No news is bad news. The same applies for customer feedback.

In 2014 64% of consumers formed an opinion by reading up to 6 reviews for the business they were actively searching for, in 2019 this rose to 73%. But how many consumers suspect censorship or faked reviews when not seeing any negative feedback? I’ll reveal the answer shortly.

I’ve been an advocate of using customer feedback and incorporating it into a business strategy since my time at Shell. It’s even part of my sales process and I coach others to do the same. But I’ve come to realise that some larger companies take customer feedback for granted, asking and collecting customer reviews but never responding and promoting correctly. With small businesses I find that many don’t even see the value in spending the necessary time to collect testimonials in the first instance.

This is unexpected because feedback, when implemented correctly, will help grow your business. Positive feedback highlights that you’re doing things well and on the right path to growing your business. It also shows potential customers that your products and services will help should they become a client. Even negative feedback has it’s advantage in helping explain what’s wrong allowing you to change or adapt before it’s too late.

Also, negative feedback should be expected because in the modern world however great something is not everything will suit everyone and even potential customers realise that. In fact to answer the question, 95% of consumers suspect censorship when they don’t see any negative feedback.

So, to end the month let me round up with some top tips.

Tip 1. Personalise how you ask for feedback.

Last week I talked about the methods that companies such as Apple, Starbucks and the Hyatt Hotel chain use to interact and gain valuable customer feedback. Like those companies, your customers will each have a preferred method of communication including email, Facebook, Linkedin, Google, online review sites such as Trust Pilot or Reviews.io, over the phone or even in person. So, use as many methods as possible to collect as much feedback as possible and then share across all the other platforms so future prospects can find them on the platform they are using.

If you don’t have the time to do this then ask. Ask your customers, how did you find me? On what website did you find customer feedback regarding my products or services? If I asked for feedback what would be the most convenient way for you to give that feedback. This can help in deciding the best way to ask for feedback and where to place that feedback for prospects to find.

Tip 2. Respond to feedback

Online customer feedback can help or hinder your business based on the way in which you respond to it. According to BrightLocal, Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business, while Nextiva highlights that 52% of people around the globe believe that companies need to take action on feedback provided by their customers.

By feeding back online to visible comments you can quickly change a negative reaction to a positive experience, not only showing the customer but potential prospects that you take feedback seriously and actively want to include the customer in the journey. Remember the stat from above 95% of consumers expect a negative review/score. Don’t be afraid of it, use it. If the feedback is positive don’t forget to say thanks. An act of kindness and appreciation can be the difference in taking a suspect to prospect and onto buying.

Tip 3. Remember the power of feedback, internally.

Asking for positive feedback improves the culture of your business, it’s great for reward and recognition for the time and effort you and your team have contributed. Everyone likes to be praised so when they are shout about it. Tell your team, tell yourself and tell your customers. A positive feeling will drive everyone to achieve more and if shared correctly will contribute to growing your business.

 

Next steps!

To gain more information on customer feedback head over to my website and join my blog. You will receive a FREE download that will give you key help and guidance on gaining customer feedback and knowing what questions to ask.

 

You can improve sales in your business from as little as £10 over in the products area of the website.

Why not give it a spin and see how it improves your business!