Customer Perception Is Your Reality


There’s no question that review sites have changed how customer perception affects your business. Not only can your convenience store customers tell others what they think of you with a few clicks in an app, they can find out more about you than you may want them to know. There’s little you can do to control what’s said about you on review sites, but you can leverage the information from these sites to your advantage.

How Review Sites Change the Competitive Landscape

Studies show that nearly 70% of purchase decisions are affected by online reviews on sites like Yelp and Google Business. This idea applies to businesses like convenience stores, too. Apps give consumers information beyond just where to find you – they can also almost instantly see your gas prices and what other consumers think of you. Follow these tips to use online reviews to tip the scales of competition in your direction:

  • Be active in your own profiles. Thank customers who leave you positive reviews. Apologize to customers who are unhappy, but don’t engage in an argument with them. Other potential customers want to see you say something like “I’m sorry to hear about your experience, please contact me directly so we can make it right.” Bickering back and forth with an unhappy customer won’t earn you points with anyone.
  • Monitor your competitors’ reviews, too. You can gain a lot of insight from reading what customers have to say about your competition. You might learn about new promos or pricing strategies. It may be obvious that your biggest competitor is out-performing you on customer service, or you might learn exactly what they’re doing to make customers look for another option. Either way, you can use the information you gather from review sites to give yourself a competitive advantage.
  • Look for trends in customer loyalty. By keeping tabs on consumer reviews of your business and your competition, you should be able to pick up on clues about what drives customers to one place over another. Do customers like your competitor’s new loyalty program? Are customers waiting too long for service? Is there a product they want and can’t find? Reviews can tell you a lot about what brings people in, and what drives them away.

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