Customer reviews are a hugely important factor in the fitness industry. With Internet sources and word-of-mouth being top referral sources and another means of advertising, the opportunity for exposure is exponential. A positive customer review can speak volumes for a business owner, especially when it is available to be viewed publicly. Now you can find reviews on a variety of websites, from Yelp to Google Business and Facebook to Twitter. It's worth considering all of the sites to set up your own personal profiles, especially if they are industry-driven review sites.
People are sharing their experiences on everything, and what they are saying has an impact on others' decisions. The internet has become one of the most popular locations to do a little bit of digging into a business before a lead visits or becomes a paying customer. According to HubSpot research, 85% of people trust the reviews they read online, and 57% claimed the review influenced their decision to visit a company’s website after seeing positive comments others have taken the time to write. The more positive reviews people see online, the more credibility you’ll build in your brand!
Now, not everyone is going to leave a rave review about your business and it can be expected that there could be a negative review here and there. Those negative reviews will influence the viewer a great deal, and they can quickly lose interest in your services after reading such comments. This is why we know that something as simple as positive feedback can make or break your business.
Understanding how to ask for reviews from your clients is an important part of building a successful business. If you make it a priority to ask for reviews from your members, your customer base and your business will grow. With a good reputation in both the digital and real world, you can start knocking out the competition! So, how do club owners and operators engage their members to write reviews and feedback? Follow these three tips:
This should be no surprise, but it starts by asking your clients. Some business owners forget to ask and if you don't ask for reviews, it won't happen. These days people are quick to open their phone and search a product or business name before making a purchase. This is why your members will understand how important raving reviews are to your business, and when you offer a service worthy of a positive review, no one will be troubled by you asking. If you do receive a compliment in-person during class, in the lobby or just walking to your car, ask the member if they would mind posting that on a particular review site. Unless someone has something negative to say about your business, it is most likely that clients are not going to go out of their way and look for a platform to compliment your business.
Pro tip: Post a sign at your front sign-in desk to act as a reminder to your members that if they have a memorable experience, they should share it on a variety of different review sites.
It's important to remember that you don't want to buy your members' reviews, but you do want to show them appreciation for writing a review. Offering a small incentive to your clients for writing a review is an effective way to encourage unbiased reviews of your fitness business. Incentives are always important. We suggest a small incentive that won’t cost you much, but instead spread brand awareness and bring new leads through your front door. Some incentive ideas for a positive review are:
While asking for reviews at the right time and in the right way is a major factor in increasing the number of reviews you receive, giving your customers an extra incentive makes them even more likely to share feedback.
Social media continues to see an increase in the sharing of customer service experiences. Facebook affects more than 50% of consumers’ purchase decisions. When you think about the amount of people that will take to social media to share good customer service experience, this is a great place to collect positive reviews. Then consider how many people can see that comment or status update on Facebook, it could drive your business in the right direction. Make sure to engage with the positive comments by thanking the individual and repost on your business account.
Pro tip: Post direct links to your your social media channels in your email signatures, newsletters, and website to make it easy for people to leave a review.
Positive reviews and feedback online has the potential to influence rapid growth through more referrals from your current members, increased traffic of potential new members, and more, as you also build a reputation for being an outstanding business in your community. Don’t forget that online reviews can also influence a company's SEO (search engine optimization). Websites like Google will look through online reviews and pop them up in search engine results. Read more about some other marketing tips in this Wodify Blog: Five Marketing Tips for Fitness Businesses.
If you would like to get more business tips and learn how the Wodify platform can help your business growth, you can book a call here. Hope to talk to you soon!