Facebook has retired the star rating system. Rather than giving users a 1-5 scale to leave a review, Facebook is now simply asking whether or not users would recommend a business.

Facebook hopes this change will push people to write more extensively about their experiences and leave authentic feedback; they believe these richer reviews are designed to help businesses be more visible in their local communities and attract more customers.

With over 1.6 billion people connected to small businesses on the platform, it’s no surprise that Facebook is testing out new ideas and working to make strides in the world of local business marketing.

So, what exactly has changed? Here’s the skinny:

         

  • Facebook users can easily indicate if they recommend your business with a simple “yes” or “no” (in place of the 1-5 star rating)
  • Users can explain why they would or would not recommend your business with tags, text, and photos. The minimum character count for the text is 25 characters.
  • Previous review data will still appear on local business pages. The reviews section, however, now features a numeric rating that is a combination of old star ratings and new yes/no recommendations.
  • It’s easier for your business to report fraudulent reviews, spam, or paid content in recommendations.
  • Unlike Facebook reviews, recommendations are not limited to a business’s page. Recommendations appear on user profiles and are discoverable across Facebook when people search or talk about your business, making it easier for people to find you.
  • Facebook realizes that people trust recommendations from their network of friends; recommendations from the people closest to a user will display more prominently.

As Facebook continues to help people connect with local businesses, it’s important to build internal processes that adapt and capitalize on these changes. If you are currently leveraging the Net Promoter System to determine how likely your customers are to recommend your business, you’re in great shape. By proactively asking your customers how likely they are to recommend your business, you will end up with more and better recommendations on Facebook and other platforms. NPS gives you a chance to identify detractors (those who score 0-6) and follow up with them before they go to Facebook to drive your recommendation rating down with a simple “no”. It also affords you the opportunity to turn passives (those who score 7-8) into promoters, and give your 9s and 10s the ability to share their wonderful experiences with their social network.

Two-thirds of all users visit the page of a local business at least once a week and Facebook expects to increase as they continue to identify new ways to connect users to local businesses within their communities.

Local business marketing is ever evolving, but customer referrals and recommendations remain at the heart of winning business strategies. Check out how brands like Orangetheory fitness, Orkin, and Fastsigns leverage NPS to win and retain customers, here.

The Net Promoter Methodology was born out of a decade-long research study by a group of independent consultants led by Fred Reicheld of Bain and Company.   Reicheld and his team were trying to determine what the key drivers are for growth and profits in a rapidly growing company.  What they found was that the best predictor of growth was whether or not you were developing a loyal customer base.  From there they set out to define what makes a loyal customer; what they found was that the likelihood to recommend was a key factor in loyalty; thus was born the Net Promoter System and the “ultimate” question which has become so prevalent today.

Watch the following video for a brief yet thorough primer on NPS:


When you sign a check, you’re sure to know where it’s going. When you invest, you monitor the markets. As a business, you can’t afford to treat your brand any differently.

Every time a customer chooses to spend with your brand, you’re putting your signature on the experience that customer receives. In the early days of franchising, the business embodies your vision and passion for exemplary customer service. As you grow and entrust your brand to more franchisees and locations, it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure the same quality across the expanse of your organization. Your dedication to your customers got you to where you are today; it’s time you saw that in action all over your network.

Meet the Net Promoter System. A product of years of research at Bain and Company, NPS is the pinnacle of customer feedback tools. The system reveals exactly how your customers feel about your brand. You can see which practices are working and which are causing friction on a regional, individual location, or even team member level.

Giants like Apple and Amazon use these proven metrics to understand how their customers are feelingestablish accountability for the customer experience, and confidently predict future profits. With more than two-thirds of the Fortune 1000 behind it, the NPS formula is certainly worth examining.

We’ve watched franchises use NPS in various ways to create ecstatic customer bases over the years. While each industry naturally has nuances, the general application and strategy around customer feedback remains very similar and very effective. We put these observations into an eBook that can guide you through the ins and outs of customer engagement through NPS. Don’t miss out; give it a read here.


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How do you know that all of your customers are receiving a consistent experience? Are they sharing that experience with their friends and family? As your business grows, it’s increasingly important to ensure that you continue delivering the service that got you to where you are now.

To help you get started, we’ve distilled 4 secrets from our brand promise webinar into this mini video series.

Watch now and learn:

  • Why satisfaction falls short when crafting a brand promise
  • The #1 tool to measure a customer’s emotional connection to your brand
  • Key tactics on how to use feedback to manage your business
  • 4 ways to get happy customers to tell their friends

 

And Why NPS Adopters Are 2 Steps Ahead

Google recently updated their policies around what’s commonly known as review gating.

Review gating is a process where businesses first find out if a customer’s experience was positive or negative. When businesses only ask those who report having a positive experience to leave a review, this is known as “gating.”

According to one of the key changes in Google’s terms of service, businesses should not “discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers.”

Google realizes that consumers use their reviews to make purchasing decisions. They also realize that, in order to continue to be a reliable source, they’ll need to make adjustments to their ecosystem, as we’ve also seen in their recent removal of anonymous reviews.

What does this mean for companies that only ask for reviews from their happiest customers? Right now, with very little info coming from Google, it is unclear. Many businesses are choosing the “wait and see” approach as there haven’t been any reports of companies being penalized for continuing business as usual. Others are taking a more proactive stance and asking all their customers for reviews, regardless of sentiment.

At Listen360, we believe it’s important to look beyond reviews when making decisions about running your business. Negative reviews stem from negative experiences. When great experiences and loyal customers are a priority, stellar reviews follow. This is the essence of the Net Promoter System (NPS) and is the reason that businesses who’ve adopted the NPS methodology are two steps ahead.

Businesses that ask for reviews in tandem with NPS are less likely to be impacted by this Google policy change. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Customers want to be heard. NPS gives detractors a way to express their concerns privately. By giving them an outlet, they’re less likely to follow it up with public negativity, even if given the option.
  • Finding out who is dissatisfied and looking for ways to make it right affords businesses the opportunity to generate positive reviews that would have otherwise been nonexistent.
  • By looking for trends in customer feedback, businesses can prioritize and tackle larger issues that impact more people which, in turn, influence more reviews.

If you love your customers, they’ll love you right back. Adopting customer-centric strategies like NPS helps drive repeat business and increases the quantity and quality of reviews organically.

Whether or not your organization chooses to ask some customers or all customers for reviews thereafter, nothing beats knowing the true drivers of customer loyalty at your organization.

If you’re curious about how Listen360 can help you build a brand that customers adore, give us a shout.