Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Managing Your Businesses Online Reputation

A decade ago managing the reputation of your business could be covered using the same techniques that have been used since the invention of the printing press.  But with the advent of Web 2.0, social media and the growth of community review sites, that time has passed.

Today a simple web search for your business name surrounded by quotes can be an eye opener.  Practically every business located in a major city has been reviewed somewhere online – and most owners don’t even realize it.  Sites like,, and of course allow your customers to easily post ratings and reviews about your establishment. 

What this means is that your potential customers are reading not just the descriptions of your business and services that you have spent hours crafting and publishing on your web site, but also reviews that you may have never seen and didn’t know existed.  The logical next question is, “How do I manage and profit from these reviews?”  Unfortunately there isn’t a simple answer, but there are a few key steps that you can take:
  1. Use these services to your benefit - With online communities, the more reviews about your business, the more trusted it becomes.   I recommend giving a printed card (or adding a link SpaBooker’s Thank You Email template) to each of your customers when they are checking out that asks them to leave a review of your business on your site of preference.  These reviews are becoming even more important now that Google has started adding them to their local search results (to see what I mean try a search for New York City spas), since the number of ratings a business has helps determine its placement in organic search results.

  2. Monitor Popular Sites – Make sure to visit, and other sites where your business is regularly reviewed (a calendar reminder works nicely) to see what your customers are saying.  Not only will this help you measure your online reputation, but it can also help to identify issues within your business quickly.

  3. Respond to negative reviews – While it’s a nice idea to strive for perfect five star reviews every time, this actually can be a detriment to how you are perceived in the market.  Consumers tend not to trust businesses that only have perfect five star reviews, especially if there are only a few of them.  The best thing to do with negative or critical reviews is, respond to them.  Most sites allow business owners to respond to reviews, and if a site doesn’t, just post a response comment.  In most cases, these sites will not post particularly slanderous comments or reviews, but if one does slip through, you can usually request its removal.

  4. Provide Great Customer Service – I know that it sounds like common sense, but it is amazing how many times it’s forgotten.  After all, ratings and reviews are ‘word of mouth’ personified.  What was once intangible and hard to measure, is now easily searchable across the web.  The main way to make sure that your business is receiving glowing reviews is by providing terrific service.  This applies to every facet of your business, but remember to pay particular attention to your front desk staff, after all they are your customers’ first and last point of contact.
While community review sites have undoubtedly created new challenges for business owners everywhere, the upside is that there are now many more places around the web for potential customers to find you. Ratings and reviews are here to stay, and if managed properly, they will be a tremendous tool to help your business grow.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Specials - Give Your Clients a Break

Coupons, discounts, specials-oh my! Coupons boost customers to spend more money and encourage repeat business. Get creative in SpaBooker by customizing your own specials to attract new customers and to help alleviate your clients’ pain of spending money. Remember the holidays are just around the corner and discounts will be a great way to attract clients around the most giving time of the year. Keep your customers happy and make sure you let everyone know about your specials through your SpaFinder page, website, advertising, and word of mouth.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Card 'Swiping' 101

As you may already know, there are two different methods for settling credit card transactions: 1) Swiping a customer's credit card at the point of sale or 2) Using pre-stored credit card data in the SpaBooker system. Did you know that credit card processing companies charge a higher transaction fee for using pre-stored data instead of physically swiping the card? Therefore, it is always recommend to ask to swipe if possible. Using the swipe method to take payment should be your preferred option as you will receive better processing rates. Further, we recommend continuing to save the customer's credit card information for the situation when the customer does not bring their card with them. Not familiar with integrated credit card processing? Call your account manager today and find out if SpaBooker's rates can save you on your overhead expenses.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sell Gift Certificates From Your Website

Thousands of gift certificates are purchased online every day, and your gift certificates should be included in this growing trend. By allowing your consumers to purchase gift certificates online, you turn your website into a profit center. Utilizing this functionality with SpaBooker is as easy as the click of a button, comes at ZERO cost to you, and we’re going to show you how. Click here to watch the video on how to launch gift certificate sales on your website today.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Marketing Tip of the Day: Online Booking

Add your online booking engine to your website today so customers are able to book at anytime or anywhere. Do you know where to find your online booking link? You can locate it in the Resources tab under Book Online Link. Put it EVERYWHERE! On your email signature, on every page of your website, add the link to your Facebook or Twitter. There is NO limit. The more you market yourself the more bookings you will have.