Every month, more than 500,000 entrepreneurs take the leap and start a new business. That may seem like a lot, but more businesses fail than succeed, so small business owners need every advantage they can get.
That’s especially true in the early goings, when customers and cash are king as the business tries to get some initial traction. Adam Kroll knows this all too well. After 12 years of success selling cars for various dealers across Iowa—culminating with a general manager role—he decided to go into business for himself and founded Kroll Auto Sales in Marion, Iowa in early 2018.
“I’ve been in the industry for a long time, and I started my business to make the car-buying process easier for people,” Adam says. “People hate spending hours at the dealership getting haggled and pressured to buy stuff they don’t want. My goal is to eliminate as much friction as possible when people want to buy a car.”
It’s a refreshing message, but how do you get it in front of the right people? These days, thanks to shifts in consumer behavior, the answer is to build a robust online presence so consumers can find your business when they’re looking to make a purchase. For a new business, that means getting more online reviews to provide social proof and increase your chances of showing up in online searches.
“A lot of times, people are just Googling ‘car dealer’ when they want to buy an automobile and seeing what shows up nearby,” Adam says. “I need my business to show up in those searches, and I need people to see my business as a great option when they do find me.”
Adam uses Womply’s Reputation Management solutions to tackle that problem. Left to chance, most small businesses get too few online reviews from their customers, which presents two issues. First, it’s harder for potential customers to find the business when they search online. Second, a single negative review (everyone gets them) has an outsized impact on shaping perceptions about the business.
Accordingly, Adam uses Womply’s Get Reviews feature as a simple way to encourage happy customers to share their experience on review forums like Google My Business or Facebook. The process is simple: Adam uses Womply to send a simple feedback request to recent customers, and those who give a high rating are prompted to leave a review on popular sites.
“Womply has made it dead simple for me to get more reviews,” Adam says. “A lot of times, people want to leave a review but don’t know how. With Womply, they just have to follow a link on their phone.”
The early returns have been promising. In the first few weeks, Adam’s business saw 28 new Google reviews and another 16 on Facebook, the majority of which he attributes to the prompts sent by Womply. That’s helped the burgeoning business attract new customers that might not have found or considered Kroll Auto Sales otherwise.
“We’ve had quite a few customers say they found us because we have great reviews online,” Adam says. “For a young business like mine, reputation is everything. We’re trying to get the customer experience right, and we want to spread the word. Online reviews are the best way to do that these days.”
You can read some of the glowing feedback Kroll Auto Sales has collected from happy customers here. If you’re in the Marion, Iowa area and looking for a great deal on a car, be sure check out Kroll’s inventory, contact Adam’s team, or apply for pre-approval on financing. If you run a small business that needs more reviews, request a free walkthrough of Womply.