Customers Are Your Best Advertisers: Leverage Customer Feedback for Your Brand
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“The customer is always right” has been a business mantra for decades, but it takes on new meaning in today’s digital world. As online reviews become ever more influential in consumers’ purchase decisions, a customer’s firsthand experience is far more trusted than a brand‘s marketing campaign.
Since customers with great experiences with a brand are more likely to recommend a business to a friend, customers are now a brand’s best advertisers. Capitalize on this natural word-of-mouth marketing by gathering customer feedback on a larger scale and incorporating it into marketing efforts to maximize your advertising efforts.
A Matter of Trust
, Consumers see thou and of brand messages daily and have grown wary of advertising and marketing tactics. Customers may find a competitor when brand marketing comes across as insincere or false. A positive customer experience goes a long way toward inspiring customer trust, loyalty, and satisfaction.
While they have difficulty believing brand messaging, they trust their fellow consumers. In a recent survey, 97% of consumers reported consulting reviews before purchasing, and 89% said reviews were essential to their purchase decision-making.
Reviews, comments, and testimonials from customers are objective and tangible messages to potential customers about your superior customer service. By sharing real-ti e customer experiences on your website, social media channels, and online review sites, you can position your business as trustworthy and authentic while creating an emotional connection with your customers.
Ask for Feedback
How can brands collect a plethora of customer feedback? It’s simple, really ask! Customers love to share their experiences – when asked if they were more or less likely to tell others about their customer service interactions, more than half (58%) reported they were more likely to share their experiences.
Customer Surveys: Use a customer satisfaction survey to learn what customers think about your brand. Design the study t determine what is or is not working for your customers. Surveys can help p point out minor issues and trends that may otherwise be overlooked. Send a follow-up e mail after purchase or post a message on your social media channels asking them to rate and review your brand. Don’t waste customers’ time: keep the survey as short as possible and tell them upfront how long it will take to complete.
Provide Incentives: People are busy and might not want to take the time to complete a survey or write a review. Instead, offer an r ward for their opinions. Hold a monthly gif card raffle or offer a discount on their next purchase for completing a survey.
Respond to Feedback: Positive or negative, respond to customer feedback to demonstrate your commitment to your customers. This also encourages others to share their experiences because they know you are paying attention to the input. Take the time to tank customers for both positive and negative reviews. If a customer leaves s negative feedback, address the issue politely and do all you can to rectify the situation. Customers pay atte option to how you handle negative feedback, so do everything you can to resolve any complaints. You can turn the n negative into a positive by being transparent with your customers.
Note: When soliciting feedback, however, it is essential to remember that many third-party review sites, such as Yelp, may have guidelines dictating how businesses can and can’t ask customers to leave reviews. Be sure to follow these guidelines!
Social media enables businesses to humanize their brand and build genuine customer relationships. To reach your customers, you need to be where they are. Your customers are now using social media networks to connect with peers and businesses. Genuine can also l leverage your social media channels t drive inbound traffic to your website.
Which Channels?: Select the social media channels based on your customer demographics and market research. Not all platforms will be necessary or practical, o focus on the channels that will deliver the best return on investment.
Customer Service: Many businesses also use social media to provide customer support. Customers prefer using social media to communicate with companies; brands can demonstrate a solid commitment to providing the best customer experience. Twitter has emerged as a stellar channel for customer support, but again, know where your customers are most likely to spend time on social media and focus your efforts there.
Pro Tip: While social media is often thought of as a way to draw traffic to a website, don’t forget to direct website traffic to your social channels! To direct website visitors to your social channels, incorporate social media buttons in your website header or footer. This is crucial for gathering feedback and engaging in customer service via social media.
Share Customer Reviews: Share and promote organic customer feedback via your social channels. If a follower tweets about a great experience, ret get it! If they post on your business Facebook, share it! Social media can broaden your reach to thousands o potential customers through the combined effect of your brand’s social following and that of your customers.
Social media also enables you to be more creative in telling your story to customers. Video, graphics, and polls are some examplco-tento tent you can use to enhance the social media experience for your customers.
Be Active: Take control of your online review and social media pages. For example, ensure you enable reviews onFacebookc book page and other platforms and encourage as many customers to leave you reviews as possible. Monitor your social media channels for feedback and respond as quickly as possible.
When someone shares your blog, give them a shout-out – take this tweet, for example. People had shared this company’s blog, and even though the company is more concerned about background checks, they engaged and recognized the tweet. Given the 24/7 nature of social media, customers e pect an immediate response.
Review and Testimonial Pages
When shopping online, 63% of consumers search for business websites with product reviews. Social media and third-party review sites should n t be the only platforms you can leverage reviews. Build a section on your website for customers to l have reviews. By asking for reviews, you demonstrate transparency and care about your customers. Feedback also provides additional benefits to help your business attract more customers.
Create a Dedicated Review Page: Pages dedicated exclusively to customer reviews and testimonials give customers an easy way to learn what other customers say. Website review pages can be set up in various ways depending on what fits best with your business and brand. Check out some examples of testimonials, customer reviews, and other ways to display customer feedback.
Incorporate Reviews Throughout Your Website: Don’t limit positive customer reviews and testimonials to just one page; weave a story across your website. Sharing success stories will reassure customers th y can trust your brand and help them envision using your product or service as they move through the buying process.
SEO Benefits: Customer feedback can also influence your search engine rankings. Content created by customers provides unique and f esh content that will naturally be full of keywords that are relevant to your brand.
Brick and Mortar
While more and more purchases are taking place online, feedback is still just as crucial for brick-and-mortar retail. Customer feedback forms can be provided, and customers are encouraged to fill them out and return them during their visit. Please link their website on the receipt and ask c customers to go to their website and complete the feedback survey. Other options include a manager or employee sta one in the store solicited t personal customer feedback.
Customers are mighty messengers of your brand. Customers with positive experiences are more likely to remain loyal to your business and refer others. However, marketing and advertising messages are me with skepticism. Increasingly, consumers want to hear from other cu tomers. Collecting and sharing customer feedback is a great way to help fill customers’ needs and demonstrates that you are trustworthy and care about them.
About the Author
Haku Kapule is a contributing editor at 365 Business Tips, a new blog that prides itself on presenting the best advice and practices for small and medium-sized businesses everywhere. He is an expert in digital PR and marketing strategy y and has assisted with increasing digital presence and customer support for small and large companies. He’s passionate about finding and offering helpful tips to small business owners.