Loyal customers are the gift that keeps giving.
Since they know they love your product or service, they are more likely to return to purchase again, try out new products, and refer your business to other people.
How can you keep the loyalty momentum going? The answer lies in repeatedly providing excellent service, but how do you determine if your customers are satisfied?
To determine how to serve your customers best, you should routinely gather customer feedback and integrate it into your business.
The more you know about your customer’s experience and needs, the more you can tailor your business to match their expectations. This can be a huge variable in separating yourself from the competition.
Let’s discuss how to collect customer feedback easily and what to do with it.
Three ways to collect customer feedback
1. Customer reviews
Reviews are one way of getting feedback from your audience. Whether it’s directly on your website or a third-party platform, reviews can give you insight into the customer experience.
So check out the reviews that people are leaving for you on social media, your website, or other platforms. This will help you notice areas of improvement in your business.
There’s another bonus of getting customer reviews. Even though getting a new customer is five times more expensive than keeping a current customer, reviews are critical to acquiring new customers.
Think about the last time you had to purchase something. Did you look up reviews online before you bought it? If you’re shaking your head, “yes,” you’re not alone. 64% of consumers check online reviews before visiting a business.
This is an indicator that first-time customers may be building brand loyalty long before they purchase from you. They are going through the Know, Like, and Trust factor by checking your social media, going through your content, and, yes, what people say about you online. Therefore, creating good profile and good content is as necessary as creating a great product for brand reputation
But what happens when you get a negative review? If you’re thinking this will hurt your business, you’re going about it all wrong. Instead, this is a gold mine opportunity to learn about your business’s weakest points and demonstrate to your other customers that you care about their experience.
You should respond to the negative review and try to get more feedback. (We’ll discuss how to do this later).
2. Post-purchase survey
You’ll want to get feedback from your customers when their experience with you is still fresh on their minds. Sending them an email right after they purchase from you is a great way to gather feedback.
Check out this post-purchase email survey from Airbnb.
Airbnb’s survey email starts by expressing appreciation that the person used their services. Airbnb politely asks for their feedback in a quick survey, but they also mention what the user gets out of it – a better experience in the future.
You can also incorporate post-purchase surveys into your customer loyalty program. CandyBar is a customer loyalty app that has a customer feedback feature. Whenever customers use their loyalty card, the app is triggered to send them an SMS notification asking for feedback.
Why should you consider SMS instead of email? It turns out that SMS text message marketing has a significantly higher response rate compared to email. The response rate for SMS is 45%, while email is 6%.
The higher response rate suggests that you will get more feedback about your customers’ experience, which will give you a better understanding of how your customers perceive your business.
3. Incentivize reviews
Sometimes your customers need a little incentive to share their thoughts about your business. You may benefit from giving your customers a discount or a free coffee in exchange for a review. You should encourage transparency, so it doesn’t matter if they write a good or bad review – as long as they write it. It’s also important to make it easy for your customers to leave a review. You can use chatbots to facilitate the process.
Loyalty programs are also a great way to encourage your customers to write a review. Customers can earn points or get an entry into a giveaway as a token of your appreciation. If you’re creative, there are many ways to incentivize reviews without actually buying anything for the review. For instance, if you sell digital education products like online courses, you can offer free consulting or entry into a consulting giveaway to your students. Though this will cost you nothing but time, it’s probably one of the best giveaways because the people who purchased your course(s) already look to you as a thought leader and expert.
Just be careful that you are not violating any review platform’s guidelines. Yelp frowns upon businesses that offer free products or discounts in exchange for a review. You can ask for reviews on Yelp, but you can’t offer anything in return.
Create a plan on how to utilize customer feedback
There’s no point in collecting customer feedback if you don’t have an action plan in place. Here are three tips to consider when gathering feedback.
1. Notice trends
Probably the most useful aspect of customer feedback is finding trends. Analyze the responses you receive and notice what your customers are saying they want and need from your business.
Is there a gap in services? Do people absolutely adore one particular product above everything else? Did people find customer service lacking?
Noticing these trends will help transform your business into a customer-pleasing machine. And satisfied customers will boost their loyalty to you, which ultimately drives more sales. The data gathered from customer feedback is a gold mine in business intelligence. In the long run, you can use this data to make strategic decisions about your business.
2. Share reviews with your audience
Reviews are an excellent tool for social proof. As we mentioned before, consumers are obsessed with checking reviews before they purchase from a business. As many as 91% of young consumers trust reviews just as much as personal recommendations. That means strangers talking about you on the Internet have a considerable influence on potential customers.
You don’t need to talk yourself up when your customers can do it for you. Share the reviews you get on social media, your email newsletters, or on your website. Give it a personal touch by highlighting specific elements of the review that mean a lot to you.
Happy Cat Cafe shared a review they received and mentioned how it made their day.
Customer appreciation is a great way to show your sincerity towards people that purchase from you. People love to be recognized, so thank them for being a loyal customer.
3. Respond to all reviews
Do you want to show your customers that you genuinely care about them? Respond to every review you get. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good review or a bad review. A response is the quickest way to demonstrate that you look after your customers.
It would be best if you replied to every negative review. Not every unhappy customer is a lost cause, and some of them can be easily turned around with excellent customer service. Involving yourself in their case makes them feel like they are cared about and leads to higher satisfaction and loyalty.
There are three points that you should mention in your response to a negative review:
- Thank them for sharing their feedback
- Express a desire to fix the issue, if possible
- Invite them to reach out to you personally or through a dedicated customer service line
Don’t ignore positive reviews! Positive reviews benefit from a “thank you” note from your team. These are customers that are already enthusiastic about your business, and they crave interaction from you. Satisfy that craving, and let them know that you are happy they had a great experience with your business.
If you’re not currently collecting customer feedback, make a plan! Introduce a survey email to recent customers, establish a customer loyalty program with a feedback feature, or simply ask customers in-person how their experience was with your business.
Customer feedback is necessary to grow your business. Not only does it highlight problem areas for you to fix, but it also encourages you and your employees to continue to provide excellent products and services.
When you make an effort to put your customers first, they notice and feel like they are being cared for by your business. Quality care builds loyalty to your business when they know they will receive a customer-first experience.
Foxy integrates with multiple affiliate marketing and customer review tools that you can start using right now. Check them out here and as always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help with anything at all.