Customers form the core of any business and the feedback they provide, whether negative or positive can spearhead the growth of your business. The reviews shared by consumers give your business the opportunity to show that you and your team are attuned to customer needs and that their satisfaction is of primary importance.
Here are a few ways you can turn customer feedback into an opportunity for good public relations for your business:
• Be Prompt: A prompt response shows consumers that you are willing to listen and take decisive action. It is important that you are equally prompt responding to both negative and positive reviews.
• Personalize Your Responses: A mistake that brands, big and small often make is the lack of a personalized response to a query. Giving a consumer a stock response leads them to believe that you do not care about them individually but rather as just another number or sales target.
• Recognize the Issue and Empathise: It is extremely important that your response is not perceived as uncaring or stand-offish. Especially when dealing with consumer feedback, it is important to remember the old adage that the consumer is king. If the feedback is on a public forum, it is essential to empathize with the feedback, no matter what it is because other consumers will be listening and watching how you deal with queries.
• Admit to the Cause for Concern: The only way to improve your product and customer relations is to admit to issues and clearly address feedback that consumers might share. It is important that you ensure transparency in your consumer dealings so consumers are transformed from one time purchasers to lifelong brand ambassadors.
• Chart a Path to a Solution: When faced with feedback, it is essential to appear decisive and find a solution that makes the consumer happy. The more attuned you are to your consumer’s concerns, the more likely he or she will be to discuss your product or service in a positive light with their family members or peer group.
• Set Clear Deadlines for Action: You can set your company apart from the competition by not only creating clear action plans but by also setting clear deadlines for issues to be resolved. This will show the consumer that you value his/her time and that you have a strict schedule in place for their issue to be resolved.
• Use the Feedback to Your Advantage: Increasingly, it has been seen that consumers are more likely to trust user-generated content over media articles or even celebrity endorsements. Put the feedback you receive front and center so that other customers looking to purchase the product can easily gauge the sentiments of previous customers.
• Encourage Diverse Opinions: Different products have different audiences, therefore it is important that your website or sales portal reflects a range of opinions. This will help consumers sift through ones that are less relevant and focus on the ones that they identify with and make most sense for them. Follow the above guidelines and your Small Business will be on its way to reaping the rewards of customer feedback and will be able to build and retain a strong, loyal customer base.