When was the last time you went to the movies without first checking its reviews on Rotten Tomatoes? Or booked a hotel room without reading what others have experienced? Today’s consumers are relying more and more on reviews from others to make purchasing decisions.
A recent survey found that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation and 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. At a time when consumers can easily provide reviews and ratings on almost everything they buy, businesses are increasingly being impacted.
Over the years, c-stores have evolved from being a stop to fuel up the car to being a true destination. This is evident as the GasBuddy app receives, on average, 350,000 ratings and reviews each week about gas station convenience stores across the nation, since the launch of the feature in September. Customers are sharing their thoughts on everything from a station’s restroom and customer service to its coffee. The level of response demonstrates the enthusiasm from the consumer and the interest in the store.
This is why it is critical for store managers and business owners to apply best practices in managing their digital reputation. Online presence could have a huge impact on a store’s traffic and sales volume.
- Control digital business listings. Asserting ownership of your business listing on relevant platforms increases visibility and enables you to more effectively listen and respond to what customers are saying online.
- Have the data to back the claim. Ratings are not just a nice thing to have, they are a must have. In the age of data, words such as “best” and “quality” hold less meaning than ever if there isn’t a star rating to back such claims.
- Respond to customers. Responding directly to customers makes them feel like their voices matter and allows the opportunity to address specific issues to make customer experiences positive the next time around.
- Offer a coupon. In the case of a bad experience, offer customers a coupon. If you’ve addressed those issues, when the customer comes back in, you’ve helped build trust, loyalty and repeat business.
- Generate positive buzz. Strengthen a digital reputation and raise awareness of your c-store presence by asking your happiest customers to review your business online where you are present.
C-stores are changing accordingly with advances in technology. They’re being held to a higher standard. People want convenience as well as quality when it comes to clean bathrooms, good lighting and great customer service. The ability to monitor your station ratings and reviews lets you know what’s important for your specific customers.
With GasBuddy’s 15 million monthly active users, you have a huge pool of data right at your fingertips to make the best decisions for your c-store—and build a loyal customer base.
For more information, visit GasBuddy's business pages here.
This post is sponsored by GasBuddy