Starting a pet care business is a major accomplishment. You’ve put everything into creating a business you can be proud of. But what are the next steps for growing and scaling for future success?
Most pet owners turn to the internet to find trustworthy pet sitters, pet groomers, and other pet professionals in their local area. How can they tell that the company is trustworthy? From all the positive reviews attached to the business’s online presence.
From pet sitting businesses to pet grooming businesses, most pet professionals can scale their businesses effectively by gaining lots of positive reviews online.
Why are reviews important for small businesses?
As 9 out of 10 consumers agree that online reviews have helped them find local businesses, having lots of positive reviews is a great way to gain more customers and scale your business.
Reviews of businesses have been around for decades, but as the internet has grown, so has the ability for customers to read reviews, leave feedback, and make decisions on where to spend their money.
6 benefits of reviews for your pet care business.
1. Increases customer engagement.
Dedicating a space on your website for clients to leave reviews is a great way to increase customer engagement. It provides a platform for them to write about your services, allowing them to feel more connected to your business. It’s also a space where they can connect with you and your brand directly.
2. Provides feedback to make improvements.
Reviews are a great way to learn more about your clients' perceptions. If there is any negative feedback, while it can be hard to read, you can use it as an opportunity to make updates and improve the overall experience for your clients.
By responding to the negative reviews, you let your clients know you have heard their concerns and can update them on any changes you have implemented based on their feedback. This can put a positive spin on a negative review.
3. Improves customer relations.
Many review platforms and websites allow you to respond directly and engage with the reviews you receive. You can build stronger relationships by engaging with your clients through reviews, whether to address concerns or thank them for the positive feedback.
These interactions not only show clients you care about their experiences but also show potential clients you are proactive in accepting and implementing feedback.
4. Enhances brand awareness.
Online reviews and specific keywords within those reviews, can improve your local SEO. For local search queries such as ‘dog daycare’ or ‘grooming services near me’, your business will be shown at the top of the search results page if you have a fully optimized local SEO.
One of the best ways to optimize your local SEO is by having lots of positive reviews attached to your Google Business Profile.
5. Builds credibility and reputation.
Reviews document other people’s experiences with your business. It can impact the public perception of your services, customer service, and more. If your business has a higher number of positive reviews, your business’s credibility and reputation look great to potential clients.
Positive reviews give customers a sense of trust knowing that others have felt comfortable leaving their dogs in your care.
6. Impacts important purchasing decisions.
In the information age, people consistently research services before making a decision. Because dogs are family, pet owners want to give them the best when using a doggy daycare or groomer.
People rely on reading about others’ experiences before they make a decision. The better your reputation is, the more reviews, the better your credibility, and the more likely you’ll land new clients.
How to manage online reviews.
As a small business, reviews can be intimidating. After all, one bad review can hurt your credibility and potentially stop clients from seeking your services.
While negative reviews are going to be inevitable, there are ways that you can manage your business’s reviews and take steps to encourage positive reviews that help grow your business.
Strategies for gaining more reviews.
Most successful pet care companies understand the importance of reviews for building trust with new and current clients.
Getting more reviews can help shine a light on your dog grooming or pet sitting business, but not everyone is inclined to go online and type up a review.
The following steps can help you get those sought-after reviews.
Step 1. Perform a great service, and the reviews will come naturally.
The simplest way to increase your reviews is to perform an amazing service and the reviews will come naturally. Lots of customers will leave positive reviews unprompted if they have been blown away by the service you have provided.
Step 2. Send an email to your clients.
A great way to connect with your current and past clients is through email marketing.
A pet-sitting software, such as PetExec, offers customizable email marketing for your pet business. Send an email regularly to ask for honest feedback. You can place the link to the review site within the email.
Step 3. Ask for a review at check-out.
After you’ve provided your services and are checking out each client, make it part of the process to provide instructions on how to leave feedback on their experience.
Step 4. Hold a giveaway for customers.
Incentivize reviews by offering a prize for those who leave a review. Once they leave a review, they can be entered into a draw for prizes or discounts.
Step 5. Display a sign.
You can put a sign in the lobby of your business that requests customers to leave a review. You can make setup easy by including a QR code that links directly to your preferred review site.
Strategies for review management.
Getting people to leave reviews is just one part of the process as a business owner. The other part is managing the reviews your business is receiving. It can be overwhelming at times when you’re managing reviews on multiple websites, taking action against fake reviews, and responding to customers.
Review management is a strategy business owners of all sizes use to monitor reviews left online and should be an important part of your pet business operations.
Here are a few tips on how to manage your online reviews.
- Set up your Google Business Profile: Most people turn to Google when searching for a new business. By setting up your profile, people can easily leave reviews that will show up in Google Search and Google Maps when potential clients search for local pet care businesses.
- Respond to reviews regularly: Responding to your reviews is important in the review management strategy. It allows you to connect and build relationships with your clients and shows new clients that you care. When responding to your clients, remember to carefully craft genuine and polite responses. When you respond to negative reviews, it's especially important to take care in how you respond. Show your clients that you take reviews seriously and always thank them for their feedback.
- Identify fake reviews or reviews that violate terms of service: No matter how perfectly you conduct your business, there’s always going to be someone who isn’t satisfied. While those are sometimes challenging to deal with, some people will post fake reviews on review sites. It's important to be able to identify these reviews and quickly request for them to be removed.
- Create an easy review system: You want to make reviews as easy as possible for your clients. No one wants to take more than a few minutes to complete a survey. It takes a lot of effort for clients to leave reviews, so you want to create a strategy that makes it easy for them.
How can a review software help my business?
Gaining lots of positive reviews is no easy task, especially as you are already busy running your business!
Using a pet software such as PetExec, can make the process much easier. PetExec is a cloud-based software that is a great choice for pet professionals looking for a business software to streamline operations.
The business management tool can help you get more reviews by:
1. Integrating with Broadly which tracks and monitors reviews across multiple platforms.
2. Sending automated SMS messages that include how to leave a review online.
3. Sending automated and customizable emails, that include the link to your preferred review website.
Reviews are a fundamental part of growing your business. Your review management should be a primary focus of your marketing strategy.
With a business that specializes in caring for dogs, your reviews will show potential clients that you not only care about their experience but that you have a passion for what you do. With positive reviews, you’ll build brand loyalty and create an image of a business that people can trust.
How can I improve my reviews?
Improving reviews starts with providing great customer service and encouraging your clients to provide feedback on their experience. It’s as simple as asking for reviews in conversations and sending your clients the link to your preferred review site.
How do you overcome negative business reviews?
When someone leaves a negative review, address the review by offering a resolution and explanation with a professional and kind response. Addressing the concerns, will not only show the unsatisfied client that you heard them, but anyone reading the reviews will know you’re serious about providing a great experience.