Online and Social media has made the world far more transparent than it used to be. It used to be the case that if you had lousy service people would tell their friends and family (those they saw in the follow days at least), But in this day and age when someone gives you lousy service you stand on a rooftop and tell the world about it via social media such as Facebook and Twitter; or via review sites like Google+ Local (formally Google Places) and TripAdvisor.
The same is true about exceptional service as well. If you provide exceptional service you can use these reviews and good feedback for social proof to help get more sales.
A word of caution however, social media and online marketing doesn’t improve good old fashioned customer service, as mentioned above it can highlight bad customer experiences more than ever.
If you are using social media in your marketing mix you need to make sure you can service your customers just as effectively as you do when they walk through the door or call you on the phone.
So if you do have exceptional customer service both online and offline, you should be encouraging your customers to share this feedback online.
Where customers can leave reviews
Facebook allows users to leave feedback on Facebook business pages. As you can see in this example Speights Ale House Hamilton have collected 98 ratings on their Facebook Page. When a new visitor goes to their page they can see just how great Speights is based on these reviews.
Google+Local or Google Places is another place you can request feedback from your customers. The great thing about reviews on Google+Local is they appear in Google search results, which can also help drive more traffic to your site.
TripAdvisor is targeted at reviews for the travel sector and may not be right for every business. With over 70% of people researching travel online it pays to be aware of what people are saying to you on sites like TripAdvisor; and if you are offering an exceptional experience, you should make sure people are sharing this online with others.
LinkedIn offers a couple of different ways people can give feedback. For individuals on LinkedIn they can either get an endorsement or a recommendation. Recommendations hold a little more weight than endorsements, but both are great ways to provide feedback and testimonials.
Another great way of getting reviews/testimonials/feedback from your customers is to ask for them on your own website. You can then publish these on your website for your customers to see when they visit your site.
By leveraging good sentiment from your customers and collecting testimonials, reviews and feedback you can create social proof and build confidence with potential customers.
You can also use these reviews to help promote your company. For example, Google Adwords allows you to use third party reviews to appear in your ads by way of a review extension.
If you have great customer feedback or reviews you should be shouting this out for all to hear, especially in your paid advertising like Google Adwords. The best thing about this is that if they click on the review you don’t get charged for the click until they go to your website.
So start asking for reviews, testimonials, feedback from your customers NOW. Ask them on Facebook to give you a review, ask your customers when shopping in store to go to your Google+Local page and give some feedback or have a sign at your shop door to give a review on TripAdvisor.
However you start asking – Start asking!
If you have any questions about getting reviews from your customers or how to implement anything mentioned here, we are always happy to help out – Give us a call on 0800 001 925 or give us a comment below.