Stop, Children! What’s that Sound
Buffalo Springfield made the song “For What It’s Worth” famous in 1966, although most people are more familiar with the first line of the song that says “Stop, Children! What’s that sound.” It should be the question of all entrepreneurs as they evaluate customer feedback for their company. After hearing what customers are saying, then it may be necessary to take bold steps to correct situations within your company.
Start by making your company accessible to reviews. A great example of this is NASCAR. Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps created the Official NASCAR Fan Council consisting of 12,000 loyal viewers who feed their reviews directly to him. NASCAR also created the first media control center that is manned during major events creating buzz about events. Every major professional sport has followed in their footsteps and the result is that more people are attending sporting events and watching them on television.
Your company needs to be interacting with customers in similar ways.
SiteJabber reviewed 55,000 businesses and found that those who received more than 1,000 reviews from customers were more favorably reviewed. They also found that these companies receive 672 percent more leads. One of the reasons for this is that companies who are open to customer reviews are seen as more trustworthy in the customer’s mind.
One way that you can encourage customer reviews is to create space for them on your website. Businesses who display review widgets directly on their customer’s websites are seen as more reliable. Place these widgets directly on your landing page. Then, add trust seals to the footer of your website.
Never fear a bad review and never respond in anger to that review. It is essential, however, to respond in a timely manner to every review. 86 percent of customers rate businesses higher when a company responds politely to every review. In fact, in the SiteJabber survey, companies who received bad reviews under 30 percent of the time found that they received 10 percent more leads. Additionally, 68 percent of customers say they trust companies more when they see a mix of positive and negative reviews.
In the early 1900s, most companies lasted more than 50 years. Today, among the largest publically traded companies that total has fallen to 15 years. The reason is that companies are failing to engage with customer feedback. Remember that it is much easier to keep a customer than to gain a new one.