April 25, 2018
Customer feedback is really all about social proof and is the biggest reason online reviews help customers when they deciding who to buy from. That’s why 88% of customer incorporate online reviews when making a buying decision and 93% say reviews impact their buying decision. But how do you go about getting great feedback that helps both your business and informs potential customers? We’ve put together a quick guide to show you how.
One of the largest problems you’ll run into when trying to collect review is customers not taking the time to really leave quality in-depth feedback on your business. As fun as it is to get a 5-star review with no comment, that really isn’t worth much to a prospective customer trying to understand if you have a patio that’s dog friendly or if your front-desk staff are friendly.
To get around this issue we recommend asking your customers for specific feedback on an aspect on your business when you’re asking for a review. For example if you’re a dentist you would ask them to rate your office staff and amenities or if you’ve invested in a great in-office experience like individual televisions or headphones that play a patient’s favorite music ask them to review these aspects of your practice.
The reason customer often don’t leave extended feedback is they just aren’t sure what they’re supposed to talk about or review. By being specific about the feedback your looking for you can not only increase the likelihood of getting a review, but the quality of that review will be more valuable for your business and potential customers in the future.
Everyone is going to take the easiest path, the path of least resistance. If the review process is difficult or takes too much work they just aren’t going to do it. In the past things used to be a lot more difficult, requiring extra steps just to get the chance to leave a review.
Even if you provide a great experience, do amazing work, and leave your customers delighted, they still aren’t going to be willing to go down a long or difficult road just to leave you a review. Review management platforms like the one offered byProsperMD can make it easy for your customers to quickly review your business on the review sites that are the most important for your business. Streamlining the process and making it easy for customers to do will result in a lot more reviews in the places that you’re looking for.
Businesses often make the false assumption you should only ask for feedback from your most satisfied customers. You would think a page full of 5-star reviews is the surest path to success, but this kind of no-fault presentation is quickly seen as fake and disingenuous. The great news is not being perfect is actually okay and as long as you’re above 4.5 stars, you’ll be in good shape.
We recommend asking every customer for feedback. This is the best way to make sure your online presence is representative of actual experiences. Don’t be afraid of getting a negative review every now and then. You can’t be perfect and having mixed reviews is healthy, a huge benefit here is that your reviews will be current and you will have a lot, both are signals Google uses when it’s deciding where to rank your web site.
Gathering reviews online is only one way to get feedback from your customers. There are other important ways to give customers the ability to communicate with you:
Providing a customer with an easy way to text your business you give them a personal one-to-one channel where they can not only share personal or private information, but can expand on their thoughts and give them more room to share.
Monitor social media
Watching your social media feeds are critical, if you’re mentioned on Facebook or Twitter you need to know asap you can be part of the conversation or at least know about it. Getting real time social media alerts is critical.
Know your stats
Being able to monitor all these channels can not only give you the ability to speak to your customer, but also a way to know who your customers are, where they like to interact, and tell you how you can do a better job serving them. Reviewing this data can be critical to help your business grow.
Watch the competition
A great way to know how you can improve is to watch your competitors, their social media feeds are a wealth of customer information, their reviews an opportunity to learn what they’re missing and where you can step in to help. Always use your competitors as a way to benchmark your competitors and know how you can improve and win some of those customers to your business.
Always be personal
When asking for a review request personalize the communication, no one likes to be a number, so when you get a generic text, email, etc. you just trash can it. But if it comes from someone you know you’re much more likely to open it, read it, and respond.
The best practice here is to send the request as close to the end of the sale as possible so you’re fresh in your customers mind. When you send out the request be sure to include their name and your name. Also make sure you let them know the review request is coming on their way out the door so they’re ready to go when they get it.
Always respond to customer feedback
It’s always important to respond to customer feedback, negative or otherwise, it shows you’re watching and that you care. Potential customers really can see this come through, especially when the review is negative. This of course doesn’t mean you respond to every tweet, post, or message, but it does mean you stay active in the conversation.
When you do get a negative review it’s time to out your best foot forward, you don’t have to agree with the customer, but you do need to treat them with respect, remember everyone is watching. Even if you can’t make the customer happy you can show that you care and you are sorry they had a bad experience. Future customers will see your effort and know they’re working with a business that cares, even when things aren’t perfect.