Listening To Customers

Now, more than ever, listening to your customers is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner. With the current state of COVID-19, many non-essential businesses are in a waiting state to work with customers. Other businesses like grocery stores, healthcare providers and storage companies are extremely busy.

listen to your customers

In related reputation management news, Google paused publishing new reviews on March 20th. It is likely Google will be publishing the reviews received during this time at a later date. In the meantime there are other places you might want to consider listening.

More consumers than ever are flocking to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to share their thoughts, ideas and yes, sentiment about local businesses.

Facebook recommendations (reviews) are extremely visible right now with the surge in social media time and traffic.

Know What Your Customer Thinks

What your customer thinks is more important than where they post it. You need to be tracking that sentiment whether it’s from a review site like Google or to you directly in a 1st-party review or customer feedback.

Regardless of whether you are accepting customers or not at the moment, you should use review monitoring to listen to every site possible and to everything that is being said.

GatherUp’s Pro plan allows you to monitor up to 10 review sites, Facebook recommendations and Twitter for keywords. You can also use our fellow Traject company social media tool Traject Social to listen and post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Now is the time to add monitoring for all the review sites beyond Google where folks are talking like Facebook, Yelp, BBB, vertical review sites in your industry as well as Twitter. Many times these sites pick up the extremes of consumer feelings; the extremely great and the very, very bad.

review monitoring
Review monitoring for a car dealership includes main sites like Google and Facebook but has added many industry-specific review sites.

For those businesses that are still active, asking your customers directly (a 1st-party review) is more essential than ever. You will find that asking your customers straight up for direct feedback will uncover thoughts, ideas and sentiments that users didn’t feel comfortable sharing publicly. You will discover that these 1st-party direct reviews tend to be more balanced across the spectrum and often provide more valuable feedback to your business.

Bring Your Reviews Into One View

Within hours, you can be getting all of your reviews from across the web into one single dashboard that can be an incredible management tool. You will be able to see the aggregate ratings of your business locations across multiple sites and multiple locations.

With this data in one spot you can take the 10,000-foot view or you can drill down to an individual location, groups of locations or even specific services (using our auto-tagging feature).

At the highest level we have seen restaurants use GatherUp to quickly spot any reports of illness or poor food prep to identify quality issues or weak points in the delivery of service. We are also seeing businesses track the mention of COVID and Coronavirus in their feedback and reviews.

But at a more granular level you can compare locations or groups of locations to each other to understand why some seem to excel and others seem to languish.

Fortify Your Listening

Whether you are currently working with new customers or not, you should take the time to add additional review sites for monitoring, ask for Facebook Recommendations (and authorize your account with us to reply in GatherUp), add Twitter monitoring and start listening to what your customers are saying wherever they are speaking.

There is a future and it will be populated with businesses that listen to their customers.


About The Author

Mike Blumenthal is a co-founder of GatherUp and helps oversee our research, industry insight and agency offering. Mike has long been regarded as the foremost expert on local search and Google Maps, earning the nickname “Professor Maps”. Mike also co-founded Local University, which provides small business and agency training in sustainable local search marketing. His motto: All Local All the Time.  He writes at his blog and does a twice a week LocalU podcast about Local marketing. 

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