Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
How to use your customer feedback from 2019 to win more business in 2020November 20th, 2019 by
Nearly all businesses spend time securing online reviews, because, without them, they know it’s difficult to stand apart from their competition and establish themselves as a great investment. Plus, today’s homeowners care more than ever before about online reviews: Forbes estimates that 92% of people use them to judge whether or not a company is going to win their business.
So how do you leverage online reviews to get more business in 2020? This is the question many business owners grapple with. After all, positive reviews do not always translate into sales without other strategies boosting it. Here’s how you can turn your customers’ two cents this year into next year’s dollars.
Source more useful reviews
Business owners often get so caught up in the final number of reviews that they forget why people check them. The overall number is just one aspect. If there is no useful information in the reviews then customers may still be turned off or become suspicious. No one cared enough about the service to leave a detailed review? That might signal a red flag.
When you ask customers to leave a review, encourage them to say what they enjoyed about working with your business. Also, encourage them to email you about anything they did not like about your products or services so that you can address them directly. Note that public reviews are not the only useful ones when it comes to improving your business.
Respond to your reviews publicly
When someone posts a negative review, it’s tempting to pretend it doesn’t exist. If you know the feedback is true, then this can make things even more complicated. However, consider the customer reading your reviews. They may feel better about a company that acknowledges a wrong and tries to make amends than one that does nothing at all. Forbes points out that it might seem like the business is hiding something.
It’s important to respond to positive reviews as well. Thank customers for taking the time to review the business or sharing their experience. If you feel so inclined, you may even offer a discount to someone after a detailed review at random. This may encourage others who come across it to be thorough when they leave their feedback, without you ever making any promises of a reward for them doing so.
Find brand ambassadors
No matter how small your business is, there’s a brand ambassador interested in working with you. The trick to finding a good one is to see how people respond to their posts about products and services. If they have used and loved your product or service, even better. Did their review of your work get 100,000 views on YouTube? Consider offering free services or asking for a collaboration on a video.
Brand ambassadors are the ultimate referral service. Some builders create homes for the wealthy that get shipped across the world and helicoptered onto a site thousands of miles away from its point of origin. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth or the strength of visual demonstrations.
Fill product education gaps
One of the most important things you may learn from negative reviews is what people struggle with most. Sometimes the problem is not the product but people’s understanding of it. Things that you find simple — and which may, in fact, be simple — may prove difficult for the less experienced. Tech may be the first thing that comes to mind, but consider even a restaurant that serves crab seafood.
Crab legs may be the most expensive item on the menu and could be the aroma that drew people in. However, people often feel intimidated by eating crab for the first few times. Providing videos online and even on displays in the restaurant may help to ease the tension while educating customers. The same idea may prove useful when it comes to topics such as what to expect during new constructions or how to clean up a job site. Prepare your customers for what’s ahead.
Use customer reviews in your ads
Most companies use good reviews from customers in their ads. They want to showcase the best of what they bring to the table and the fact that the whole world has seen and acknowledged it. And then, you have pizza companies. Dominos and Papa John’s have both been phenomenal at using negative feedback to climb out of a crisis.
In 2010, Dominos shocked its critics by publicly admitting that customers were right. Its pizza tasted like cardboard — and they were fixing it. This helped the company recover from a serious 2009 slump. In 2018, Papa John followed a similar route after a much more serious allegation: racism from their CEO. While this may not work for all industries, the general principle of acknowledging wrongdoings carries through.
Partner with a reliable ally
Whether you decide to highlight the good or the bad reviews in your ads, you may need help sourcing useful ones. This may be easier said than done for small businesses that may not have an established review process in place. They may also not have a system to handle customer satisfaction data in-house, even if they had the forms to get that kind of information.
Well, what if you did have all the tools you needed? GuildQuality works with home improvement and construction professionals to secure customer feedback that will create more sales for you in 2020. Get started today.