No matter the type of business you are operating, customer feedback is crucial to success. Having a positive presence on the top review websites is great for driving sales, improving customer loyalty and boosting online presence. There are endless benefits to having positive reviews for your business, but sometimes capturing this feedback can be a challenge. Many customers won’t take the time to leave a review, let alone an honest, insightful one. While getting five stars is brilliant, five stars accompanied by some useful, honest and reliable comments is even better.
If you are wondering how to encourage customers to share their honest feedback, then read on for our expert advice.
Send out surveys
Review surveys are a tried and tested method for receiving honest feedback from existing customers. They are super simple to send, and you can analyse the results quickly. Some businesses often see very little uptake in their surveys, and there are usually some pretty apparent reasons behind this. It is essential surveys are kept short and sweet in order to encourage customers to complete them. A lengthy, tedious survey will put customers off immediately, so limit your surveys to between five and ten short questions. The questions you choose are important as well, and you should only ask the questions which will actually provide value to your business. Writing good survey questions takes time, but is well worth it.
Create an automated process
Having an excellent survey in place to gather feedback is a start, but you also need to consider how you are sending this out to your customers. Sending out a blanket survey email to all customers every now and then is certainly not the best option. You want to capture customer feedback when it is fresh in their minds, so automated processes are the perfect solution.
Set up automated email campaigns a few days after a customer makes a purchase or uses your service. This will give you a steady stream of feedback, with very little work from your team. The email you send to these customers needs to be engaging and encourage them to actually leave feedback instead of clicking delete. Focus on creating a captivating review email that your customers will find impossible to ignore.
Keep it anonymous
Some customers will be nervous about leaving a review if they think they will be identified from it. Avoid asking for names and email addresses unless you really need them or give customers the choice of whether they want to provide you with this information. By making your feedback process anonymous, customers are more likely to provide their real, honest and unedited opinion. Google might have ditched anonymous reviews in a bid to improve authenticity, but if your surveys are only sent to verified customers, then this shouldn’t be a concern.
Don’t be afraid of negative feedback
Businesses often only want to receive feedback if it is positive, but negative reviews can be very valuable. Feedback from unhappy customers can highlight areas where you can improve your products or services. Not only that, but customers use negative reviews during their buying research. Reports show that 82% of shoppers have looked explicitly for negative reviews and that businesses with perfect data are considered less credible.
When asking for feedback, let your customers know that you welcome both positive and negative reviews. Don’t say, “we want to hear how great we are”, but instead be open about the fact that negative feedback can help your business to improve and help future customers make their buying decisions.
When you start to encourage open and honest feedback from your customers, you are sure to see an influx of reviews. Most consumers want their opinions to be heard, and all you need to do is give them the chance to do this.