Customer feedback is one of the most important tools for marketing and sales in your business.
When you buy something, do you ask others? Check online reviews? See what you can find out about it before you commit to the spend?
Most people do – and if someone’s review can persuade you, then your customers’ reviews can sway others to buy from you too.
The opinions given in reviews by others who have previously used your services tell you:
- If you gave them the product or service they expected
- If they thought it was good, bad or ugly
- Where you could improve on product or service delivery
- If they would recommend you to others – and if not, why
Reviews tell prospective buyers all about what to expect and can massively influence their buying decision.
Reviews aren’t used enough in marketing, but they can be used everywhere!
- Social media (as posts or videos)
- In advertising
- On your website
- In mailshots
- In case studies
What could be a more trusted source of information than the experience of a customer who has actually tried your product or service and has taken the time to review it?
How to get reviews
It’s vital to actively gather feedback from your customers and use it in your marketing – and all you have to do is ask!
Follow-up after the sale or project completion by asking for a review on Google, third party websites such as Check a Trade or Trip Advisor, or even LinkedIn.
Send them an email, pop the details in the package post it on your socials…
Give them a link and make it easy.
You could always offer an incentive – a little gift or discount code for their next purchase.
Here’s how and why to make getting reviews on the top of your marketing list!
FACT: People buy products with reviews
Data from Spiegel Research Centre (2017) shows that people are 270% more likely to buy a product with a review. Think about it – when you’re considering buying from a company for the first time, most people scroll straight to the reviews section on their website. A few five-star ratings can be enough to turn a browser into a buyer.
People trust reviews
Most previous purchasers leave reviews not because there is an incentive to do so, but because they feel strongly about the service they received – either positively or negatively. This type of unbiased third-party endorsement is valued by potential customers as they know it’s authentic.
In fact, Neilsen research shows that 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer and 70%, from a stranger.
Incentives can encourage reviews
Many customers leave reviews of their own accord, but often enough, people who are satisfied and have received the service they expect, don’t necessarily feel compelled to shout it from the rooftops. A simple reward such as a discount code can encourage them to give feedback. Incentives won’t influence an unhappy customer to leave a glowing testimonial but they can help extract a few lines or a rating from a reluctant reviewer, without affecting perceived authenticity.
Testimonials make great content
Posting quotes from reviews on your social media channels is a great way to drip feed happy customer experiences to your audience. Depending on the type of business, you could encourage customers to post images of themselves using your product or service, tagging your channels and using a dedicated hashtag. You should also have a testimonials section on your website.
‘Tis the season to gather reviews!
Christmas – or any other time of year when your sales peak – is a great time to ask your customers their views. Really make the most of this increased pool of purchasers. Contact them once the purchase is completed – that could be via an automated email or a survey – whatever you choose, make it short and simple so that they’re more likely to take part. You could end up with a great bank of feedback to use throughout the year.
How to handle a bad review
No business is perfect and we don’t all get it right every time. If a customer has a genuine complaint, apologise as soon as possible and if appropriate, make a compensatory offer – i.e. a replacement, refund, complimentary gift, etc.
Even if they’ve gone right off the scale with a scathing review, keep your cool and be polite – you won’t come out of it well if you mirror their tone and style! You are actually likely to put others off.
Once dealt with satisfactorily, you could then ask for feedback. You might feel reluctant to highlight an initially negative experience but it’s reassuring for other customers to see that even if a mistake is made, you are quick to resolve it.
If the same negative comments arise on a few occasions, use it constructively to look at your service and make adjustments. Acting on your customers’ feedback sends a strong message that you value them.
If you’d like help to harness the power of reviews, get in touch: