The mantra ‘the customer is always right’ may no longer seem relevant or always appropriate, but in 2021, one thing is sure: ‘the customer can always guide you to what is right’. Compiling customer feedback is something all businesses should be doing on a regular basis, but truly understanding the content of what is being said and embedding its learnings into future business direction is sadly not achieved as often.
Using customer feedback correctly can be incredibly powerful for businesses and should not be missed as an opportunity.
If you’re not already collating frequent and authentic customer feedback in various forms and at different times during the customer lifecycle, you can read more on techniques to get cusomer feedback here.
Consumers love to feel engaged in a business, particularly one they use themselves or intend to. Using marketing channels such as social media can drive engagement and involvement levels and demonstrates a willingness for the company to learn and better itself. Customers generally feel that they matter, if they are asked about their opinion.
Promote the good stuff
Word-of-mouth marketing is hugely powerful, and consumers are always inclined to believe the opinions and experiences of real people over those presented to them by companies.
Including positive feedback and reviews in marketing presents authentic customer interactions that are likely to be trusted and thought of in good regard. Whilst the presence of such feedback shouldn’t be overdone, it can add a complementary ‘real world’ feel to marketing that standard company comms simply can’t achieve.
When online and not given verbally, the promotion of positive customer interaction is known as ‘social proof’.
It can include quotes and testimonials, expert accreditation and celebrity or influencer endorsement. Various surveys into customer reviews and other social proof techniques have shown that up to 91% of consumers trust online reviews when held on an independent third-party site.
Demonstrate a willingness to improve
“You spoke. We listened.” Communicating improvements to business processes, products or services that have happened as a result of customer feedback displays a willingness to listen, take critique and improve a business offering as a result. It allows customers to feel as though they’re able to input and make suggestions to the company and will be listened to and respected for doing so and improves ongoing customer engagement.
If customers use recurring terms or language, request something frequently or there are themes shining through in feedback, marketing communications can be tailored to include and target these. Framing and replicating language that customers are comfortable with will make them feel more at ease with the business as well as reiterating relevancy. If communication is kept within the brand’s tone of voice and language used appropriately, tailored marketing can be hugely impactful.
Integrate feedback into business development
If reviews and feedback state that customers are looking for something different, the realities of offering such should be explored. Common themes echoed throughout customer feedback gives a great starting point for making changes and/or pivots in business development and direction. In turn, as the business changes focus, diversifies or offers new products, services or experiences, this should be reflected in marketing communications. In presenting the new meeting (or even better, exceeding) of customer requirements and expectations, marketing communications are more likely to be positively received and generate more interest in the business.
Improve SEO with customer reviews
If genuine customer reviews are held by a third-party specialist service online, the SEO of the business can be improved simply by having them publicly available. UGC (User Generated Content) mentioning or linking to a business helps demonstrate its relevance and authority to Google and other search engines, and boost rankings in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). With
Google currently managing over 40,000 search enquiries every second, anything a business can do to prove its trustworthiness and relevance to its algorithm is a positive move. What’s more, of course, those searching for the brand are likely to come across real customer observations and experiences — which (as we have already covered above) is powerful in its persuasion for those considering purchase or interaction.
Collecting customer feedback is the first step to a journey of great business exploration and development, but the key to unlocking the potential is really in the insights and intelligence gained.
Using specialist services can allow for various analytics and insights tools to drill down into the data and identify trends, areas for concern, areas for improvement and business strengths. Taking the time to do so may seem resource-heavy initially but the pay-off will be vast – and once you put the customer at the heart of everything you do, you truly work with, rather than just for, them.
Feedback is the way you learn and grow your business to make it a success.