Online reputation management has forever changed the landscape of small businesses.
Any hair salon, restaurant, dentist or other small business, will live or die based on their online reputation.
The sad thing is that many businesses do not even realize how many customers they are losing due to the fact that their online reviews, social media presence, and word of mouth networks are weak. It is not uncommon for us to see a business have their weekly number of new customers quadruple, after they get their yelp profile fully tuned in. Of course results vary, and you could get no customers at all.
When I personally go looking for a new business I go on a social review site. I enter in the area I am in, I enter in the type of business I am looking for, and then I ask yelp to show me the highest rated businesses. Chances are I am going to go to the business that comes up number one, and I am never even going to see the rest.
For some of the businesses we have worked with, when we first looked at their online profiles, all they had were negative reviews that the business wanted removed. For other small businesses, when we looked we saw few or no online comments at all.
Recently I stopped into a small roadside restaurant in Northern California, that had amazing food. Bottom line it was a small kitchen and a few tables attached to a gas station. It had been there for 60 years, and the recipes had been handed down from generation to generation. The modern freeway had gone around the gas station, so it was hard to get to. There is no way that I or the other customers there would have ever found this great place without the good reviews it had. So it goes with many amazing places these days.
In fact I see a lot of businesses that just explode now due to word of mouth networking, and I am sure there are many others that fail, often without even knowing about it.
I am so pleased we figured out the solution.