The 21st Century: Listings Going Beyond The YellowPages

Remember the days when if you wanted to find or contact a business, you had to flip through the monotonous thousands of pages in a YellowPages book?

Well, those days are far from over. The internet has completely changed the game of business directories, and it’s taken it far beyond needing only a single website location. You need to be present on as many online directories as possible.

Today, when people want information on a business, they turn to search engines.

According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online before making a purchase.

For example, say you’re looking for a new hair salon in Memphis. You’ll most likely pull out your cell phone and Google, “Hair Salon in Memphis.” There’s no doubt that hundreds of different locations will strum up. But I guarantee you that the ones you pay attention to are on the first page.

This didn’t happen by accident, nor does it necessarily mean that the businesses on the first page are exactly what you’re looking for. These businesses worked hard at gaining their first page status. That means composing engaging content filled with search engine optimizing keywords on their website, as well as being present across multiple social outlets. It also means that they have solid, consistent business listings across the board.

Search engines need to be told who is the best. They don’t just decide this on their own. The more places that your business is listed, the more that search engines will pull your business to represent the specific products and services that customers are searching for. This is why it is of key importance that your small business is listed on as many relevant business directories as possible.

By doing so, you’re creating something called inbound links, also known as backlinks, which are links that come from an external site and point to your website. This is very good for your business’ SEO.

Note: over time, it is possible that your listings can change. Say your business moved locations or got a new phone number: because you only changed the information on your website, your business listings could be incorrect on multiple places on the web. This creates faulty inbound links, which is bad for your SEO, as the business directories would have conflicting information from that on your website. It’s important to make sure you have concise listings across the board.

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That’s why at The Rep Shop, we offer our Presence Builder to do this all for you. With one tool, you can unify your online presence to the point where you only have to maintain one set of data across your desktop, mobile and social platforms. Meanwhile, Listing Distribution will ensure your business listings are consistent and accurate across 300+ websites.
Don’t get bogged down by trying to individually add and fix your business’ listings on every search engine and directory there is on the web. Let The Rep Shop do it for you, and you can sit back and watch your business climb the pages of Goggle.

The 4 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Online

It’s not hard: it’s good customer service.

But in today’s world, being online goes far beyond just having a website.
It’s being present, active, and engaging on social media.

You might think: “How does having a Facebook have anything to do with how well I run my business?” Or “My children use Twitter, so it’s not like any of my customers are going to be using it. It’s too young of a crowd.”

The truth is that they actually do matter, and that your customers are using both Facebook and Twitter. All marketers realize the importance of marketing and advertising efforts as a way to bring more customers into their business. But active social media presence doesn’t just bring in more customers, but it also helps build better relationships with current customers.

The reason The Rep Shop offers a comprehensive social media management service is because we know how important it is to communicate with your customers in a deeper, more personal manner that goes beyond the person at the register. Social media is a great, easy communication tool for any business.

Here’s why:

1. Communication is Quick and Easy

It doesn’t take long to respond to a customer online. Aside from however much time it takes to resolve an issue, responding to your customer online is the quickest method to open up communication, and it alerts you the moment your business is mentioned. The Rep Shop dashboard even offers real-time alerts and an simple response system for when customers write reviews on major sites such as Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

2. Third Party Validation

In today’s world, having third party validation for your brand goes far beyond having a well-known name around town. By gaining a following on your social media platforms, you are showing your potential customers that your business is actually “liked” -pun intended- by other people. You can say you’re great all you want and that your business already has the brand recognition it needs in the community, but if there aren’t people to back you up, why would anyone believe you? Potential customers want to see that others already trust your brand. It’s easy as that. Our Twitter lead generation tool lets you easily find potential customers in a specific region who are interested in/ mentioning the kinds of products or services that your business offers online, and follow and target them. The more you follow and engage with potential customers, the more they will follow and engage back.


3. Can Keep Your Eye on Your Competition

More than likely, you have more than one competitor who is active online: from posting great content, like informational articles from accredited journals, local news and events, to fun phots of their team and current promotions or deals. The Rep Shop allows you to monitor your competition, how they’re selling their product, and what customers are saying about them. You can learn more about your competition online than you could by stepping into their business itself.


4. Get a Better Feel for Your Customers’ Opinions

When customers are upset, they just want their voices to be heard, and people love to voice their opinions on social media. Hiding behind a computer or mobile screen gives people the courage to say the things that they wouldn’t say in person. It’s much easier to bash a business with a one-star review on Yelp and a crude comment on Twitter than it is to approach a manager and voice a concern. But, by being a business that encourages your customers to speak to you freely and voice their concerns to you online, you are creating your business to be a transparent and trusting. Other potential customers will appreciate the effort you made to respond back to their negative comments and attempt to fix the problems, rather than just letting them lie.

From gaining new leads to building loyal customers and branding yourself, the importance of your business’ online presence is almost unmeasurable. Actively engaging online is an easy and essential method to building a great customer service platform that will benefit your business. Contact The Rep Shop at 800.895.2840 to see how we can help build your business’ online presence today!

How to Respond to Negative Online Reviews

Customer service satisfaction survey

Customer service in 2015 lives online. Many people are going online to review businesses and give their thoughts on the service. Online reviews can play a very large role in gaining new business! Because of this, it is important to monitor your online reputation and reviews.

At some point, a business might receive negative online reviews. Knowing how to respond to this review is extremely important!

Marie D’Costa , co-owner of The National Hotel in Frenchtown, N.J., said her hotel always replies to negative reviews and takes the time to find out the story behind the guest’s complaints.

Check out these 3 ways to respond to negative reviews:

  1. Say Sorry
    • “I’m really sorry you had a negative experience at our restaurant. We really pride ourselves in providing good customer service and an exceptional experience.” 
  1. Leave Marketing
    • “This must be an isolated incident, as normally people rave about our customer service – from the receptionist to the dentist. I am anxious to hear what happened to see if we can rectify the situation.”
  1. Get the Customer on the Phone
    • “I’d love for you to call me so we can work this out. My name is _____and I’m the owner – please give me a call at 1-800-XXX-XXXX.”

It is important to respond to each and every review and let the customer know they are appreciated and that you are listening to their comments and concerns.  By responding quickly, you can minimize the damage and show future customers that you take time to improve your business.