Your customers have a voice.
Your customers use that voice to leave feedback about your business within seconds on social media and online review platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter.
It’s essential that you allow customers to use their voice, to leave their feedback for you and other customers to see. This will give you the opportunity improve your products and services (based on customer experiences) and to develop relationships with customers by responding to their feedback.
Here are three ways to empower the Voice of the Customer at your business.
1. Listen. Why Social Listening is the First Step for Your Voice of the Customer Strategy
Although an important part of the process, social listening is about more than only responding to online reviews and social media comments. Social listening also involves aggregating and analyzing specific words and phrases to understand customer sentiment.
Social listening is a process that is meant to capture customer’s expectations, choices, experiences, so ultimately, their feedback.
2. Respond. How to Respond and Analyze Feedback
One way to practice social listening is to respond to customers when they leave feedback.Respond to all online reviews whether positive or negative.
Here are some things to keep in mind when responding to reviews.
Personalize the response. Personalize the response as much as possible.
When you respond to reviews, you should clarify issues and make sure each response provides an invitation to continue the conversation offline. This way, your customers know you care about what they have to say, and those invitations start to build healthy relationships.
Show empathy. To create an engaging and empathetic response, use words and phrases similar to the words and phrases used by the reviewer. Be sure to respond to the specific complaints, positive comments, or concerns that the reviewer wrote about.
Tell your side of the story. If you are personally attacked in a review, it’s acceptable to tell your side of the story. It’s important to make sure you are being professional. Never let your emotions control your response.
Own up to your mistakes. Apologize to the reviewer and explain the possible reasons why you made a mistake. Let the reviewer know that you are already working on the issues raised by the reviewer to improve the customer experience.
Another part of social listening is to use customer insights to improve the customer experience. Analyze all customer feedback online to look for trends within feedback and understand how customers feel about your business locations. You can then use these trends to make changes to operations. For example, if multiple customers have been complaining about cleanliness of your diner, you should address the issue as fast as possible before it starts to hurt business.
3. Report. Share Customer Insight Reports Across all Departments
Customer feedback analytics is not only for the marketing team. The entire company should be focused on the customer.
Leaders across all departments and all regions and locations should know what the customer wants. The decisions being made within the organization should be customer-focused and leaders should know this.
A great way to share customer sentiment is to create customer stories and then share those stories with your entire organization. Another way to share customer sentiment and insights is to share reports with leaders across all departments in the company.
If You Read One Section From This Article…
Your customers leave feedback online, but it’s not enough to simply monitor that feedback without taking action. You must listen to your customers, respond to them, and analyze all feedback. By taking action on the insights you find from analysis of customer feedback, you will build relationships with customers, make them feel heard, and improve the customer experience. The process of listening to the Voice of the Customer is constant and to continue to receive feedback, you must empower your customers to use their voice.
Max Schleicher is the Content and SEO Director at ReviewTrackers, a startup devoted to improving the customer experience with better data.
Topics: Customer Engagement