Author: Drew Sparks, Co-Founder and CEO at Swell CX
No matter what industry you work in, one thing is certain: your business will live or die based on your ability to provide positive customer experiences. After all, satisfied customers are the ones who will turn into loyal brand followers. They’re the ones who will tell friends and family about how you provided them with great service.
Or will they?
Not everyone who is satisfied with your service is going to immediately rush out and post an online review for your company. If your services are used on a less frequent basis, they may not always remember to come back for their future needs, either.
When 72 percent of customers are more likely to trust a local business that has positive reviews, it’s clear that you need to find ways to leverage the success of positive customer experiences.
So how do you encourage your customers to leave online reviews and take other actions that promote lasting results for your business? Here’s a closer look at five things you can do to ensure that a great customer experience results in future successes for your company:
Even extremely satisfied customers aren’t always the most motivated to leave a review or refer a friend to your business. But when you make it easy for them to leave this feedback, you’ll be far more likely to stack up a high number of ratings.
This simplicity extends beyond making a survey “short and sweet.”
Customizing the feedback process, ensuring mobile compatibility and other simple steps will ensure that the survey/review process is easy to navigate so users don’t give up when they’re only halfway through leaving their feedback.
At Swell CX, a key part of our services is our one-click feedback mechanism.
This allows customers to post reviews or leave a satisfaction score with a single click. When your customers know they can leave their feedback in a matter of seconds, they’ll be more willing to take time to share their thoughts. With more reviews, you’ll quickly generate social proof.
There’s a simple reason why so many consumers trust reviews more than TV ads or official brand messaging. It’s because these comments come from their peers. They come from living, breathing people who have already tried out your product or service for themselves.
But while an online review that says “The service was great!” is good, it isn’t always the most compelling. When you are able to collect the unique, individual stories of how your product or service helped meet an individual’s needs, you can create emotional connections that better appeal to potential customers.
For example, a dental office could create a video testimonial where a patient shares how a procedure helped them overcome debilitating tooth pain or regain confidence in their smile.
The more personalized these experiences are, the more engaging such reviews will be.
It costs much less to keep a satisfied customer than it does to gain new customers. According to the Harvard Business Review, “increasing customer retention rates by 5 percent increases profits by 25 to 95 percent.”
Are you collecting your customers’ email addresses or other contact information?
If you’re not taking advantage of these resources, you’ll likely miss out on the opportunities to generate customer reviews and additional sales from these satisfied customers.
This doesn’t mean you should spam customers with email after email. But a quality email campaign will make a difference. A “thank you” email that encourages new customers to leave feedback serves as an easy reminder to write an online review.
Periodic emails about routine appointments (like a yearly physical or an automotive oil change) are also a great way to generate additional sales from satisfied customers.
Customer reviews shouldn’t just sit on your Google listing or Facebook page.
Your website is one of your biggest avenues of social proof. The importance of a polished website cannot be understated in a time when most customers begin their search for everything from plumbers to lawn care services online.
Featuring testimonials on your website is the perfect complement to an attractive, easy-to-navigate design. You can embed reviews from Yelp or Facebook. Or you could create a “testimonials” page featuring photos or videos where customers share their stories in greater detail.
You could even develop some of these reviews into case studies, where you combine your professional perspective and a customer’s testimonial to highlight how you solve problems and deliver excellent service.
Such features will be a great confidence booster for those visiting your site for the first time.
While making it easy for customers to leave positive online reviews is great, your business can benefit even more when you encourage satisfied individuals to provide more in-depth responses on the specific things they liked or didn’t like about their experience.
There’s always room for improvement, even if you delivered great overall customer service.
Whether you develop surveys with more introspective questions or simply ask your customers to share more detailed stories, you will gain greater insight into what helped you stand out. You may also find that your highly satisfied customers still have a few things they’d like you to improve.
This can help you fine-tune your messaging or even adjust your offerings to place greater emphasis on the things your customers loved the most. When this happens, you’ll be able to deliver great experiences more consistently and even make better use of your company’s budget.
While the internet has changed a lot about the way we do marketing, this basic principle of getting recommendations from friends, family or other trusted individuals has remained the same. According to a Nielsen survey, 83 percent of people trust the opinion of their family and friends, and “the same percentage…says they take action on these opinions at least some of the time.”
Of course, such recommendations are ultimately dependent on your ability to provide quality service. As you make it easier for your customers to share their positive experiences and use this feedback to improve your own offerings, you’ll improve retention rates and achieve new word of mouth growth.
See how easy it is to manage and improve your customer experience with Swell