Boost Your Customer Reviews Strategy This Holiday Season

The importance of online reviews increases every holiday season as more and more consumers choose to conduct their holiday shopping online. A recent survey from PowerReviews reports that 99% of consumers will shop online this season, while half plan to do all of their holiday shopping online. 

Although price remains the factor with the greatest influence over consumers’ holiday purchase decisions, ratings and reviews come in a close second. According to the survey, nearly 3 out of 4 consumers indicate that reading reviews has an impact on which gifts they choose to buy. 

Furthermore, more than one-third of shoppers claim that online ratings and reviews will have a more substantial influence on their purchase decisions this season than last. Among Gen Z shoppers, this statistic was significantly higher at over 50%. 

This means having a strategic customer review strategy in place when the holiday shopping frenzy begins is essential. As the season of shopping nears, keep the following in mind to leverage reviews in a way that instills trust in potential customers, loyalty in current customers, and enables you to extend your reach.

4 Customer Review Insights

1. Reading reviews starts at the window-shopping stage.

While you may think that customers don’t start delving into reviews until they’re close to making a purchase, the truth is many consumers will check reviews even when they’re just trying to get a feel for what’s on the market. Because online reviews are displayed prominently on so many different platforms, consumers are starting to form opinions about products and services more quickly than ever. At a glance, they can get a feel for what a business offers and what their customers think after making a purchase. 

As a result, having solid reviews can help keep you on the short list of potential customers when they start narrowing down their gift ideas.

2. Reviews aren’t a one-way street.

Consumers know by now that businesses can respond to reviews at will – both the good and the bad. When a company responds to reviews in the right manner, this can boost their online reputation and instill trust in window-shoppers, leading them closer to that all-important purchase decision. 

Responses also give shoppers a good idea of the personality and identity of the business, details they may reflect on should they be interested in making a repeat purchase. Whether you choose to “like” the comment or respond with a personalized thank you, you’ll impress current and potential customers alike. 

3. Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world. 

It’s not always easy to keep your cool when you receive what feels like an unfair negative review. After all, a one- or two-star review can make a serious dent in your overall rating unless you have a significant number of reviews stacked up. 

However, the key here is to remember that negative reviews don’t have to be a negative for your business. Consumers understand that unfair reviews happen – they see them all the time. Even negative reviews that aren’t unfair won’t necessarily ding you in a window shopper’s mind; they realize making mistakes is part of growing as a business. 

What matters is how businesses react. A respectful response is a necessary first step, as is actually acting on constructive criticism whenever possible. A real win is when you’re able to win the customer back by going above and beyond to resolve the issue, something that will stick in holiday shoppers’ minds much longer than your overall rating. 

4. Stay on Santa’s “Nice” list. 

Hiring someone to write fake online reviews will put you on the “naughty” list in a jiffy. Most platforms can quickly detect reviews that aren’t authentic. Not only will they remove these reviews, but they might even penalize your business for trying to cut corners. 

Should you be so lucky as to avoid catching the eye of the hosting website, chances are the very consumers you’re trying to attract may call your bluff, which will only cause you to lose credibility. Stay on the “Nice” list and you’ll be rewarded with real reviews from customers whose trust you’ve earned.

Even if your marketing budget is limited, there are still plenty of ways you can reach new customers and spread the word about your business. All it takes is a little creativity and a willingness to invest your time and energy to grow your business without going overboard on marketing spend. 

There’s also a silver lining to free or inexpensive marketing tactics: you can try out several to see which ones work for your business. That way, you don’t have to worry about investing in a new type of marketing that doesn’t actually reach the right customer base. Once you figure out which different approaches and specific channels are best for your business, you’ll know where to focus your marketing dollars in the future. 

To help get your brainstorming session started, we’ve listed 5 simple but effective marketing ideas below. Some are tried-and-true old school techniques, while others leverage the power of new media. 

Build on these ideas and tailor them to your business model and local community, and you’ll be on your way to a marketing strategy that brings in valuable customers without breaking the bank.

 

1. Create a customer referral program.

With limited wiggle room in your marketing budget, you may not be able to splash out on lead generation. However, if you have happy customers, you may be able to get them to bring in others who would also love your products or services. We all know word-of-mouth marketing works making it worth the time to find a way to inspire your customers to share their positive experiences with your brand.

