More threads by Garrett Sussman

Mar 15, 2016
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Seasonal Businesses and ORMM: How to Keep Online Reviews Coming Year Round

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Your clients have a problem. It’s their off season. The time when business slows down and customers stop calling. Landscapers, ice cream parlors, summer camps, ski resorts — seasonal businesses go through this every year.

The problem isn’t really the off season though, is it? It’s the next season. It can be tough to get things going again, to get customers back into a routine. Sometimes clients find they’ve lost customers in the off season – customers go in a different direction, handle things in-house, etc.

These unexpected changes create fear.

It’s common for businesses to start their season with a twinge of uncertainty and fear. “What will this season be like? Business was slow last year.” Established businesses are so confident things will go well, they’re surprised when they don’t.

Then panic sets in.

What if your clients were able to create the kind of demand they needed to start their season confidently? What if they were able to prime their customers, starting their season with a list of customers who are ready-to-buy?

Reviews make that happen.

But these reviews need a specific ingredient in order to maximize impact. Research shows 90 percent of customers say their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. But a small minority, 1.5 percent in some industries, actually create reviews.

There’s another problem.
Customers forget.

Customers in the research process forget about the providers they find, which usually means these customers are lost opportunities.

Read the full post with 2 specific tactics for Seasonal Businesses here.

What are some strategies you've used to maintain consistent reviews for seasonal businesses? Any tips for others?

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Good topic to cover Garrett!

I know lots of consultants here have seasonal clients and so I'm sure would like to learn more about how to keep those reviews flowing.
I thought there was some creative, out-of-the-box thinking in this piece. One recommendation gave me a little pause:

Then, when customers agree to the call, get their permission to record it. Transcribe the call, then email it to them along with a link to the review site you’d like them to post it to.

Ask them to copy and paste their feedback into the form and viola!

I can't see a problem with this, if the business is writing down the customer's feedback, verbatim, but I wondered if there aren't doing so, it could be a problem. Yes, it's the customer's own feedback and they are posting it themselves, but hopefully this tactic would not be abused, as in the business editing the customer's feedback in some way. It really is an interesting strategy.
Thanks for the comment Miriam!

I completely agree that it's a clever idea, but hopefully the business would be trusted not to manipulate what the customer said on the call. I remember when working for another start up, I would frequently edit the testimonials for proper spelling and grammar (but those were testimonials, and not review prompts).

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