There is an old saying, “If a customer is happy he will tell 3 people, if they are unhappy they will tell 15!” Those numbers, of course, are no longer even close to the truth, although in retrospect, they kind of are.
With the modern age of the information highway (more like rocket way) people are more apt to give you a bad review on one of the hundreds of review sites (Google, Facebook, Yelp!, TripAdvisor, etc…) than they are an excellent review.
As a marketing professional, I know that a company’s reputation will either make or break it. And getting those positive reviews today are even more important because the chance of a happy customer writing you a review is 50% less likely than an unhappy customer. As you may have found out, there is absolutely no way that a company can please every single customer.. There are even customers that refuse to give perfect ratings even if they had a perfect experience.
So, how do you get those star ratings up? Well, plain and simple, you ask for a good review from those “Happy” customers on the sites that matter most to your company. The first company I decided to test this out on was The Fly Fishing Shop in Welches, Oregon and their website flyfishusa.com. They were receiving about 500 orders a month online in 2010 with an average sale of $110 and not receiving very many reviews, and the ones they were getting were generally negative.
I developed a plan:
- In all correspondence, whether by phone, chat or email, let the customer know that we appreciate all feedback about their experience.
- Write a card thanking them for their business and asking the customer to submit a review on the most important sites if they are completely satisfied, and if not to please call to see if there is a way to make them completely satisfied.
- Print 2000 copies.
- Send a copy of the card with every order.
- Write a follow up email after the order has arrived and reiterate step # 2.
- Write a response to every review in a timely manner (within 48 hours)
I presented it to the CEO and within a few weeks implemented it. Within a few months their star ratings on Google went from a 2.3 to a 3.5 and now sits at 4.4. Their Facebook rating went from a 1.7 to a 3.1 and now sits at 4.1 with over 2900 reviews. They not only gained more sales their average sale went up to $125.
I am not the kind of person that can rely on one example, so the next company I implemented this plan on was Eastside Exterminators in Woodinville, Washington. Same theory except the technicians hand delivered the thank you card rather than including it in an order. The results were amazing!
Next, I implemented it with the auto group I currently work for and the results mimic those of the two previous companies. Not only are sales up, but those employees that have gotten the most reviews have seen their sales per month grow.
All of this takes time, especially when the reviews start coming in droves. This is why you need a company like MySocialRep, we are great at this and it shows!
Derek Bachmann is a Digital Marketer and is a leading expert on Social and Reputation Management.