Getting Out In Front Of Your Online Review Strategy
May 27, 2014
With the new world of online consumer reviews, customers now have the power to significantly help or hurt your company. In the past, it was said that an unhappy customer told 10 people of their bad experience.
Now an unhappy customer that leaves a review on Google, Facebook or Yelp, can influence thousands of others. And like all online data, reviews will remain visible for a very long time – having an impact on your business now and well into the future.
To navigate this new reality, every business needs to understand this new world of reviews and reputation management and have a plan in place to manage it.
Research shows that if a business has negative reviews, 85% of searchers will not do business with that company. A set of generally positive reviews will help a business – however not nearly as much as negative reviews will hurt it. In the same survey, 43% indicated that they would be likely to do business with a company that has positive reviews.
We are often told that the solution to this new business problem is that we need to provide excellent customer service. While that is easy to say and is certainly part of the equation, at the highest level the actual solution lies in the specific actions that a business takes. The devil of review and reputation management is, as they say, in the details.
There are a number of simple steps you can take to dramatically improve your chances of avoiding bad reviews and gathering positive ones. You need to know exactly how each customer perceives your service.
A solid review & reputation management process includes these four elements:
1. Ask Every Customer About Their Experience
Surveying every customer allows you to understand at both a detail and global level whether your systems are working. The goal is to continually improve your customer’s experience.
2. Understand Which Of Your Customers Are Unhappy
This allows you to solve their problems quickly post-sale. This gives you the chance to turn them in satisfied customers AND minimize the chance that they will leave you a bad review.
3. Know Which Of Your Customers Are Happy
The other goal of the survey is to understand which of your customers truly appreciate you and your work. These are the folks that will speak out on your behalf in the online social world and can become your advocates.
You not only ask them to leave a review but these “promoters” are your best future customers. Knowing who they are can help you grow your business more effectively.
4. Track Everything
A business needs to look at both the daily outcomes as well as the long-term affects of their efforts. Are your customers coming back? Are they telling others about you? What are they saying?
An Automated Approach
This sounds like a lot of work, and if you were to do this process manually it may not be sustainable by your business.
The key to success is automation. Using simple, automatic processes to help you collect customer feedback and identify your happy customers – and those that are neutral or not happy.
How GetFiveStars Can Help
What if you could solve the problems presented by the new world of reviews by entering a single email address?
GetFiveStars takes a “feedback first” approach – it helps you automate the process of following up with your customers after the sale or visit, by asking for feedback in a very simple, effective way.
This feedback is private, and allows you to determine which customers are happy, and which ones are not.
For happy customers, the feedback is captured and can be published to your website as a testimonial (this is optional). These happy customers are also presented with links to your business profiles on the online review sites you choose – making it easy for your them to leave you a positive review on Google, Facebook, and other major online review sites.
For customers who are neutral or unhappy, you receive an email alert with specific feedback that allows you to follow up with this customer and resolve the situation before they leave you a negative online review.
This approach to proactively asking your customers for feedback and identifying your happy, neutral and unhappy customers provides the following benefits:
- Avoid negative online reviews
- Get more positive online reviews
- Capture & publish testimonials to your website
- Better search rankings and conversions
- More repeat business and referrals
GetFiveStars allows you to ensure that you touch every customer and improve the experience for all your customers, and become the type of business they will refer to their family, friends, and thousands of people online.