(Guest post by Taylor McKinney, a Marketing Specialist at TrustRadius, a trusted website for B2B software reviews. When she is not writing about the latest tools and small business trends she is enjoying Austin’s beautiful scenery with her family.)
You don’t need us to tell you how important customer experience is to the overall success of your business.
But using social media platforms to grow our audiences and project management software to speed up the process and frequency of our outgoing communication to customers, it’s easy to forget just how important the incoming communication is (i.e. from the customers we hold so dear). Listening to, learning from, and responding to verbatim feedback is an important part of satisfying customers and running a successful business. Here are the 3 ways that customer reviews can position you for success, and why you need to keep them at the top of mind.
Customers Know They Can Trust You – Good reviews tell your prospects you deliver the best in products or services, and that gives them confidence in your brand. And if a consumer sees your name but doesn’t know much about you—as compared to big box retailers and established brand names that they instinctively trust—they’re not going to give your brand a second glance. But that’s where the convincing words of other consumers are so powerful. In fact, according to a recent study, nearly 80% of consumers trust online review as much as personal recommendations from their loved ones.
You Get Valuable Feedback – Of course, not all your reviews will be 5-stars. But this is where you can turn a low rating into an opportunity. By allowing all reviews publicly, your customers can see how you quickly respond in a helpful, genuine, and friendly way, and individualized attention speaks volumes about your loyalty to your customers, thereby encouraging it from them as well. As a bonus, this will help you solve problems from disappointed customers, and even win back the hearts and business of any who have left.
It can also help you find out what customers love about your business, so that you’ll know what to continue and focus your efforts at expanding. Try reaching out to a few customers and ask to use their words on your website in exchange for a discounted product or service.
You Attract New Customers – When customers take the time to write about you on review sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, Angie’s List, etc, it can help to increase your brand equity and at the same time, potentially generate qualified leads to your site. This is a great method for growing your name in an authentic way and can help drum up more business in the meantime. The trick here is to make sure you’re responding to all of these reviews—helpful problem-solving responses to the unhappy customers, and brief but polite message of thanks to the positive reviews.
Good customer reviews are just about the simplest way to grow your company – for free – in a long-term, genuine, and qualitative way. When you’re offering an excellent product or service and engaging with your customers online (both in social media as well as in each and every review of your business), you’re setting yourself up for customer satisfaction, a strong reputation, and therefore – success.