Isn’t it wonderful to get glowing testimonials about your products and services?
A customer taking time out of their day to type odes of praise about your business can make even the most hardened CEO feel like bursting into song and sliding down a rainbow. Secretly, of course.
Invariably though, you are going to check your email or social media one day and experience the crushing damnation of negative feedback.
Instead of locking yourself in your office and wiping away your tears with that one-star review, you should take a look at how you could turn those bad vibes into some positive marketing for your business.
The Effectiveness of Using Customer Feedback
It’s no secret that displaying testimonials from happy customers on your website can be a huge advantage for your business.
A Nielsen survey showed that 70 percent of people trust recommendations from complete strangers online. This moves them closer to engaging further with your brand and becoming a potential customer.
Customers who are already poised to buy are 90 percent more likely to decide on purchasing a product after they have read reviews from previous buyers.
If you’re not using any form of customer feedback as part of your marketing strategy, your business is missing out on the powerful psychological element of social proof.
How to Gather and Present Your Feedback
If you’re short on testimonials, customer surveys are a strategic method of gathering feedback. Make sure your survey questions are specifically targeted to focus on the elements of your business that you want to promote as part of your marketing.
Survey results and other reviews can give you data to display on your website and provide a means of improving or adjusting your offerings based on new discoveries about your products and services.
If you’re a B2B business and customers are giving you positive reviews, this is a perfect chance for you to contact them about creating a case study. Essentially a before and after story that shows how your product or service solved a problem for your customer, a case study often includes hard data that can prove your product directly improved their leads and sales.
Case studies can be used across all areas of your website and can be repurposed for use in social media, videos, staff training, and future marketing endeavors.
B2B customers typically intend on purchasing bigger-ticket items, and reading user-generated reviews about a product can encourage 94 percent of these buyers to make a purchase.
Perhaps most importantly, the majority of customer feedback can be controlled by your business, and you can decide how and where you display it to get the best results.
Using Negative Customer Feedback to Your Advantage
Negative reviews are, unfortunately, often out of your control.
If your Google Alerts lead you to an unhappy comment in a corner of the internet about your company, you should consider responding for the benefits of both your business and potential customers who might stumble across it.
People won’t write you off if they read a negative review. For the most part, they just want to know that you’re running a genuine, transparent business with an element of caring and humanity. Responding to comments gives you a chance to frame your story while letting your unhappy customers know that their opinions have been acknowledged.
Used sparingly — and with a dash of humor if you can muster it — publicizing some of your customer negativity can be effectively turned into a positive marketing tactic.
From global rebrands to small businesses, many marketers have found clever ways to use the voices of their naysayers as a means to energize their business and attract new customers.
Take Greg from Los Angeles, for example. He couldn’t handle the kind of “fun” offered by Snowbird ski resort in Utah, and didn’t hesitate to tell the internet about his horrible time.
The resort’s owners knew that the challenges of their mountain were precisely what brought other customers back to ski year after year, so they turned Greg’s one-star experience into a five-star glossy magazine spread to publicize the resort.
No matter how big or small your business, you can find an angle to turn those bad reviews around. Even if you’re a small company, you can appeal to the innate nature of human curiosity by asking customers to engage with your brand and see if it really is as bad as that one review made it out to be …
Your business wouldn’t exist without your customers. Using your buyers’ data and putting their feedback into action shows that your company always listens to reviews, both good and bad, to deliver the best experience possible with your products and services.
By caring about and using customer feedback, you can respond to the changing needs of your market, improve your products and services, and maximize your marketing efforts.