5-star reviews don’t happen by accident. They are the direct result of a fantastic customer experience. This means that your entire company needs to focus on making each customer experience topnotch.
You may need to train your employees in customer service; you may want to hold focus groups or send customer satisfaction surveys to learn more about the customer experience; and you may want to use mystery shoppers to evaluate your business to get a better feeling for what your customers experience when doing business with you.
In fact, the more proactive you are in getting feedback from your customers, the better you will understand what they are really looking for from your business. By doing this important research, you will be better able to deliver.
Creating a stellar Reputation culture is a circular process. For example, as you survey your customers, either through actual surveys or by monitoring their reviews (or both), you gain insights into the customer experience. By sharing those reviews with your staff on a regular basis, you are reinforcing the importance of delivering the best possible customer experience and developing strategies to overcome areas of weakness. As your customer service improves, your customer experience improves, and your reputation improves.
This drives home another important point: Monitor your reputation. If you’re using a system where the bulk of your reviews come through a form on your website or through mail-in cards, you’ll need to know when a negative review comes in so that you can address the customer’s concerns immediately.
If customers feel that their messages are not being heard by going to you directly, they’ll go elsewhere with an even more scathing review.
Likewise, some customers will go directly to online review sites and post negative reviews. This makes it important to be aware of, and monitor, third party review sites.
You can do this by setting up Google Alerts for your company’s name or products. However, this isn’t ideal. A better option is to use RSS feeds and a feed reader to monitor various RSS feeds from your business listings on various review sites.
You can take it a step further by using an app such as Zapier or IFTTT. You can configure Zapier or IFTTT to send you an email anytime your feed is updated with a new review.
Another option is to use a paid service to actively monitor the most popular review sites and notify you of new reviews.
If you get a negative review, you’ll need to respond appropriately and immediately. Use a proactive customer service approach to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one. In many cases, customers will change their review once they become satisfied.
If a customer doesn’t change a negative review, that review will eventually get buried thanks to fresh reviews coming in.
With a 5-star culture, you should have a steady stream of good reviews coming in. This is a powerful means of ensuring that negative reviews are quickly moved off the page and your overall average rating goes up despite the occasional negative review.
As part of your 5-star culture, you’ll want to stress the importance of prompting customers to leave a review. Everyone in your company should know how to ask for a review. This can be as simple as training employees to circle your website’s review URL on an invoice and ask customers to please leave a review.
If you want to add a motivational element to the training, give each employee color- coded review postcards to hand out and then reward the employee who brings in the most color-coded responses each month. Similarly, whenever an employee is mentioned in a 5-star review by name, find a way to recognize him or her for a job well done.