I was struck by the simplicity of a sign in a hospital cafeteria the other day that said,
“You asked, we listened. Here are changes to our menu based on the spring survey. Keep your feedback coming.” I loved that.
The climate has shifted over the past two years where businesses are recognizing the importance of customer reviews
and there are many articles or workshops helping businesses create an online reputation strategy.
The statistics are pretty clear from an article last fall on Fortune3.com
Website magazine reports, “The study, taken by Cone Inc., found that 89 percent of consumers trust online reviews, and while 80 percent of consumers have changed their mind about purchases based on negative information that they found online, 87 percent claim that positive reviews reinforce their purchasing decisions.
What I want to discuss is how to leverage the reviews to market this customer feedback.
First: Can I find the reviews on your website? Businesses get comfortable knowing that reviews are on third party sites and think that is enough. Tip: To find where reviews of your company are, type “your company name reviews” into your browser and see what comes up on page one of search. Those would be the first ones to look at.
So back to your website. Can I find them clearly on your home page? Is there a spot on the main navigation saying “reviews” or “customer testimonials” or “see what our customers are saying”? If I as a consumer have to dig to find them in the fourth drop down on a navigation tab, I will assume they don’t exist.
Second: On-site branding. What do you have on-site that shows that you are using the customer’s feedback for your business? Many times great ideas for your business come from customers, but do you let them know that? The more you tell customers you read and use their feedback, the more will they will be to offer suggestions.
I also saw a sign in the St. Louis Airport with a group photo of the airport staff saying, “Catch us giving great customer service.” This showed me that they are willing to put themselves out to the public wanting feedback. Think what an impression that would make for your business.
Find simple ways to show your customers, both current and future, that you want to improve your service. Remember all businesses are customer businesses and if you do not include them in the discussion of how to deliver your service to them, you will be wondering why your business is not growing.
Ask and you shall receive.