Fortunately, in the age of social media, sharing is easier than ever. Consider introducing a customer referral program that rewards existing customers for referring new customers. The reward can be simple, but it should also be something of value, whether that’s a discount, complimentary service, or other incentive. Not only will you earn new customers, but you’ll also leave your current customers happy to maintain their relationship with your brand.

 

2. Conduct a customer satisfaction survey.

Surveys are great on several accounts. First, they provide you with essential data about your customer base. Second, they keep your brand in customers’ minds and, if they’ve had a positive experience, remind them of that experience. Finally, if a customer responds to a survey with a less than positive response, it gives you the opportunity to fix the problem and win back a favorable review. 

Surveys can be conducted in a number of ways: at your store front, through email, or through a post on social media. The key is to keep them short and sweet and ensure the questions you ask provide you with actionable data.

 

3. Do some one-to-one marketing.

One-to-one marketing is all about building relationships with individual customers, showing your appreciation by giving them personalized attention. Handwritten postcards and birthday emails are a few examples, but the options are endless and can be tailored to the specifics of your industry and the kinds of interactions your customers will value most. 

Best of all, this strategy can be quite cheap–all it takes is a bit of time and creativity. Plus, if you use customer engagement software, you can easily automate these interactions while still keeping them personalized.

 

4. Hold a business card drawing and follow up with an email newsletter.

Business card drawings are a classic marketing tactic for a reason. They take little to no effort for both the business and the customer, and there’s some fun suspense involved thanks to the luck of the draw. Just put out a large jar or fishbowl at your reception desk with a note about when the drawing will take place and what prize the lucky winner will receive.

By the end of the drawing, you’ll not only have a happy customer who’s just won a free product or service; you’ll also have plenty of email addresses on your hands. Add these to your mailing list and send out a monthly email newsletter using free tools such as MailChimp.

 

5. Make informative videos that increase brand exposure.

Consider delving into video to capture the attention of new customers. YouTube offers access to a huge audience. With the right content, you can increase exposure to your brand in a cost-effective manner.

You can choose to film videos on topics that are parallel to your industry or videos about your business directly. Many companies find success filming informative how-to videos or answers to frequently asked questions. All that’s needed to start shooting is a smartphone, meaning this is a tactic even businesses with the smallest budgets can try on for size.

Marketing is all about seeing what works for your business and how your audience responds. Adding a bit of variety to how you approach marketing can breathe some new life into your brand and inspire you to reach out to potential customers in different ways. Give these techniques a try to explore new areas of marketing while sticking to your budget.

 

Acquiring customers is an essential part of running a business. However, if you don’t retain some of the customers you acquire, you may find it hard to succeed over the long-term. When customers come back for repeat purchases, you’ll have a greater ROI and experience significant cost savings. 

Unfortunately, keeping customers isn’t always as simple as offering a great product or service. It takes a dedicated strategy and a penchant for relationship building to ensure customers remain engaged with your business and satisfied with the overall experience you provide.

That being said, there are plenty of methods you can use to build customer retention and keep satisfied customers coming back. Check out the different techniques your marketing team can experiment with to create a customer retention strategy that is just right for your business and your customer base.

5 Effective Customer Retention Tactics to Try

The best tactics for retaining customers allow you to establish lasting relationships and build brand loyalty. As a result, you’ll find that by working to retain customers, you’re also creating brand ambassadors and prompting the initial chain reaction of word-of-mouth marketing.

In other words, customer retention takes work, but the results are well worth the effort. Here are some tips to help you get started.

 

1. Begin by calculating your customer retention rate.

It’s always a good idea to know where you’re starting from so you can measure your progress. The formula for customer retention can show you how well you’re currently building relationships and encouraging customers to return for repeat purchases.

Here’s how to do the calculation:

  • Subtract the number of customers acquired during a set period of time from the total number of customers at the end of that period
  • Divide the result by the number of customers you had at the start of the period 
  • Multiply by 100

The final number will be the percentage of customers you retained during that period. For example, if the formula gives you the number 75, you’ve retained 75% of customers. 

