Polaris Consulting sums up the importance of online customer reviews with their one-liner, “Your first meeting with the client is not their first meeting with you.”
Buyers are taking to online review sites and social media to research companies prior to making a purchase decision. And, the type of reviews that resonate most with buyers? You guessed it, customer reviews specifically about customer service. A recent study conducted by Dimensional Research and ZenDesk states that 88 percent of buyers have been influenced by online customer service reviews when making their purchase decisions.
Buyers are influenced by customer service reviews shared by actual customers because they are authentic, and paint a picture of what their experience will be like should they choose that particular product or service. In fact, many of our members indicate that they have experienced prospective clients searching to find a home builder, and after seeing their GuildQuality customer reviews and testimonials, selected them for business.
Customer Service Influences Reviews
Successful companies understand that the way you treat your clients impacts the growth of your business, and can ultimately have long term effects on your reputation. According to the Dimensional Research and ZenDesk study, customer service is the number one factor influencing how much a buyer trusts a company. If your company is committed to delivering excellent customer service, online reviews can become your most compelling marketing tool.
Add a step to your process that allows an opportunity for you to gather quality reviews from customers. It can be as simple as surveying your customers. Surveying allows for you to gather feedback, testimonials and reviews from your customers, and it helps you to determine how well you’re serving your clients.
Even Negative Reviews Have a Silver Lining
As you’re monitoring what’s being said about your company online, don’t shy away from negative customer reviews. Even the best companies attain a few black eyes on the web. Negative customer reviews can actually establish authenticity around your positive customer reviews. They can also serve as the perfect catalyst for your company to display their customer service skills publicly. Sixty-three percent of buyers see negative customer service reviews online, and they need to be addressed. Keep in mind, before your company begins to answer customer reviews, you should have a response strategy in place.
Treat Your Customers Well, and They Will Treat You Well Online
Not all reviews are negative, we promise. Within our first few weeks of launching our reviews feature, we found that Guildmembers earned a four or five star rating 97 percent of the time. It seems that the happiest of our member’s customers who received a GuildQuality customer satisfaction survey were far more interested in sharing a public review than those who are less satisfied.
You want to make it as simple as possible for your evangelical customers to promote their experience with your company. Think of these customers as your brand ambassadors. Equip them with links to your online profiles (social media and review sites), and encourage them to post about their experience with your company. Any time a GuildQuality customer review is shared on Facebook or Twitter, the customer is notified and they can then like, share or retweet their own review, making their story viral.
There isn’t a trick to gathering more positive than negative customer reviews, simply focus on treating your customers well, and they will treat you well online.
About the guest contributor:
GuildQuality helps builders, remodelers and contractors manage their most valuable asset - their reputation. Our members rely on our service to gather customer feedback, measure satisfaction and continuously improve their business. Supported by comprehensive reporting and marketing tools, GuildQuality helps its members stand out in a competitive market. For more information, visit www.guildquality.com.