Alicia Thomas wrote an excellent and thoughtful blog post about the benefits of online reviews, and tips for managing them. I found myself nodding at most of her article, but also thinking about how Bizyhood can make this process even easier.
- Asking for reviews – yes, you should ask. But not for reviews – you want feedback. Think about the difference between “would you please give me a review”, vs. “I’m interested in your thoughts and how to deliver an exceptional service/product/experience. Can you leave me feedback on my site?”The first seems more like asking for a favor – “please give me 5 stars so I look good”. The second seems quite genuine and doesn’t imply your customer has to do something they may not want to do (or see the value in). Now there is something in it for them.
- Make sure you have a variety of platforms available for feedback – This is probably the one piece of advice Alicia gave that I don’t agree with. Customers will not give feedback on multiple sites. They will give it once. With Bizyhood, the business owner has the option to share feedback they get on other social sites. So, if you get a particularly good piece of feedback and you’d like your Facebook friends and Twitter followers to see it, you just share it from the Bizyhood dashboard. Now you have the power of a single platform for all your feedback, and a simple and easy way to share it to the other places that matter to you.
- Hand out instructions and/or send email requesting feedback – Bizyhood can facilitate and automate these functions. You should do this with every customer, making it part of your standard process. This also covers the “don’t wait 3 months” suggestion – since Bizyhood can send an email immediately after the customer finished their interaction with you.
- Thank customers for feedback – This is automatically handled in the Bizyhood dashboard. Every piece of feedback you get is listed and you are required to respond or archive the feedback. Otherwise it stays in your Bizyhood Inbox…. waiting for you to reply.
- Prepare for negative feedback – yes, this will happen. It’s actually ok, you should embrace negative feedback. It makes your business look more authentic – when a business only has positive reviews, that is viewed as speculatively as a business with wildly outlandish negative reviews. Consumers are looking for authenticity in feedback, which means that there should be some frustration sprinkled along with the praise. And responding to negative feedback allows you to show the world how responsive you are. It also gives you the opportunity to continue discussing your brand when you respond and why certain things are important to you and your customers.
Actively soliciting feedback online from your customers can be one of the more valuable parts of your online strategy. Not only are you getting great feedback that can help you run your business better, but you’re likely putting relevant content online that makes it easier for Google to identify you as an expert in your field, which will help new people find you. There’s no downside to it (despite the immediate psychological aversion to negative feedback), and Bizyhood makes it simple and easy to do. Let us show you today!