2. Focus on making a good first impression.

Customers will base their future actions on their initial impressions of your business, making it crucial to leave a lasting and positive first impression. This starts with a frictionless purchase journey, but shouldn’t end there. 

Follow-up each new customer visit with a thank-you email that directs customers to helpful information about the product they’ve purchased and begins the process of building a relationship. 

3.Engage in ongoing communication with customers.

There are plenty of ways to keep up communication with customers after that first welcome email. Some popular options include email marketing, a monthly newsletter, and frequent social media posts. 

You can also utilize a communication calendar to track and plan interactions on the level of the individual customer. Visualizing your interactions over time will enable you to set up opportunities to cross-sell, launch promotions, provide relevant information, and eliminate roadblocks such as expired subscriptions. 

4. Launch a simple loyalty program. 

It’s obvious that the point of loyalty programs is to retain customers, but many businesses overlook this strategy when they’re struggling with customer retention. The truth is that these programs can have a major impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty. By rewarding customers for choosing your business, you’re giving them every reason to continue shopping with you.

The great thing about loyalty programs is they don’t need to be complicated, nor do the rewards need to be expensive. What’s important is that you provide something of value to those who choose to sign up.

5. Gather and analyze customer feedback.

The best way to improve your business in a way that affects customer behavior is to know how your customers currently feel about the experience you offer. Therefore, having a process for acquiring and processing customer feedback is essential for retaining customers. 

There are many ways to go about gathering customer feedback, and the one that’s best for your business will depend on your industry and how you communicate with customers. One popular and effective method used across nearly every industry is the Net Promoter Score® survey. This survey is quick and easy for customers to complete and provides actionable results that are simple for businesses to understand.

If you need help with building customer relationships, gathering feedback, and ultimately retaining more of the customers you acquire, consider getting started with a customer engagement platform such as Listen360. Our experienced team at Listen360 can help you collect important data from your customers and make smart decisions that keep them coming back.

Have you considered incorporating readily available automation tools into your customer support strategy? Automation can be strategically used to provide customers with a better and more efficient experience. They can also relieve your team of stressful repetitive tasks, freeing up their headspace and allowing them to be more productive. 

If you’ve been putting off making automation a part of your business’s customer support service, it may be because you’re worried automation could actually harm the customer’s experience. However, it’s important to think hard about what customers actually value when interacting with a company. 

Generally speaking, the following qualities are typically at the top of customers’ wish lists: 

  • Efficiency.
    Your customers can’t schedule their day around a conversation with your support team. They need answers quickly and without having to jump through hoops.
  • Consistency.
    Interacting with a hit-or-miss support team can diminish a customer’s perception of your company’s reputation.
  • Precision.
    There’s nothing worse than being given the wrong answer or having your email lost by a support team. Errors like these make a business appear unprofessional.

The good news is automation provides the above and so much more. Combining a stellar customer service team that’s sharp and empathetic with an automation strategy that takes care of any error-prone or data-driven tasks is the first step towards an excellent customer support strategy. By striking the right balance, you can enhance customer interactions and reduce the burden on your team, providing a win-win situation for everyone. 

 

Easy Ways to Automate Support While Improving Customer Service Quality

Wondering just how to find that balance? Here are four aspects of customer service you can automate to boost your customers’ experience right away.

 

Automate Sending Out Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Keep tabs on your customers’ feelings about their experience without lifting a finger by having customer satisfaction surveys automatically sent out immediately after cases are marked as resolved. These surveys should be simple and straightforward – just a quick, “How would you rate the service you received?” message will do. 

If a customer marks that they are dissatisfied, automation can once again save time and effort by having a case be automatically opened to ensure a representative follows up with the customer and resolves the issue.

 

Use Auto-Reply Emails

Auto-reply emails can be used to let customers know you’ve received their question or complaint and will be in touch soon. Not only does this help manage expectations, but it also gives the customer the sense your team is on the ball. It lets them know their request has not been lost in the ether.

 

Automate Answering FAQs On Chat Support

Sometimes, customers contact support simply because they cannot find the answer to simple questions on a business’s website. In cases like these, a chatbot can be a huge help by directing the customer to the relevant info and minimizing the time they spend searching. 

The most important thing to keep in mind when using chatbots is to make certain it’s always easy for customers to connect to a representative when they’re not able to find what they’re looking for through the automation tool. Without this option, chatbots can be more of a hindrance than a help.

