When it comes to your online business, stellar customer reviews are the gold standard. If you don’t have firsthand knowledge of a company’s wares and services and you don’t personally know anyone who’s already taken the plunge, there’s no better way to assess what a company has to offer than to read up on what their customers have to say. Because it’s gotten to the point that many of us go online for everything from toothpaste to legal services, savvy shoppers are in the habit of regularly perusing customer reviews when they’re in the market for just about everything.
What’s in It for You
Yes, you want stellar customer reviews, but many business owners consider this a hard-won byproduct of building a solid business over the years. While that’s certainly true of word-of-mouth marketing, things are a bit different on the worldwide web. In addition to helping you build your brand, attracting new customers, and retaining your customer base, customer reviews – the good, the bad, and the ugly – have a lot to offer, including:
- Positive reviews can play a pivotal role in your ever-important local search rankings. Many people may not check out an unknown entity such as a new local business until they know something about it, and favorable customer reviews found scattered across the web can provide us with just the push we need.
- While no one is aiming for negative reviews, customer complaints do provide you with the opportunity to better understand where you’re missing the mark, to more effectively and efficiently tweak your business in response, and to demonstrate that, for you and your business, the customer really is king.
Keep It Real
You aren’t simply trying to accrue more and more glowing customer reviews but instead are striving to generate unique, genuine responses to your products and services – across diverse platforms. Dimensionality, here, is key, so maximizing customer feedback across venues should be your goal.
Your Customer Service Inroads
Information that’s carefully culled from the customer feedback you receive – in whatever form – can be a gold mine. Whether it comes from phone calls, emails, electronic messages, a comment made to an employee, or anything else, when customers take the time and initiative to share, you should take the time to listen – and to crunch the data and polish your offerings as you move forward. While your efforts in this arena aren’t specifically geared to improving your online rank, they are organic to building both your brand and your devoted-customer base, and these translate nicely to bolstering your standing among potential customers – both online and on the ground.
When it comes to connecting with potential customers and generating customer reviews, social media is critical. Like it or not, social media plays an important role in how we connect, communicate, and shop, and not bringing your strongest game represents an opportunity lost. Building your presence on social media allows you to reinforce your brand and establish your business cred. There is no way around it – social media is the most expedient path toward generating customer feedback and authentically responding in kind. Social media allows you a golden opportunity to connect with your customers and to demonstrate your commitment to agile communication and your responsiveness to their needs. Social media has a lot to say, and you should be listening.
Shoot Me an Email
Email, that old workhorse, still has plenty to offer and shouldn’t be overlooked. When it comes to detailed responses to specific topics that are of special interest to you and your business, email is the way to go. Once you’ve established a working relationship with a consumer, requesting feedback via email is often very well received. And when consumers go off-script and provide personal insights (beyond responses to your straightforward questions), the information gleaned can be invaluable. Email may not be sexy, but it tends to get the job done.
Texting can be a great way to efficiently gather solid data from a large number of customers. This is especially true when you are on the hunt for specific, actionable information. YES/NO and multiple-choice questions allow you to keep it simple and generate the most raw-data. A quick text can also be the bump a customer needs to leave that review he or she intended to write in the first place but – before now – never got around to doing. Finally, your text can guide customers to your preferred review platforms.
Facing a barrage of surveys is not fun, but well-placed surveys are far more palatable and can reap tremendous rewards. Entry and exit surveys can be especially beneficial. Understanding what brings customers your way is important, but understanding what drove a customer into the arms of another business is critical. Most displeased consumers don’t spill but instead simply take their business elsewhere. Many such customers, however, are willing to share their reasons for moving on when given the opportunity. These responses can help you move your business forward with purpose.
Customer reviews on GMB and other sites (you don’t want to be a one-trick pony) are an obvious and important source of customer feedback that also heightens your SEO efforts. These reviews can help you get to the front of the local search line, and responding to these reviews is your chance to shine and put a human face on your business.
Speaking of local searches, they’re becoming even more intuitive for consumers and even more useful for businesses. It’s no longer necessary for potential customers to engage in a lot of forensics when they’re on the prowl. In fact, even location has become a given when searching for businesses like yours. Further, all the information necessary to successfully interact with your business is right there on the search page. One wonders how we ever found the time to scroll down or open search results in the past.
Digital Marketing Experts Can Help You Make the Grade
Generating authentic customer feedback and mining that feedback for the valuable information within is ultimately good for your business and brand building. When your customer reviews and other forms of feedback are diversified across platforms, you strengthen not only your local search rank but also your overall standing in the field, and that’s good for business. The digital marketing experts over here at The Web Guys can help with that, so go ahead and contact us at (317) 805-4933 today.