"Can I ask you a question?
How certain are you that you have met your customer's expectations?
Could you answer this question with ease?
"Online customer reviews and testimonials have tremendous influence over the purchasing decisions of other consumers. According to Pew Research Center, 82% of American adults say they at least sometimes read online customer ratings or reviews before first-time purchases, including 40% who say they always or almost always do so." - Tomer Harel
This statement then poses the question, why do consumers take their time to write a review?
According to Spectoos, the most altruistic motivation is that they wish to help your business in some way. These reviews are generally heartfelt, kind and positive, shedding the light of a 'great' business to other readers. It can also be their way of saying 'thank you' for the buying experience and/or getting what they wanted.
Other reasons can be to highlight an area that may need tweaking, offering up a review where something did not meet their expectation so they could offer you (the business owner) some insight to the problem or product deficit in hopes it can be resolved.
Getting down to the negative reviews, it becomes apparent that some people just want to be heard. They voice scathing reviews because they were unhappy with the experience or the product, and sometimes it has nothing really to do with your business. These writers feel the outside world is controlling them and they love to blame others to preserve their sense of their identity. Sometimes, they just did not have an opportunity to complain directly.
Remember, it the complaint caught early enough can have dramatic changes in outcome if the consumer feels heard and they can see some action taken to resolve their dilemma.
Another reason customers write reviews is when they become your raving fan, just wanting to be a part of the crowd, aiding their want to belong and show others that they participate in this interest.
Now we understand why our customers write reviews or stories about our businesses, now let's turn the table around and look back at our business.
Do we know the journey our customers take when interacting with our business? We call this a customer journey map. It looks at what motivates them to make contact, what steps we take to place their details on our database, what experience we gave them when we sold goods or services, what follow up did we do to make sure they were happy in their purchases, what 'wow-factor' did we value-add to them in the lifetime they interacted with us, what feedback did we get gain from our interactions, did we receive referrals or praise of our business from them?
Do I have the right personalities that can serve our customers well? ...that can lead our teams? ...that can grow the vision?
Do we have the right company vision in place that every employee is working towards? The mission we pledge to push through barriers to serve.
Do we have the right KPI's (Key performance indicators) in place to challenge more productivity and optimisation?
Are we measuring each step of the customer's journey to see where we could improve their experiences and our businesses bottom line?
Are we spending time reviewing our staff, finding out why they work for us, what they hope to achieve, how we can help grow them that in turn helps our business grow?
Do we have enough resources to allow our team to work optimally? Is our technology there to help our flow of business? Does everyone understand the scope of their role, have access to training and opportunities to utilise it?
It is always good to step back and observe if your team culture is working well enough? Are there positive levels of impact? Are they free to offer new and innovating ways to conduct business, contribute in brainstorming meetings, feeling supported in their ideas and contributions?
Remember, your team is #1. Having the right team that syncs and can drive your business is your greatest asset. Your client brings in the profits, but our loyalty is to our team firstly and customers next.
Imagine if you could create an experience where you could get your top 20 clients in a space together. Your job would be to make it one of the most remembered event full of fun and laughter. Our objective would be to make the experience so positive and memorable and when nearing the end of the evening you could ask the clients to write a quick review of their time dealing with your business. Already they are frequent buyers, so they already have known, liked and trusted your brand. But this is more. This is elevating them to now belonging. Giving them the special VIP treatment that sets them a part from other consumers. This sets them up for being your business's raving fan.
So, I ask you - what value chain are you going to apply to your loyal customers? Put another way, what are the value-added things you could do for your customers and when in their customer journey could you apply them to help turn their role from buyers into raving fans, that would be driven to want to write fabulous reviews and testimonies, sing your praises and tell everyone about your company?
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