 

Create a Support Queue Workflow

Your support team shouldn’t have to figure out which cases go where. They should be using all of their brain power helping customers and solving problems. Leave the time-consuming organization tasks to automation. 

Automation can be used to prioritize or escalate certain cases and even redirect conversations. Best of all, your customers won’t ever have to feel like they’ve had to work to get the right person on the line. Instead, it will happen instantaneously!

With so many smart tools currently available, why not take advantage of the ones that can help your team and your brand’s image? By using automation strategically, you’ll be well on your way to a more efficient way of doing business that focuses on the customer’s needs every step of the way.

Did you know nearly 80% of users look at online reviews prior to making an important purchase decision? In this day and age, online reviews have risen to the importance, if not even taken the place of, recommendations from friends and family members. 

It certainly makes sense that consumers want to explore others’ experiences with a product or service before shelling out their hard-earned cash. After all, reading reviews is simple, convenient, and gives a quick overview of what they can expect when they make a purchase decision.

This new approach to shopping seems like it’s here to stay, meaning business owners simply cannot cross their fingers and hope for the best when it comes to their online reviews. Instead, a proactive strategy for reading, requesting, and responding to reviews is key to maintaining an online reputation that attracts customers and promotes a positive business image. 

We’ve compiled a quick guide to review management to help you get a grasp on the key points you should be focusing on to leverage the potential of online reviews and ensure all feedback is handled appropriately.

 

1. Know What to Do When You Get a Bad Review

It’s almost inevitable that your business will receive a negative review at some point, but this doesn’t mean you should just let them slide. The best thing to do when you receive criticism that is posted online for all current and potential customers to see is to respond in a professional manner. This means:

  • Responding quickly. The sooner you respond, the greater the likelihood you can turn the situation into a positive experience for both you and the dissatisfied customer.
  • Remaining empathetic. It can be hard to put yourself in the customer’s shoes, but trying to see the situation from their point of view is crucial, even if you feel you weren’t in the wrong. 
  • Actively resolving the issue. Instead of explaining why a situation may have occurred, focus on fixing the problem. After a negative experience, the customer likely doesn’t care what circumstances caused it to happen; rather, they want an immediate resolution.

2. Ensure Customers can Express Their Dissatisfaction Offline

Sometimes, customers simply want their opinions to be heard, and posting a negative review is an easy way to express themselves. If you give your customers a more effective and convenient way to make complaints and ensure issues are addressed promptly, they’ll be less likely to take their criticisms online. 

The best way to do this is to clearly indicate how customers can contact management if they have an issue with your products or services. In many cases, you’ll be able to remedy the situation before the customer leaves a review, increasing the chances they’ll write about a positive, rather than a negative, experience. 

3. Respond to Positive Reviews, Too

Negative reviews aren’t the only ones that deserve a response. Take advantage of the opportunity to promote customer loyalty by engaging with positive reviews as well. 

This kind of interaction also shows potential customers your approach to customer service, dedication to building relationships, and appreciation for those who enjoy what you have to offer, making it an important part of online reputation management. 

4. Don’t Hesitate to Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

Many business owners fear the effects of bad reviews to such an extent they don’t actively encourage customers to leave reviews at all. However, this approach can backfire. Remember your star rating is averaged, meaning a single bad review will be more apparent if you have fewer reviews in total. 

Having a high review count can not only negate the effects of bad reviews, but can also improve your search result rankings and show potential customers your business is well-established. With this in mind, you may have less anxiety about encouraging everyone who uses your products or services to leave a review, even if you’re unsure of what the outcome will be.

As a business owner, your customers are the lifeblood of your business. After all, they’re the ones who not only generate revenue but also push you to innovate your products and services. 

When it comes to marketing, many businesses focus solely on the acquisition of new customers. This makes sense because, after all, successfully doing so is the main way to promote growth. Unfortunately, this focus can come at the expense of maintaining current customers and growing them into frequent, lifetime customers.

In many cases, encouraging current customers to stay loyal to your brand can actually be more profitable than simply increasing conversion rates with new customers. That’s because your current customer base has a 50% greater likelihood of trying one of your company’s new products. Furthermore, they’ll spend at a higher rate than new customers – up to 31% more. 

