Get Raving Fans: How to Build Customer Connections & Gain Positive Reviews
How many stars does your company have? In today’s world of instant information, positive online reviews are essential to a company’s success. In fact, 92 percent of consumers say they hesitate to make a purchase if there are no customer reviews posted. While good Google or Facebook reviews may seem like a matter of being lucky enough to have a few happy customers who like to write glowing posts, there are essential steps you can take to generate reviews.
Understanding What Makes Customers Tick
It takes more than just doing your job well to earn a review. For example, your service technician may show up on time, complete the work to exact specifications, and act very professionally; yet, in your customer’s eyes, your company only did what was expected.
Focusing on your customer’s feelings, not a performance checklist, is often what moves customers from neutral to highly satisfied. Customers who feel a positive emotional connection to a company become the fans who are motivated enough to share their experience in an online review. These are often called delighted customers. Studies show that 87 percent of customers who have a good experience will share it with others.
So, how do you build that emotional connection that prompts great reviews?
Show Customers They’re Valued
The best way to promote positive online reviews is to provide an amazing customer experience. Instead of asking, “How can I get more 5-star reviews?”, center your organization and team around a different question: “How can we deliver 5-star service to each and every customer?”.
One way is by providing memorable follow-up. Try these proven methods for connecting with your customers in a way that turns them into loyal fans.
- Send an unexpected Thank You gift to every customer. For example, a gift of gourmet food or quality branded items such as a lunch cooler or travel mug say, “We truly value you.” While you may be tempted to opt for a refrigerator magnet or pen, those items don’t have the same wow factor. Food is an essential component because of its personal, relational and multi-sensory nature. It’s the best driver of strong customer connections.
- Make sure every customer receives a survey. Asking customers about their experience lets them know you care. It also provides a great tool for you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the services you offer, your processes, and even your team members. In our free guide to customer retention, we provide 6 tips for survey success.
- Respond quickly to survey feedback. Implement a survey reporting system that allows you to respond to both positive and negative feedback. Letting customers know you are listening and truly want to improve your services goes a long way in helping them feel connected to your company.
Make it Easy to Share Good Reviews
Some customers aren’t savvy about how or where to post a review for your company. So equip all customers with an easy pathway for leaving reviews on third party platforms such as Google, Facebook, and BBB. Google offers several tips for gaining more reviews on their platform, and the To Your Success system utilizes the latest technology and best practices (such as device detection and the use of Google Place IDs), in order to ensure your customers have a smooth, seamless pathway.
Ensure all customers have equal opportunity to leave a review. Review gating (the process of only asking happy customers for reviews) isn’t a good idea and is contrary to most review site policies. If your service is stellar, you have little to nothing to fear anyway. Especially if you survey each customer immediately following their transaction. If frustrated customers have a private forum to air their concerns, they just might avoid the use of a public one.
Drive Stronger Connections and More Online Reviews with To Your Success
To Your Success has been helping companies across the nation build customer connections and fan loyalty for 20 years. Our unique system delights every customer with meaningful Thank You gifts, generates outstanding response rates to customer surveys, helps you understand customer experiences, and features technology that helps drive consistent online reviews! Learn more in our free e-book, Building the Ultimate Customer Loyalty & Retention Program. Download your copy today.