a consumer, and shows them they truly care about their business, paying a little extra is completely fine knowing that you are in great hands.

Having started their entire buying process online, consumers will finish the process online as well. This is where the reviews come from.

The question is; what are your shoppers going to say about you?