How to Capitalize on Any Type of Feedback: The Power of Customer Reviews

“The customer is always right” is a mantra that every great business follows with reverence and any business not following the age-old saying should either start now or accept that its days are numbered. When heeded, the outcome almost always provides a positive customer experience, which in turn leads to positive customer feedback.

The colossal size of the internet has given carte blanche to anyone who wants to say anything about anything. Social media, blogs, message boards, forums and websites dedicated specifically to customer complaints help to fuel the raging trend that has given “The customer always comes first” a whole new level of authority.

Gone are the days when a customer that had a complaint would simply go to the service desk or make a call to a manager to have it resolved. Now if you do not make a customer a happy camper in any and all ways expected, you can expect a Tweet about it. How can you use a negative customer review to your advantage? Read on.

Negative customer reviews

When you get wind of a negative tweet from a customer, your automatic reaction is to flee, fight, or ignore. None of those are viable options. There is a proper procedure that will work for you if you do it right, says LocalVox.

When a person tweets a less-than-desirable comment about your company (and it’ll be easy and quick; with a smartphone or a tablet, he can do it before he leaves the parking lot of your establishment), he is communicating to an audience that is bigger than his immediate network of friends that he is not happy with your company, therefore nobody else will be, either. How do you respond?

With sincere courteousness (fighting with him is not going to help your case at all) and a heart-felt apology, of course. Never, ever auto-respond; customers need the presence of the human element. Acknowledge the problem head on and post your brief, succinct response directly to his original tweet. To make sure that you do not air your company’s grievance laundry online, offer your manager’s name and phone number so that your company can rectify the problem directly.

A few years back, Best Buy was getting slammed with poor reviews regarding service, staff ignorance of products, pushy salespeople, and long lines. The company capitalized on the bad consumer feedback by taking the feedback with its vendors and rewards customers that provided company reviews (negative or positive) with points that can be used toward future purchases. The company has used its customer reviews to monitor and change product lines as necessary. Since then, the company has seen a 30% higher satisfaction rate among customers. (Read the full case study here)

Positive customer reviews

Dealing with positive reviews is a heck of a lot better than the alternative. While your company is keeping a close eye for potential havoc, also keep a close eye on the positive side of customer reviews. As soon as you see a great post on Facebook or someone tweets something that makes you look like the be-all, end-all in customer relations, jump on it. Great tweets spread through the Twitter atmosphere as quickly as not-so-great tweets, so take advantage of it. Giving a customer incentives and rewards while conveying gratitude for her great review makes great strides to help your business grow.

American Express recently hooked up with Twitter to start a promotion campaign that called attention to the union, with name brand partners participating in the campaign offering rewards for “syncing” your Amex card with your Twitter account. If you tweeted certain #hashtags, you could redeem any number of awesome rewards from companies participating in the campaign. Amex also implemented a customer loyalty program that provides coupons for things they can really use, like food. A win-win situation for both sides.

Sometimes companies just like to do things to show customer appreciation. Twenty years ago, FTD flowers decided to declare September 10, Good Neighbor Day. Now every year on that date florists give dozens of roses away, encouraging people to keep one flower for his or herself and give away the rest. Customers can stop by any participating florist to take advantage of the offer. What a great idea for longevity and word-of-mouth, right?

Final thoughts

Offline communication and online connection with customers about their needs and opinions are an enormous key factor in successful customer-company relations. When you thrill an unhappy customer and reward a satisfied one, it only works in your favor. Capitalize on customer feedback, because the customer is always right.


Photo Details: Provided by Social Monsters with permission to use. 

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