Despite the fact that these numbers indicate overall greater revenue from current customers than new customers, businesses still have a tendency to focus their marketing dollars on customer acquisition rather than customer retention. If you’re ready to make a change in your company’s marketing approach and start making customer retention a priority, the good news is there are several simple ways to give your current customers the attention and care they need to stay loyal to your brand.

Option 1: Take Advantage of the Flexibility of Email Marketing

To encourage repeat purchases, start where your customers are spending much of their time already – in their inbox. While this method may seem old-fashioned to those who believe social media marketing is the only way to reach people these days, the truth is Americans still spend hours each day in their email inbox. 

In fact, a recent study by Adobe showed respondents spent up to 5 hours a day checking email. Furthermore, consumers seem to prefer developing relationships with brands through email. According to Adobe’s survey, 50% of respondents stated a preference for receiving offers from brands via email over all other channels. 

This may be because email marketing is so flexible. Consumers know they can opt out at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link, or change their preferences to only receive certain types of emails. With this kind of trust already in place, taking advantage of this preference is an easy way to:

  • Send promotions to your current customers
  • Keep them engaged with your brand’s community
  • Ensure they’re always up to date with your product and service offerings

Option 2: Promote Loyalty Through a Customer Loyalty Program

Another tried-and-true method for retaining loyal customers is to implement an incentive-based customer loyalty program. When one-off customers realize they can enjoy rewards by choosing your brand in the future, they’ll have a reason to return. Many companies choose to focus their loyalty programs on providing discounts for frequent purchases, while others use them to promote special offers or package deals. 

When it comes to crafting your customer loyalty program, one thing to keep in mind is registering must be a seamless experience for the consumer. If a first-time customer is interested in signing up for the program but finds the process to be clunky or invasive, they won’t hesitate to opt out. While this won’t translate into an immediate loss of revenue, it could spell a loss of potential profit that should be avoided at all costs.

Option 3: Utilize Reviews as a Marketing and Data Acquisition Tool

If you want to promote repeat purchases, the key is to provide exactly what your customers are looking for. One of the best ways to gain insights into these specifications is by leveraging customer reviews and ratings. 

Although you may not think of reviews and ratings as a marketing tool, they are in fact one of the most powerful marketing tools you have at your disposal. Reviews are not limited to helping improve your reputation and online presence. They can also reinforce brand loyalty and give you detailed insights into what aspects of your products and services you should be highlighting in your marketing communications.

There are plenty of analysis tools and easy-to-use software platforms available that do the work of identifying trends and commonly used keywords in reviews. These technologies can help you more easily keep up with what customers are saying about your products, including flaws that need to be remedied and particular features customers appreciate. 

You can then use this data to resolve issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed or adjust your services to better meet consumer needs. In doing so, you’ll be taking a huge step to keep your customers around for the long haul without draining your resources in the process.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to turn your one-time customers into lifetime customers! With these tips, you can easily and inexpensively promote a trust-filled relationship with customers that translates into brand loyalty over time.

Whether your business is large or small, chances are you already have a presence online. However, being online is about so much more than posting your company’s contact information and service offerings. 

In this day and age, your brand’s online presence requires active management in order to ensure you’re maintaining a good reputation. While this may seem like a daunting task, building a positive brand reputation in the digital world actually opens up avenues for rewarding customer interactions and makes marketing your brand that much easier.

Now more than ever, people are using the virtual landscape to connect with businesses, provide feedback, and detail their experiences to other consumers. How your business responds to comments, questions, and feedback both positive and negative will have a huge impact on your online reputation. 

In turn, reputation management can affect your bottom line. By planning ahead and implementing a well-thought-out strategy for creating and maintaining your brand’s reputation online, you can reap all the benefits of doing business in the digital age.

Outlining a Strategy for Building Your Brand’s Online Reputation

Reputation marketing isn’t rocket science, but it does take some thinking, strategizing, and careful execution to get it just right. Having a team that is both clued in to the plan and equipped with savvy social media skills is essential for positively positioning your brand in the online world. 

In addition, it can be incredibly helpful to have access to reputation marketing software to streamline this process. This type of software also ensures managing your brand’s reputation doesn’t eclipse your focus on making your company the best it can be.

