Every successful business today already knows that customer feedback is the key to a successful marketing initiative. They understand that customer knowledge will provide everything they need to know in order to deliver a competitive experience which appeals to the broadest customer base possible.
Designing more relevant marketing campaigns, delivering personalized offers, improving customer support, and winning new customers are just some of the ways customer feedback is providing marketers with the knowledge they need to effectively position their brands.
The following five examples demonstrate how they are benefiting from customer knowledge and, effectively, having their customers market for them.
1) Sharing customer reviews on websites
63% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a website that offers customer reviews. When potential customers are unfamiliar with a brand or service, they are more likely to make an initial judgment based on what other customers have to say. Reviews provide potential customers with a greater sense of security not only because they create an initial impression of a brand but also because they demonstrate that you are truly invested in what your customers think about you. And to establish greater trust, it’s even a good idea to publish some reviews which are less than glowing; customers are less likely to trust your reviews if they are all positive.
2) Sharing on social media sites
71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. Because social media referrals feel more trustworthy and relevant, they have been shown to be more effective than traditional advertising in speaking shopper interest, making them one of today’s top lead sources. For this reason, you want to make it easy for customers to leave their positive impressions on your social media sites. Include, for example, a social media share button on any of your online surveys or product review pages so that your customers aren’t required to do any extra work.
3) Sharing in promotional emails
Over 294 billion emails are sent each day with the average person receiving 72 emails per day and spending up to 30% of their work day checking their inboxes. To cut through all this clutter, it’s important that your emails stand out. One way to do this is by including customer feedback in your promotional emails, feedback which is likely to encourage your customers to make a purchase on your site. Or, when you send a confirmation email to inform consumers that a transaction is complete, it’s easy enough to include in your email a short testimonial. Basically, don’t overlook any emailing opportunities to include a little bit of positive customer feedback.
4) Improving SEO ranking
Of course, improving conversions and the overall customer experience should be the main purpose of gathering customer feedback, but don’t overlook the considerable SEO benefits feedback can provide. Consumers typically search for product or brand information using the name of the product or brand plus the words “review” or “ratings”. Including reviews on your website increases your chances of attracting this traffic. Moreover, reviews can be used to create rich snippets which can produce a 10% - 20% increase in click-through rates resulting in additional conversions.
5) Leveraging social proof
79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations before making a buying decision. This alone should be enough incentive for any marketer to put more emphasis into leveraging social proof in their marketing efforts. Since quotations and reviews are the most common form of social proof, you can leverage any positive feedback you’ve received from any channel – online surveys, emails, social media – to show prospective customers why you are their best option. Social proof can be leveraged to increase credibility, conversions, and sales. And best of all, it’s not hard to do. Investing just a little of your time generating and leveraging social proof can bring you a very big return on investment.
Make Customer Feedback Work for You!
Your customers are no strangers to leaving feedback about the brands they use. They are already sharing their opinions and experiences on Yelp, Facebook, and other social media venues. Since they are already talking about you, why not leverage what they are saying and make their opinions work for you? Not doing so is a big missed opportunity for you to develop marketing content which has been proven to work.
In case you need further convincing that customer feedback can – and will – generate stronger marketing initiatives, look no further than Starbucks, Amazon, and Netflix, all of whom center their marketing operations around customer feedback. In fact, customer feedback has become so important to the marketing drive of each company, it’s hard to imagine any of them being as successful without the benefit of knowing how to make the most from what their customers think.