Negative customer feedback is hard to hear, which means sometimes it’s too easy to write it off. The likes on social and positive testimonials are easier to highlight—those feel good!
But if you’re not paying attention to all customer feedback, you may be missing on a huge chunk of knowledge. What your customers think about the business means a lot because they’re the ones paying for it. But that’s not the only reason.
You can use customer feedback to make your business and marketing better. Feedback lets you get an outside perspective on your business as well as understand your customers on a deeper level.
Here are six easy ways to incorporate customer feedback into your business strategy:
- Measure performance
- Create a customer journey map
- Get proactive about public communication
- Use social proof in ads
- Boost your rank on Google
- Have customer-focused brainstorms
Let’s get to it.
1. Measure performance
If you have already started measuring your business’s performance, you know what a difference this makes. Knowing your LTV, ROI, and CPA is crucial for understanding whether you’re really making money or need to be concerned.
These stats are great for understanding the basics. If you want to advance even more with analytics, throw in CSAT and NPM into the mix.
CSAT, the Customer Satisfaction Score shows how much are the customers loving your product. It’s a simple survey that asks your client how happy they are with the product on a scale from 1 to 10. You can do it on your website with apps like HubSpot forms or send a Google Form to newsletter subscribers.
Here’s how a similar chart looks like:
If it’s getting low, it would indicate the customers lifetime value will decrease, too. Good customer experience means that the customer churn rate would be lower, making you more money from each lead on average.
NPS, or net promoter score, is a similar scale from 1 to 10 that shows how much a customer is likely to promote your product to their friends. While this stat is important for customer satisfaction, you probably already see the implications.
If NPS high, it means you will be spending less money to attract leads as more will be coming in via word-of-mouth marketing.
2. Create a customer journey map
Customer journey mapping can also benefit from knowing the perspective of the customers. What most people get wrong when they’re mapping out the customer journey is creating a journey they want to see, not the journey that exists.
When you create a map of how customers interact with your business, it’s important to record all interactions, positive or negative. Sometimes, a customer wants to make an action with your business, and they just don’t succeed. The map should reflect that.
It can hurt to admit poor user experience design on your part, but finding spots where you and the customer can’t connect is key to improving your business.
That’s something you can’t do without customer feedback. Unfortunately, people sometimes interact with your system not in the way you planned. The only way to learn about the problem you have is to gather customer feedback.
Checking the most widespread complaints or doing personal interviews with a focus on what problems did a customer encounter would do the trick. If you’re targeting a foreign audience, you can leverage one of the opportunities of VPN to get even deeper into it.
Set the VPN to the country you’re targeting and view your website. It may load slower or display an element in the wrong way. Take note of that.
3. Get proactive about public communication
PR is more than submitting a press release to a news company. In the highly digitized world that we live in, everything you do online is public communication. Every time you get a negative comment online, even on a website you don’t know about, it’s a public relations issue.
91% of people would read a review online before making a purchase. If they come across a lot of negative reviews, you might not close the sale.
There are two ways to solve this problem, neither of them involves trying to get that review deleted. Both do involve getting proactive about public communication. The first way is to inspire your clients to leave more reviews. The odds are the negative review won’t look as impressive when there are so many good ones accompanying it.
It’s always good to increase the number of reviews you get, but there’s another way. A way that’s arguably more beneficial for your business.
Receiving a negative review on a platform where you can communicate to the client presents a perfect PR opportunity. Answer the client. Apologize for causing them inconvenience, promise to work on that in the future, or offer a gift as a sign of apology.
That will show anyone doing their product research you care about customers. Plus, it’s an opportunity to turn a client that’s at risk to a loyal one.
4. Use social proof in ads
People trust reviews just as much as they do their friends. If you have received quite a number of good reviews, you can use them in advertising. You’ve probably seen it done on many websites.
Most ecommerce websites now have a section that contains testimonials. At least, that’s considered good practice since having that section can increase your conversion rate by 34%. The problem is that most people are not using the full potential of customer reviews.
To make it work, you have to make the reviews more personal. Add a photograph of the reviewer, mention their name, and make sure to add a link to their profile on social media or at least an Instagram handle.
This will show that it’s genuine and convince more people to make a purchase. Use real reviews on your website, newsletters, and ads to increase conversions.
5. Boost your rank on Google
These are not the only places where customer feedback can come in handy. Google has a review system of its own so it’s only natural that they use it as a ranking factor. It’s not clear whether Google reviews influence ranking on SERP, but it is a ranking signal for local search.
Every time you search a local query on Google, you see the map with a list of businesses first.
How high your business will come up on this search depends on many factors like the proximity to the user and the number of quotes with the location address. User reviews are another important factor on this list.
If you encourage your clients to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business page, this small step could help your SEO efforts quite a bit. Print out a small card with an invitation to leave a review and a QR code that leads to your GMB page. Place it near the counter or at all tables if you run a restaurant.
You can also leverage the power of social proof on the SERP. Include rich snippets to the Schema markup, and you may be the only website on the SERP that shows user reviews.
In this case, the website may start stealing traffic from your competitors, even if they rank higher.
If you’re selling your products on Google Shopping, you absolutely need user reviews, too. Google Shopping attracts the audience that is ready to buy, and the only discerning factors are the price and the review score. Encourage clients to leave a review within a week of the purchase to get more reviews.
6. Have customer-focused brainstorms
The last tip may not be as practical as the first five, but it can be a lot more beneficial in the long run. You can fix productivity problems and improve conversions even without customer feedback, even though it would be much harder. This bit, you can’t do without it.
Reading through customer feedback, especially negative comments and suggestions, can be eye opening. It’s not guaranteed to produce results every time, but every once in a while, you’ll see a comment that will let you understand your customer base deeper.
A customer explaining their feelings about the purchase will give you an idea of what emotions you should focus on in advertising. A customer telling about the problem they solved or failed to solve with your product will give you an idea of how to fix it or even create a new product.
Sure, no customer will ever outline you a full path to greatness. But start your brainstorming with customer feedback. The research, planning, and execution will still be a tough job. But your customers can let you know where to start, and in a world where fresh ideas make millions, that can be enough.
Start using customer feedback in your marketing strategy
Customer feedback is essential to any business. Showcase the most flattering feedback, and you may be able to convince some leads to make a purchase. Encourage more clients to leave a review, and you’ll improve Google ranking. Analyze it, and you’ll be able to improve the problems you didn’t think your business had.
About the author
Connie Benton is a chief content writer, guest contributor and enthusiastic blogger who helps B2B companies reach their audiences more effectively. With an emphasis on organic traffic and conversion, she takes big ideas and turns them into highly practical content that keeps readers hooked.