Below are four crucial steps for creating a positive brand reputation and making the most of your presence online.

Reviews Management

As a customer, whenever you search for a business online you likely first check the company’s star rating and Google reviews. Of course, you should assume all potential customers are doing the same for your business. 

Unfortunately, customers are more likely to leave a review after a negative experience than a positive one. For this reason, having a strategy in place to both respond to negative reviews and garner more positive reviews is incredibly important. 

To do this efficiently and effectively, you’ll need to:

  • Send review requests to happy customers on the same day the transaction occurs
  • Respond to all reviews in a timely manner, preferably within 48 hours
  • Handle negative feedback with poise, offer an immediate resolution, and take the conversation offline whenever possible

Content Optimization

High-quality content is key to keeping your business ranking highly on search engine results pages. Regularly posting new content also promotes your brand as a positive and authoritative voice in the field. 

Invest in creating engaging and helpful content potential customers will actually read, watch, or listen to. You can also use testimonials as content to highlight the customer experience you provide and ensure positive reviews receive the attention they deserve.

While creating solid content is one of the most important parts of optimization, you shouldn’t overlook nitty gritty details like writing compelling meta titles and meta descriptions and using keywords appropriately. In addition, routinely check for broken links and go the extra mile to keep content compatible with mobile devices.

Social Media Activity

You may be hesitant to wade into the world of social media, but the truth is platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer tons of exciting features for businesses. Use these platforms to keep tabs on customers’ reactions to your products, services, and the experience you offer. 

You can also help positive testimonials go viral by regularly posting them to these pages. Since testimonials speak for themselves, you can keep your own input short and sweet while building your brand’s online presence with a few simple clicks.

Partnering with Experts

The Internet is a constantly changing space. Sometimes it can feel difficult to get a handle on all the best practices when you’re also trying to run your business and accommodate your customers. 

Reaching out to a company for help with brand reputation management can give your business the boost it needs. From monitoring online reviews to writing great content and getting guidance with responding to negative feedback, there’s a ton to be learned from experts in the industry.

 

Feedback from customers is often priceless. It can help you avoid making the same costly mistakes over and over again. It can also offer insight into profitable opportunities you may be overlooking. 

However, all too often companies fail to collect high-quality feedback they can actually use to implement change that positively influences the customer journey. In this day in age, when customers are more empowered than ever, having an effective customer feedback strategy in place is key.

If you’re looking for ways to walk the fine line of figuring out what your customers really want without feeling you’re constantly spamming them with survey requests, we can help. Check out our tips below to boost your customer feedback strategy with ease.

 

Tip 1: Set Up Live Chat Support 

The faster you can answer customers’ questions, the happier they will be. That’s why live chat has become a popular support tool for many companies. 

Chat isn’t only effective for giving great customer service. It can also be helpful for discreetly collecting customer feedback in real time and at a low cost. With a live chat function, you’ll quickly be able to assess and remedy issues before they become a major problem while also gaining insight into customers’ most common complaints.

 

Tip 2: Get Your Timing Right

Feedback at any time is great, but feedback immediately following a purchase is best. That way, the experience is still fresh on the customer’s mind, and they’re more likely to be willing to offer their opinion just after they’ve completed the purchase journey. The key here is to communicate to the customer that you’ll only take a minute of their time. Otherwise, they might feel the itch to move on with their day.

 

Tip 3: Offer Incentives

Let customers know you value their feedback by giving them something of value in return. One way to do this is to create a popup that appears right after a transaction to offer a discount on the next purchase in exchange for filling out a quick survey. 

Another option is to advertise to your social media followers that they can enter a raffle for a gift card or free product by completing a survey. Whatever incentive you choose to offer, the feedback you receive will be well worth the expense.

 

Tip 4: Keep It Simple

Do yourself and your customers a favor by making it easy for them to provide feedback. Surveys as a whole and the individual questions should be short and sweet.

With this approach, you only have the chance to ask a few questions, so you need to make sure they’re the right ones. Keep in mind that the quality of the answers you receive will reflect the quality of the questions you ask. For example, you’ll get a lot more information out of questions that allow for open-ended answers than simple yes-or-no responses. 

