People review everything – hotels, restaurants, tools, brands, services, books and movies. We publish opinions on dedicated platforms and on social media profiles. In the future, the scale of things we evaluate will be even bigger. Just like in one of the latest episodes of the series showing the dark side of technology – Black Mirror. The author’s vision presents the world where people review each other and their lives depend on the grades. We are still far from that scenario to become true (luckily), but there is no doubt that reviews play a crucial part in the world today, especially business-wise.
Companies that understand the importance of online feedback gain competitive advantage on the market. They track customer opinions on daily basis and incorporate review collecting systems in marketing strategy. Why don’t you do the same? Getting customer feedback can only do good for your business, plus it lets you stay on top of things.
Reviews are the main factor in purchase decision
The vast majority of this year I traveled through Southeast Asia, moving from one place to another every couple of days. That meant picking a place to stay at least two times a week. The main source for information about the best hotels were online reviews – either on TripAdvisor, Facebook, or booking platforms. Finding a suitable place that would satisfy my needs was particularly important. As a solo female traveler I looked for safe and clean accommodation with a social atmosphere where I could meet other travelers. As you can imagine I opted for top results with the highest marks and then verified if they met all my expectations. I did not even look at the last pages:
Users seek opinions online
This is what most consumers do. When they look for a product or service and are not sure which brand to choose, they seek for opinions – mostly online. The research starts with brands with the best reviews. However, users usually go to the negative comments section first, in order to see what previous clients complained of and if a brand handled the situation properly. That is why you should never leave negative comments with no response. If you do, other prospects will judge your business based on that opinion. With your reply, potential buyers will have the whole picture of how you handle customer service.
Customer service has been especially important in business development in hotel and restaurant industries. However, with the growth of social media, other sectors are getting more dependent on reviews as well. 81% shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase decision. Why would you let negative opinions spread across the Internet? Many crises can be nipped in the bud if a problem is spotted early enough. Not only may this prevent a potential disaster, but will also increase chances of getting new business into the company.
Whether you run an online or offline business, you should cultivate relationships with customers so they would be willing to leave you positive feedback, especially when you are trying to make your way to the market. There is nothing wrong in asking your clients to write you a review. However, make sure you deserve one. Invitation for writing an opinion after a customer made a complaint is not appropriate. First, handle the situation professionally. Apologize and fix the issue. Chances are that swift and proactive response to a problem will turn a dissatisfied client into a loyal one.
Social media feedback in product development
Social media feedback can also be useful in adjusting your positioning strategy. Let’s take the hotel industry as an example again. Guests that stay in a hotel not only rate the place, but also describe different experiences they had with the service. This is a crucial insight for an owner about how clients perceive his hotel. For instance, if many visitors have praised the SPA, it is worth emphasizing the presence of this facility in marketing activities. Or if guests liked the social atmosphere in a hostel, it is a good idea to target it to solo travelers and position it as the perfect place to meet other people and make friends. In such situations, the manager should also think how to make the experience even better for those groups of clients.
This applies to other sectors and categories as well. Social media users may share how they consume or use your products. Listening to discussions around current products can uncover ideas for the development of those products, as well as complimentary or totally new product ideas.
The more you adjust your offer to customer needs, the more business you can bring into the company. Very often a small refinement translates into a significant improvement in customer experience.
How to collect social media feedback
- Encourage users to send you private messages on your Facebook page.
- Be up to date with what people post on your page and how they comment on your content.
- Use social listening to collect mentions about your brand.
- Set up accounts on platforms dedicated to feedback, read the reviews and reply to them when it is needed.
Need more info on how you can collect social media feedback? Check out this article.
No matter what business you have and no matter who your clients are, they talk about you and these discussions are gold for your business. Find them and use them to get more customers into the company.