We live in a digital world where information can be widely shared at the click of a button. With the influx of information, some customers no longer take everything they see on the web at face value. People know to be skeptical of marketing campaigns that give accolades and extraordinary attributes to businesses.
And yet, certain businesses seem to flourish and there are people who are incredibly brand loyal. Why is that and what does that mean for your youth activity center?
Potential customers may not trust what they read and what they see from businesses – but they do trust business reviews from other customers. According to the Institute For Entrepreneurship Development, the most decisive factor about a business’s success is its reputation. Shifts in your reputation can either make or break your business.
Discovering the best local swim school, gymnastics gym or dance studio has never been easier for parents and potential customers, and they can find out everything they need to know with a few search terms. As more and more customers offer online reviews about their experience with your brand, program offering, and overall business practices, a new field in marketing has emerged.
Online reviews have transcended the traditional word-of-mouth “gossip” into a form of feedback that can tip the purchasing balance in your favor. Or, worst-case scenario, against you.
Maybe you are already on board putting together customer reviews to promote your local youth activity center. But in case you are not, let us take a step back and examine the reasons why such reviews are critical for the success of your business.
Why are customer reviews important?
Credibility & Social Proof
Humans are social creatures. We flock to our pack and seek advice before we decide to change something in our lives, whether it is a small decision like a change in our hair color or a major one like buying a car. The need to get social proof before we make a decision becomes increasingly crucial when the decision directly affects our children.
Parents will ask around and search on the web to read reviews before deciding which activity center they will entrust their children with.
If you have excellent reviews, your youth activity center will definitely make it to the top of their list of options.
The more reviews your business receives, the more visible you become online. For example, if people talk about your youth activity center on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, your business’ name will pop up first when parents are searching for gymnastics, swim, music, and dance centers near them.
Visibility is paramount in securing new customers and reviews help you become more visible.
To the world, a student may be just another child, but to a parent, this child is their whole world. Parents will not trust their children in any daycare facility that has negative reviews online.
So, when you ask yourself why reviews matter for your business, remember that parents are more likely to choose you if they read about other parents’ positive experiences.
Helps You Improve
The importance of local business reviews is not limited to increasing enrollment. In fact, reviews matter because they also help you improve your business.
Take the time to read through your reviews and pinpoint aspects of your business that need improving. As a youth activity center owner, you may not realize that something is off, but seeing things from a parent’s and customer’s point of view puts everything in a clearer perspective.
If you ever have decreasing student counts, reviews are a great place to look when searching for a reason as to why families may have decided to leave your program. Reviews give you a front-row seat into how your customers think and feel, allowing you to be proactive and catch these shortcomings that are costing your business.
Knowing your customer’s complaints can help you improve and move in the right direction by creating positive change.
Gives Your Customers A Voice
Customers love to feel like they matter – because they do! They need to know that their opinion counts and they need to be given a platform allowing them to state their positive or negative experiences. Customers who take the time to leave an online review for your business are typically more loyal, increasing the chance of you retaining them season after season.
On the occasion that a customer leaves a negative review, you have the chance to set things right and show that you recognize their experience and strive hard to please your customers. You still win if you reply to negative comments sincerely and apologetically while offering to amend. You show that you value your customers and that your priority is to keep them satisfied.
You know what they say, right? Influence the influencers? Well, forget about celebrities, actors, singers, and socialites – when it comes to children, the real influencers are other parents. Yes, you read that right. Your satisfied customers who leave positive reviews are doing wonders for your business. The best part of all? You get fantastic marketing campaigns for the price of…zero!
Reviews Generate More Reviews
Satisfied customers who read other reviews will be happy to follow suit by offering their own experience with your activity center. Of course, the same goes for negative reviews, and, unfortunately, there is no way of stopping it. Nothing becomes viral quicker than a bad review.
But don’t worry. As long as you read through each review carefully, respond with respect and try to provide best-in-class customer service, you can expect to receive positive reviews from that point forward.
As more and more reviews emerge that speak highly of your services, your youth activity center will become popular and more sought after in your local community.
Online customer reviews are here to stay. Whether you like it or not, they help bring new students to your business. Are you ready to jump on board and reap the rewards of online customer reviews?
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