 

Tip 5: Use the Net Promoter Score

When it comes to keeping things simple, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the ultimate solution. With one simple question – “How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend?” – you gain valuable feedback that instantly shows what your customers think of their experience. 

Responses are scored from 0, not at all likely, to 10, very likely. Your NPS is then calculated as the average of all the responses. All businesses should consider taking advantage of this simple and effective measurement tool.

By implementing these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to building a customer feedback strategy that ensures you’re taking the right steps to meet your customers’ needs and can provide an experience they’ll rave about.

 

Have you created a customer journey map to better understand how prospective customers interact with your business? This kind of visual representation allows you to gain a sense of what customers aim to achieve when they choose your company, including their needs and pain points. With this information, you can facilitate a smoother customer journey that generates rave reviews and repeat business.

Even if you think you have a pretty good idea of what the customer journey looks like, building a visual diagram is still a crucial step to take. Having this as a resource to refer back to as you make key decisions will ensure your team is always on the same page. Plus, it will help keep the customer’s perspective in mind every step of the way.

How to Craft a Customer Journey Map

Building a customer journey map will be well worth your while. With these 7 easy steps, you’ll soon have a customer journey map in your hands that represents one of the most important processes in all of your business operations.

Step 1: Start by setting your objectives.

Begin with some brainstorming to help clarify your intentions for making this map. Important questions to answer include:

  • What are the goals of the map?
  • From whose point of view will the map be drawn?
  • What specific experience will the map outline?

Answering these questions will enable you to build a more accurate buyer persona and draw a map that reflects your average customer.

Step 2: Research your customers’ experiences.

Do some in-depth research into the experiences of actual customers or prospective customers who have interacted with your company. Gathering feedback based on their experience will be essential to the creation of a useful customer journey map. 

There are several methods you can use to acquire this feedback, including questionnaires and user testing software. Then, put all that information into a buyer persona tool.

Step 3: Choose a target customer persona.

Your research will likely uncover a handful of customer personas. However, as the customer journey map outlines the path one specific type of customer takes to interact with your business, you’ll need to narrow this list down to a single target personas. Otherwise, your map will be a mishmash of experiences that isn’t all that helpful in the end. 

Step 4: Make a touch point list. 

Your website likely offers multiple opportunities for customers to interact with your business. These are called touch points. However, touch points aren’t limited to your website. Points of interaction such as social channels, paid advertisements, and third-party review sites also qualify. 

Your research into the customer experience should reveal which touchpoints are currently being used the most. Narrow this list down to those that most commonly result in customers taking specific actions.

As you make this list, try to see the touch points from the customer’s point of view. What emotions and motivations bring them to each point? What are some obstacles and pain points that could prevent them from ultimately taking action?

Step 5: Create a map type that fulfills your aims.

Depending on your ultimate goals and the types of improvements you want to make in the customer journey, you could use one of the following map templates:

  • Current State maps visualize the customer’s experience of interacting with your company.
  • Day in the Life maps go outside the scope of the customer-company relationship to explore the pain points in customers’ daily lives and address unmet needs. 
  • Future State maps help businesses illustrate their vision and set objectives for how they want the customer experience to be, rather than how it is in reality. 
  • Service Blueprint maps include a layer representing the employees, policies, technologies, or systems responsible for different aspects of the customer’s experience. 

Step 6: Evaluate your customer journey map.

Your customer journey map should be actionable, and its effectiveness should be measurable. One way to evaluate your map is to follow the journey it lays out on your own. This should include taking on the customer persona and exploring their steps one-by-one. You might start with social media activity, online searches, or reading marketing emails to see where the journey leads you.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) can also lay out a framework for evaluating your map and making it actionable. After all, one of the main purposes of the map is to identify opportunities and obstacles based on qualitative research on the customer’s experience. KPIs can be used to visualize areas of improvement in the customer journey and prompt concrete action.

Of course, KPIs aren’t the only metrics that can be used to evaluate your map. Don’t hesitate to consider your Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures customer loyalty and overall satisfaction, to track the customer’s experience.

Step 7: Implement changes as necessary. 

Your exploration of the customer journey and analysis of important metrics should give you a good idea of changes that need to be made to your website and various touch points across other platforms. 

