Great sales representatives and marketing managers understand the importance of customer feedback and how it helps them to build a brand, create loyalty, and make sales. But many of us tend to use positive feedback as a way to reinforce our decisions and look at negative feedback as an inherently negative force. Many don’t realize that, in a company of any size, both positive and negative feedback allows you to bring a huge amount of value to your company, so long as you know how to leverage it.
Organizations invest the lion’s share of their customer-service energy tending to client complaints. And of course, negative criticism needs to be addressed as a way to retain customers and prevent issues from happening again in the future. Positive feedback is often overlooked. “Hey, look at what this customer said about us. Good job guys” – and that’s it. This is a wasted opportunity.
But both positive and negative criticism can have a positive effect on your sales… If you act on them in the right way. The fact is that taking advantage of positive customer feedback that comes your way can yield incredible benefits. You can turn that positive client feedback or positive rating into new sales and income.
Give customers a way to leave feedback – and make it easy
The first step in turning positive feedback into dollars is to bridge the gap between a client’s compliment and your web site or retail stores. That may sound like an obvious step, but it’s often overlooked. Clients may enjoy your product/service, and they might glow with praise if only you ask them how they feel about it. But you have to ask. Give them some way to let you know, or the only profit you’ll make is the satisfaction of a job well done.
Making it possible for customers to pay you a compliment you means making it easy. Make the customer feedback process simple and convenient. Most customers don’t mind pausing for a moment or two to give you feedback if they truly had an exceptional experience. But if they have to jump through a lot of hoops or end up drumming their fingers while your system churns away for who knows how long—forget it. They will decide it’s not worth their time.
On the other hand, if you devote the necessary time and care into crafting a speedy, inviting, simple way for your clients and customers to leave input, odds are they will soon be supplying you with praise.
Ask Customers To Tell You What You Need Them To Tell You
With the goal clearly in mind of profiting from positive feedback, you should be able to obtain the kind of feedback you need, then use what customers tell you for all that it’s worth. All too often, though, companies do not design their online studies and polls with advertising and marketing in mind. So they call a golden opportunity to turn praise into profit at the drawing-board stage.
It’s fine to use what customers tell you to improve how your organization works so that you can better satisfy those customers. But instead of using all the information you gather only to tinker with your organization from within, use the information to expand its reach. Gather the kind of feedback that you can use to fortify your marketing campaigns—and then use it that way.
When customers tell you what they like about your business and its product or service, cite those statements. Repeatedly. Quote their eager endorsements again and again and again in your ad copy and other marketing materials. Make sure your current customers see those endorsements. Make sure prospective new customers see them.
Display Customer Feedback On Your Web Site
Whether it’s criticism about how your clothes fit or acclaim for an exceptional customer service experience, you need to show the world that your business is appealing, responsive, and easy to use. A persuasive way to do that is by posting customer reviews on your site.
A new buyer may doubt the copy in your product descriptions. But he’s more likely to give you a try if previous clients have been turning to you to solve their problems and credibly singing your praises.
Just as you post client reviews on your own website, so you should find ways to publicize the great things about your business on other sites. Review sites like Yelp and Angie’s List can be a huge help in boosting your sales. There are hundreds of industry-specific directories that you may find more useful for your specific company and even B2B directories like Capterra and Trustpilot.
Once again, enlist the services of your own customers as marketing specialists by encouraging them to be ambassadors. Research the different platforms that would be appropriate venues in which to discuss what your company does. Urge clients to leave reviews anywhere and everywhere it is possible to do so. Then re-post those reviews on your own website as well. This is a successful approach that has been proven to help drive sales.
Use Feedback To Explore New Opportunities
Your feedback collection should not be a series of unrelated tactics. It should be a strategy. Do you have organizational or operational goals? You should, and your customer feedback should help you get there more efficiently. For example, if you have an ecommerce store and you want to improve the conversion rate of your checkout funnel, you could sample users at each step of the checkout process and ask for workflow-related feedback via a website survey. You will get some great insight about your website that will translate directly into actions to improve the funnel.
This is a specific example, but the process can be applied to basically anything. Keep in mind a strategic goal, and create your customer experience strategy around a series of surveys to help you make the best decisions.
Harness The Megaphone Of Social Media
Does your company enjoy a favorable position in social media, and are you taking full advantage of it? Facebook is one way to exploit your positive feedback potential. Positive reviews are compelling on social media platforms like Facebook because such platforms so effectively harness the power of testimonial advertising.
Linkedin is an excellent place for B2B businesses to establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry. This can be combined with a publishing platform of your choice – like Medium, Quora, or your own blog. There are numerous examples of companies who produce and publish excellent and valuable content and use this as a means for lead generation. When it is done well – it works.
Social media is all about giving people easy and easily amplified ways to report what they do, what they think, what they buy, and what they think about what they buy—including what you are selling. The easiest way to get started is to regularly post customer feedback and reviews to your social media accounts. This way you will also create transparency, loyalty and, as a result, more paying customers.
Take the opportunity to create and support a public relationship with your clients. It will yield many dividends. When the client is your main focus, your business is on the right track.