Thursday, March 17, 2016

From Get More Useful Feedback and Better Reviews – 10 Tips

Collecting useful feedback from your customers should be a continuous part of your business process.  Positive or negative, feedback in the form of reviews and comments from real customers give your vital insight into what is working and what is not.

dissatisfied-customers-useful-feedback-and-better-reviewsGetting useful feedback and better reviews is not easy.  It can be downright difficult to get customers to dedicate time to a few questions when dealing with even the best products and providing stellar customer service. So…

How Do You Get More Useful Feedback and Better Reviews from Your Customers?

You know the truth of the matter is people are more inclined to tell about and take action (like leaving a review) a bad experience.  It makes sense when we go through the trouble of buying something to expect our money’s worth.  That includes a product performing as promised and people who are abundantly happy to ease us through the buyer’s journey.  When a business provides that they are simply doing what was expected.  When they fail to meet those baseline expectations, the chances are much higher that the whole world is going to hear about it.

It’s not the end of everything to get negative feedback.  It is actually helpful in pinpointing where you can make improvements.  But we also want to encourage and collect positive and “blah” feedback so the business knows what they can do more of to delight the customers and if their customer service expectations match their customers’.  Here are 10 things you can do to get more useful reviews and better feedback:

1. Be Active on Social Networks and Respond to Customers

With its rapid-fire nature, social media can seem like way too much to add to your overflowing list of things to monitor and act on.  That said, if your customer base is on social media then you need to be as well. Do you NEED a social customer care plan or social media marketing budget?  Probably not, but you should be monitoring mentions of your business on social networks and responding to customers and prospects who are trying to communicate with you online. You’ll get to see the real (and unsolicited) feedback of customers and build deeper connections with consumers who use social media.

2. Monitor Customer Reviews on Relevant Review Sites

On this blog we could (and DO) talk a lot about the importance of generating positive customer reviews and I invite you to scroll through the Reputation Loop blog to learn all about growing your business with a five-star online reputation.  Right now I want to impress upon you how vital it is you encourage customer reviews and make it as easy as possible for customers to give them.  Automating the entire customer review process – from soliciting the review to getting them posted and monitored on the websites where they matter the most – with a low-cost service like Reputation Loops makes the customer review process incredibly easy.  Packed with features, with an email address you can contact customers, get immediate feedback after purchase, personal contact and handle negative feedback, and send happy to customers to post their five-star ratings online.  As a bonus, you get constant monitoring of your online presence and listings so you are seeing the feedback that lets you know what people are saying about your business.

3. Ask “Why?” When Customers Abandon Their Landing Page

With personalized behavioral popups you can select different popups to show on your website depending on how the visitor is clicking around.  One of the most impactful uses is to have an exit popup that ask the site visitor for a little feedback on why they are leaving your website.  Keep it simple with a one-question fill in the blank or multiple-choice selection.  And why not through in a special offer or a one-time discount to keep clicking around while you are popping up.  You’ll increase conversions with the special offer and get feedback on how you can lower your bounce rate and cart abandonment.

Exit Surveys4. Provide Live Chat Support

To a customer, 10 seconds online is like 10 days in real life.  If you have a new customers or prospects visiting your website don’t expect that they will happily spend the time to pick up the phone and ask a question.  Even more farfetched is that they are invested enough in your business to happily send an email that could take hours or days to get a response to.  Give them real-time customer service with live chat support.  Chances are you aren’t State Farm insurance and won’t need 24/7 support, but during your business hours prospects and customers should be able to easily reach a person who can answer a question or two and ease them towards the sale.

5. Make On-Site Feedback Easy with One-Click Email or a Feedback Page

Have a feedback email or webpage dedicated to making it almost too easy for customer and site visitors.  Make this option highly visible on your website so customers who are comfortable on email know just where to go to ask a question or give feedback on their experience.  There are simple website plugins and services like Freedback and Iron Spider you can use to put feedback forms directly on your desired website pages.

Use Online Feedback Forms

6. Use Feedback to Track Customer Service Performance

Gathering customer feedback enables you to track not only customer satisfaction, but the performance of your customer facing employees. A Harris Interactive survey found that 86% of clients quit doing business with a company after a bad customer experience.  When choosing what information, you want to get when from your customers, don’t ignore the importance of the customer’s interactions with your staff.  Useful feedback and better reviews will give you insight on more than just your product and your website.

7. Make Customer Surveys Part of Your Confirmation Page and Emailed Receipts

There are a lot of ways to optimize the confirmation page you customers see after a conversion or the email they receive after making a purchase or opt-in.  Business often use this real estate to encourage social sharing, upsells, and referrals.  All smart ways to drive more conversions, but you are missing an opportunity to get immediate feedback on the customer experience right at the time of purchase.  There is a really good reason to find out why this particular person made their purchase and the right time is when they are still in the buyer’s cycle.

8. Prominently Display Review, Ratings, and Testimonials on All Pages

Build customer confidence and encourage feedback by displaying the feedback you already have on your website in the form of reviews and testimonials.  There are plugins and software like Reputation Loops reputation management software you can use to create attractive displays of your best feedback on your heavy traffic pages in just a few clicks.  Automated software and widgets keep your website reviews fresh and show customers the importance you place on their feedback.

Display Reviews on Website9. Proactively Call Your Customers

When you want the truth, you go to the source.  A phone call to your customer is a surprisingly effective way to show your dedication to the customer experience while getting firsthand (and more thorough) feedback.  Answering a few questions over the phone is easier than typing a response.  In addition, you will have the benefit of hearing and noting the customer’s tone as another gauge of their satisfaction with your business.

10. Humanize Your Customers Journey

People like to do business with people they can trust.  When your website and customer service are mechanical and impersonal, customers have a hard time making the connections that encourage loyalty and repeat business.  When you add the human touch to every stage of the buyer’s cycle customers feel more confident about interacting with a real person.  Make sure your brand has a personality that lets customers know that there is a person who cares about their experience and wants to hear their feedback.

Use this free Local Score grader below to search the most important business listings and customer review sites to see where your business’s online presence is working hard for you and quickly find where you can make improvements.

What’s Your Local Score?

Enter any business name and zip code and see how you show up on directories.

Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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