Whether these changes are large or small, they can have a noticeable impact on the customer’s experience. Most importantly, as you’ve done the research to figure out why these changes need to occur, you can have confidence they’ll be much more effective than going the route of trial and error. 

Keep in mind that no customer journey map is ever complete. In reality, these are always works in progress. Aim to review your map regularly, whether that’s every month or every quarter, to continually identify opportunities to make the customer journey as frictionless as possible.

These days, savvy consumers are rarely willing to take a chance on a business they haven’t heard of or worked with before. Instead, they turn to trustworthy reviews to help them make some of the most important decisions about how they spend their time and money. 

If you operate a real estate business and aren’t leveraging this modern form of word-of-mouth marketing, you may be seriously missing out. This kind of feedback is essential not only for increasing your visibility and garnering credibility, but also for learning from your tenants and implementing critical changes based on their experiences.

Our Tips for Bolstering Your Online Reputation with Reviews

According to a 2019 survey from SurveyMonkey Audience, nearly three quarters of renters read between one and ten reviews prior to making a decision about a rental property. Most significantly, well over half of those respondents claimed they would pay more for a property that had higher rankings and reviews. 

With statistics like these, it’s clear both negative reviews and an absence of reviews in general can have an adverse effect on your real estate business’s ability to reach its full potential.

While you may know how important reviews are – after all, you probably use them yourself when making significant purchases – it’s understandable if you feel a little overwhelmed about collecting feedback from clients. The good news is that gaining insightful feedback from tenants and clients is easier than ever before. 

Take a look at our tips below to help you generate more online buzz for your real estate business and earn the trust of prospective tenants.

1. Listen to your clients and implement changes based on their feedback.

As it’s been shown, renters are willing to pay more for a better overall experience, you can gain more clients and increase revenue by improving that experience. Not sure where to start? Your best bet is to set up a channel for feedback so you know exactly which issues to prioritize. 

There are plenty of software options out there that enable businesses to gather up-to-the minute, actionable feedback from clients with a few simple clicks. Not only will the changes you make as a result help generate a more positive experience for prospective clients, but your actions will also instill trust in current tenants and make it more likely they’d be willing to leave a positive review.

2. Ensure your business is claimed on all reviewing platforms.

If you’re only checking on your Google reviews, you may be unaware of other reviews that have popped up for your property on platforms such as Zillow, Yelp, and Facebook reviews. This list isn’t exhaustive, of course. There’s also Apartments.com, Angie’s List, Yelp, and many more contenders that attract the attention of prospective tenants. 

Make the effort to claim your business on all of these platforms so you can better manage your online reputation. Fortunately, managing all these accounts doesn’t have to be a hassle. 

Utilizing innovative customer engagement software allows you to view and respond to reviews from a range of sites all in one place. This will make it easy to reap the rewards of having a widespread online presence.

3. Take the time to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative.

According to a recent survey, 97% of consumers who read reviews also read what businesses say in response to reviews. Whether the initial review is negative or positive, the way a business responds says a lot about their guiding philosophy and how they tend to treat their clients. 

This kind of communication can go a long way in building trust with prospective tenants, as it lets them know you take the time to maintain tenant relationships and value their feedback.

What you say in your response isn’t the only important factor to consider. The speed with which you respond to reviews can also make or break a relationship and even impact your overall review score. In certain situations, you may even be able to resolve the issue behind a negative review by acting quickly.

4. Request reviews from happy tenants.

It’s no secret unhappy customers are more likely to write a review than satisfied customers. To regain balance in your online reputation and ensure your review score reflects how the majority of your tenants actually feel, don’t hesitate to ask happy tenants to write about their experience online. Sometimes a gentle prompt is all it takes to let these individuals know how helpful their review could be for prospective renters.

To make this process as frictionless as possible, you can even automate your request. For example, you could have automatic invitations for reviews sent out via text each time a lease is signed or renewed. As long as you go the extra mile to make this process quick and easy for the tenant, you can have confidence they’ll be up for completing this small task.

We all know reviews are important, but few real estate businesses take the steps needed to collect tenant feedback and amass trustworthy online reviews. With these tips, you can build credibility for your business and generate some online buzz while simultaneously strengthening your relationship with renters.