Grow Your Business With Customer Reviews
There’s truly nothing better as a business than to receive a positive review from your customers. Not only does it mean that you’re doing something right, it means that other people who look up reviews of your business will notice your good reputation. In a world where 1 in 3 people conduct an internet search of a business before they visit (from web web 2019), this is so important for creating and maintaining a reputation. But this isn’t all you can do with customer testimonials. There’s a couple more uses for them that go beyond your business’ reputation…
Using Customer reviews in your marketing strategy
You business’ reputation is important but, once you’ve established your business as being trustworthy and capable of adding value through your services, it’s time to use that reputation to gain potential customers’ trust and convert them into returning customers. This is especially important if your business is hybrid or digital model in which people can’t visit a physical location or have to buy from you through an integrated eCommerce feature on your website. Proving your trustworthiness in this situation is non-negotiable for success.
We call this use of customer testimonials, “Social Proof”. The idea behind using this marketing technique is that leads that are already considering purchasing from you will see that previous customers got the results that they also want to get. This will convert these leads to potentially returning customers.
Using negative reviews to improve your service
Positive reviews are something to be excited about but negative reviews can often leave you feeling as if all the hard work you’ve put in has been for nothing. The best way to look at negative reviews is as an opportunity for development. Footballers need coaches for a reason, to tell them what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong and how they can be better. Whilst customers may not always be as forgiving as this (we are talking about the internet after all!), you should take these opportunities to learn why a customer had a bad experience and figure out from there, how you can fix it so that it doesn’t happen again in the future.
Of course with negative reviews comes a worse image for your business. While you can’t control what people on social media and online review sites will ultimately say about you, there is a way that you can automatically, ask for reviews from customers, receive those reviews and control what reviews you want to showcase on your website based on their rating…
What is a Reputation management system?
If you’ve never heard of a reputation management system or perhaps never had it explained to you, it’s actually really very simple. This type of system will allow you to ask for reviews from customers and send them to a specific site in which they can leave their rating. You can then choose what the minimum rating must be to send the customer to an official review site for them to leave their review. This way, if they leave a negative review, they don’t leave a review on a public online review site unless they choose to do it outside of the review request you sent them. The feedback will then come back to you so that that you’re able to improve your processes and service for the future.
How to implement one of these systems
The process we recommend consists of a three different parts. This is what we consider to be the best way to gather customer reviews and will help you improve and protect the public perception of your business.
Step 1 Ask The Customer For A Review (example request to customer)
First step in the process is the request that is sent to the customer. We recommend that you have a consistent template for this type of email or text message. What this allows is for a better and more consistent customer experience and higher chance of obtaining customer reviews. It also makes automating this type of process much easier. Whether you’re using a Marketing Automation system at the moment or not, this will help to future-proof your marketing, sales and customer service follow-up processes in the long run. This email or text message should come across as a personal email or text message sent by you to the customer asking for their feedback and should of course include a call to action link to the page that will start the customer review collection process.
Step 2 Organise How To Work With Good and Bad Reviews
Second step in the process is the page in which your reputation management system decides where to take the customer next. If they click on, for example, a filter option that helps you determine whether they are happy or not, you can then redirect them to public testimonial review capture channels e.g. Trustpilot, Google, Facebook etc or if they click on the ‘could be better’ face, then direct them to a non-public review capture form and you can decide what to do with it next. For us this ensures some sort of initial filter on good and bad reviews, removes risk of bad public reviews and enables the best reviews to go through to appropriate public channels. While this might seem strict, it shouldn’t stop many reviews going through for you as long as you’re providing a good service which the customer feels they have received value out of.
Go Public With Those Happy Customer Reviews
When a review meets your minimum requirements (green smiley face!), you should then offer your customers a choice of places where they can leave their rating and full review.
This can be Facebook, Google, Trustpilot or any other site that allows reviews of businesses. Which one is best for you will depend on your business. You can of course just show one option, for example, google or trustpilot or…as this will help your strategy to build up reviews in a channel that you don’t have many and would benefit your business further.
Manage Those Unhappy Customers
When a review doesn’t meet your minimum requirements (yellow unhappy face!), it’s a good idea to take the customer to a page where they can leave their feedback and reason for their review so that you can look at it later.
This review won’t go on public review sites and will instead remain internal for you to decide what to do with it. From there you can make amends with the customer if need be and improve your processes and services so that negative reviews are prevented in the future.
Step 3 Build Up Your Business Reputation And Showcase Those Reviews
Our third and final recommended step in the process is to capture all reviews (good and bad) in a central platform and automatically push (by a simple tick mark ✔ internal approval process) those reviews that you want to showcase on your website. All you need to do is add a little widget from your reputation management tool and hey presto…customer reviews will populate on the desired pages of your website and not a website developer in sight!
Approve Your Reviews
What are you waiting for? Start putting those customer reviews to work!
But what if you don’t have the know-how or time to learn how to implement one of these systems yourself? As useful as they are, time for implementing systems like these doesn’t grow on trees and needs to be tested. Interesting in some bedtime reading on the broader topic of customer experience, grab our free eBook here.
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Autus provide Revenue Growth Platforms, Marketing & Sales Automation and Digital Marketing services to help sales and marketing personnel and teams build efficient and effective sales and marketing best practices and automate their marketing and sales processes by leveraging personalised content, various digital marketing tactics, segmentation and behaviour of their prospects and customers.
Autus recommend various products for automation, such as Active Campaign, Hubspot, Mailchimp and SharpSpring…it will vary on your requirements and budget the best option for your business.
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Our founder, Tom Berry, also provides selective fractional CMO services and is a member of some client boards.
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