Before making any purchase decisions these days, consumers tend to go online to search for customer reviews of the business or product they’re considering. Homepages, independent review sites, and social media are the go-tos when it comes to finding out if a purchase is the right choice or not. While traditional advertising, glossy social media campaigns, and special offers are all well and good, without positive online reviews for your business, you’re missing a major piece of marketing ammo.
As with any type of word-of-mouth advertising, a great review for your F45 Training business is a direct reflection of a positive customer experience and will often be trusted far more than a paid ad or curated social media post. It’s less about simply generating more leads, and more about turning your customers into brand ambassadors and opening your business to new audiences in the digital space.
But before you start forcing all of your customers to write glowing reviews for you, carefully consider how to best go about generating those reviews organically. Pushing your customers for a good review or supplying them with something pre-written to post might just do the opposite of what you intend.
Online reviews are powerful because people see them as genuine, unendorsed support. Today’s savvy consumers can easily spot a review that’s not the real deal. Offering discounts or incentives for reviews should be avoided at all costs—not only is it a terms of service violation on all large review sites, but also creates a risk of the reviewer writing something superficial and inauthentic.
Of course, it all boils down to customer experience. While people are often happy to go online and complain about bad service or a negative experience, you’ll often have to do something special to generate a good review. By closely following the F45 Training guidelines, drawing on network experience, and knowing what’s going on in your studio, you’ll be able to create moments that members want to share. How else can you encourage good reviews?
Creating a sense of community.
Hanging signs in your studio, sending emails, and posting requests for reviews on your social channels can help, but don’t forget the power of the F45 brand and the pride our members have for their fitness family. You can build on this by making members feel like a valued part of your business—this could be as simple as a message thanking them for their support or a gentle reminder that referrals will help the community flourish.
Add value outside of the studio.
Remember that your members’ experiences of your business go beyond the time they spend in your studio. By sharing helpful tips, news, and advice on fitness and nutrition, you’ll stay top-of-mind and grow your community further. Each review, share, like, and positive comment will expose your business to more prospective customers.
It’s not just about social.
Independent review sites should also be high on your priority list, as most gym and fitness memberships start with a Google search. Yelp and Facebook reviews are often extremely powerful and should be taken into account. Recent reviews are prioritized over older ones on these sites—a good way to keep them coming is to ask members for a review each time they renew their membership.
Your F45 Training studio’s homepage is also great place to host your best and most recent reviews. Remember that you should always get permission from the reviewer first, though, particularly if the testimonial is to be used for profit.
Don’t ignore the negative.
We’re sure you’ve heard that negative feedback should be seen as an opportunity, and with good reason. If customers feel you’ve wholeheartedly listened to a bad review and addressed their issues, they will feel valued and you will be able to prevent similar comments in the future.
The worst thing you can do is to try and defend a bad review and end up getting into a disagreement online. Acknowledge any bad reviews and take the conversation offline by giving the reviewer a way to make direct contact with you. You can then work to solve any issues and allow the reviewer to come back with a more positive review.
It’s also honest feedback that will allow you to refine and build your customer experience further. We all like to get compliments, but justified and constructive criticism allows us to continuously improve, even if it’s just a little bit every day.
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