Online reviews essential for your business. It’s great if your customers love your business. It’s even better if they share that love, telling their friends, family, and posting online.
Online reviews drive those who are searching for your product or service right to your front door.
And just as a good online review will boost your business, a bad one will keep potential customers away.
What can you do to keep the good online reviews coming and prevent the bad ones from appearing?
The first step is to find out what your customers really think of your business.
The best way to do this is through a feedback survey. Feedback surveys are more than just measuring customer satisfaction. They can lead to higher ratings, higher rankings, and more visibility to those searching for your product or service.
In this post, we’ll share how one family-owned business uses surveys to earn 5-star reviews and how you can replicate their success (including suggested questions to ask).
Feedback Puts You in Control
The beauty of a feedback survey is that it puts you in the driver’s seat. You can take negative feedback and turn it into positive by taking the necessary actions to correct the situation.
Your customers will be impressed and pleasantly surprised when you follow up with them, going above and beyond expectations. Be sure to thank them for sharing their experience and giving you the opportunity to improve the business process that lead to the problem. It might be painful at first, but the rewards can be great.
And if you have very satisfied customer? Then let your customers share their experience with a testimonial that promotes your business! Ask them if they would like to post a review and make it easy for them to do so by providing the link to your Google+ or Yelp page.
How One Company Boosted Reviews
Our customer ReplaceALens is using feedback surveys to encourage customers to post favorable online reviews and prevent bad ones.
ReplaceALens replaces prescription eyeglass lenses in addition to providing frames and eye exams.
Once a customer completes an order, a survey is automatically sent to their email address. The survey starts by asking the customer how satisfied they were with ReplaceALens overall. They follow it up with a comment box asking if there were any problems.
Next they ask the customer to select the types of service they received: whether it was an eye exam, lens replacement and/or frames. Using question logic, they ask the customer to rate their satisfaction for each service. This keeps the question relevant and reduces abandonment. (You can read more about how to increase response rates in our article, Increasing Customer Satisfaction Response Rates)
They then ask for input on how they can improve their services.
Finally, they ask if the customer would recommend ReplaceALens to a friend.
If a customer indicates that they are dissatisfied, an email is automatically triggered to alert the manager that immediate follow up action is required.
Instead of sending negative feedback to an inbox that no one checks, the team at ReplaceALens recognizes this opportunity to improve their service.
They also recognize an opportunity to let their customers be their advocate. If a customer indicates they are very satisfied and likely to recommend ReplaceALens, they follow up with another question asking if the customer would like to write an online review. They make it easy for their customers to do so by providing links to their Google+ , Yelp, Yahoo, and Yellowpages profiles, inviting customers to review on whichever sites they prefer.
They also provide a link to their Facebook page and encourage customers to Like and Share their experience.
They go one more step and ask satisfied customers if they would like to join their Referral program, which gives them credit for each customer they refer. Brilliant!
All of these things sound nice, but does it really work?
Take a look at the ReplaceALens Yelp page. They have a long list of five star reviews. And, the one negative review you’ll find on the list was updated from one star to four based on great customer service.
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How to Get the Most From Your Feedback Survey
The key to a successful feedback survey is to collect it on a regular basis so that you can immediately act on the data. Correcting a situation if it is less than stellar is how you will get those glowing reviews.
It will also help prevent bad reviews from appearing on review and social media sites. Unhappy customers often need to vent. Providing customers with a way to express dissatisfaction directly to you will keep them from posting elsewhere.
Using the right questions, you can gain insight into your customers’ experience, what they like and don’t like, and where your business excels or falls short. Start broad and then drill down on specific areas.
These 5 steps will help you set up your feedback survey:
1. Measure Your Customers’ Overall Satisfaction
Begin your survey by asking how satisfied they were, overall, with the service or product they received. A rating scale is a good way to measure satisfaction at a glance as it’s easy for your customers to answer and for you to rank at a glance.
2. Identify Problems With Customer Satisfaction Questions
Get to the heart of the matter. Ask your customers directly and sincerely if any part of their experience with you was negative. Stress that you will be acting on feedback. This allows your customer the opportunity to express any negativity to you while feeling confident they are being heard.
3. Get Details So You Can Improve Your Service
With the important questions of overall satisfaction out of the way, now you can ask questions that touch the different aspects of your business and get specifics.
Use skip logic to only show questions that are relevant to the services or products they received. Don’t waste their time by asking questions that don’t pertain to them. The will appreciate it and will be more likely to continue to the end.
4. Trigger Notifications
Setup automatic notifications to alert the appropriate people when there is a problem. Trigger an email to fire whenever someone indicates they were less than satisfied so you can resolve any issues.
This is very important if you want to prevent negative reviews and posts about your business. Things will not always go smoothly but the important thing is to recognize and resolve them.
5. Create Advocates
Ask customers who indicated they were very satisfied if they would like to share their experience or post a review. This doesn’t have to be a question. Use the power of suggestion – let them know that they can post a testimonial or review and provide the link to your social or review site. An instructional question type works well here.
Get More Positive Online Reviews
When thinking about which review and social media sites would be best for your business, consider where your target audience is. For instance, if you offer professional services, you may want to consider LinkedIn as a place for customers to follow you. If you provide contracting services, you might want to consider a link to Angie’s List for your customers to post their reviews.
Oh, and don’t forget about your own site.
I have seen surveys (SurveyGizmo does this, too) where satisfied customers are asked if they would like to provide a testimonial that can be shared on their website. Authentic customer or client testimonials show visitors that you have more than just one happy customer. And testimonials can be used and reused as needed: on landing pages and in handouts.
Are you getting the most from your satisfaction surveys?
If you are collecting feedback from your customers, consider how you can use this opportunity to not only improve your business but to promote it. Always remember to trigger an alert when you receive a dissatisfied response. It only takes one bad review to undo a handful of good ones!
Let us know in the comments how you are using feedback surveys to boost your business.