How to Use Customer Feedback to Increase Sales

Date: 2021-07-30 | Time of reading: 10 minutes (1869 words)

How to Use Customer Feedback to Increase Sales

A customer review is a feedback from customers on your products or services and an obligatory attribute of the business. However, companies do not always understand its significance: they do not collect, they only react to positive reviews and do not work with negative ones. This approach is a mistake. Reviews build customer loyalty, inform users about the product smoothly, help identify flaws, improve the product and drive sales. We are about to tell you why customer feedback is important and how to get it correctly.

Why customer feedback is important

89% of buyers read reviews before a purchase, so ignoring customer reviews is a bad idea.

Reviews build customer trust. A product without reviews is suspicious, as the one that has only positive comments. Companies are afraid of criticism, so they often publish good impressions on their websites. However, users do not believe such "sterile" responses and go to third-party sources: Google Maps, Tripadvisor, Yelp. Another way to get to the truth is to check out social networks.

Unscrupulous companies ignore and remove negative reviews, but this approach cannot do anything but annoys customers. Don’t be afraid of bad reviews, react to such feedback. 45% of consumers say they’re more likely to visit a business that responds to negative reviews.

Example of how to respond to negative reviewsExample of how to respond to bad reviews correctly

Customer feedback is also an increase in sales. Nine out of ten online orders are made by people after reading reviews. A good, detailed commentary is more convincing than any ad campaign. It helps customers understand if a product is right for them. Research from "AliExpress Russia" showed that 65% of buyers turn to someone else's opinion for this purpose. People read user stories and find information that is not in the standard description. For example, you can find out that shoes are small in size only from the reviews in the product card on the company's website or marketplace.

Reviews are the basis of Booking and Airbnb services for booking hotels and daily accommodation. No descriptions and beautiful photos will help you if someone writes about cockroaches in the room.

Reviews on AirbnbReviews on Airbnb

How to get customer feedback

The best way to get feedback is to ask. People don't always write them by themselves. Some of them don't think it's important, others just forget. They are also more likely to leave bad feedback and not share positive impressions.

The feedback formats:

  • Text reviews — a description of the product or service by the client. It can be an opinion or a detailed review.
  • Photo reviews — photos describing a product or service. Sometimes buyers even take pictures of the unpacking process and pay attention to the packaging.
  • Video reviews — in the format of a "talking head" or professional reviews, for example, in blogs on Youtube.
  • Audio reviews are not the most popular, but easy, because the user does not need to formulate the text or waste time shooting a video.

How to ask for feedback

Send an email asking to describe the buying experience. This is what sellers on Amazon often do when a buyer has received an order.

Amazon seller request for reviewAmazon seller request for review

Use website pop-ups or special forms. Sometimes a user wants to capture his impression but does not understand how to do it on your website. Make it easy for the customer — don't hide the feedback form. If the feedback is negative, your managers should see and process it than wait until users leave such a review on popular platforms.

Call the customer once he makes a purchase. For example, banks and Internet providers ask clients to rate a consultation as soon as they help them deal with a problem. With modern tools, a call from a living person is not even required, a robot will do everything for you.

Conduct a survey on social media. Ask a series of questions, either short-answer or multiple choice.

Ask for a review in person at the moment of receiving the purchase. In this case, you can take a photo of the customer with the product, record a video, or just conduct a quick survey. However, don't insist if the client doesn't want to film or leave feedback. Everything should be voluntary and honest.

Collect feedback from customer chats when they write to you personally about their problem. It's also a good way to deal with negative customer experience before it goes public.

Look for reviews on social media — on the accounts of users or in the comments. Do it using requests or special services: YouScan, SemanticForce, IQBuzz and others. They show mentions of the company by keywords. You can also process negative reviews and respond to user questions.

How to encourage customers to write reviews about a company, products and services

You can ask for feedback over and over again. There’s no point. Users stuck in a rut forget about you, or they just do not want to waste time on a review. This is where thanks for the feedback as a bonus comes in handy.

What should be offered to customers for feedback:

  • Discount for the next order or gift. If there is a discount for a related product, then you will also make an upsell.
  • Bonus for a recommendation on social media or to a friend. If a client publishes a review on his account or tells a friend about you (for example, sends a promo code or a referral link), he will receive a discount, points to a bonus account, or a freebie. In our marketing automation platform Altcraft Marketing, it’s easy to generate personal promotional codes and award points for a referred friend in the loyalty program management module.
  • Competition for the best, detailed, creative product review, for example, in the form of a review.

You can also show reviews of other clients. The principle of social proof works here — people often make decisions or do something because they look at others.

What matters when collecting feedback

Leaving a review should be as simple and fast as sending a message on Facebook. For example, you cannot fail to notice the section for rating the film on Netflix. All you need to do is to tap a star. And it doesn't matter if you watch a movie on the website or in a mobile app.

Reviews on NetflixAn example of collecting ratings for movies on Netflix

Make sure to thank your customers for their feedback. They have spent their time on you, so appreciate it and you will get their loyalty in return.

Don't write puff pieces. If you buy a review, people will notice this, and it will cause only negative emotions. Especially if you recently received bad comments and immediately decided to cover them with a few positive ones. Hundreds of reviews about a young company that has just appeared on the market will be suspicious as well.

Explain what you want to get from the customer in the review: product photo or detailed description. General phrases in the response are not credible; they are useless for the company.

"I liked everything. I recommend it.” — this is a poor choice of words for a review. Why did you like it? What are the features of a product or service? Likewise with "I didn't like it." What exactly? To get detailed answers, the client needs to be given a hint through questions. You can ask the following questions:

  • Why did you choose our product?
  • What problem did you want to solve with our product? What was the result?
  • What expectations did you have from the product and did it live up to them?
  • Would you recommend our product?
  • What would you like to change?
  • What did you like the most?

Benefits of collecting customer feedback

A product that makes the customer happy sells well. Solve the user problem, address his needs and you will make him happy. The only way to find out if your product has worked is to ask consumers. Therefore, customer reviews are the key to increase sales.

What’s your profit from collecting and analyzing customer feedback?

  • Feedback will help you improve your product or service. You will find out what your customers like and what annoys them, what prevents them from using your product. Reviews will give unexpected insights.

  • Increased customer loyalty. Asking for and responding to feedback is a way to show that you hear the customer and care about them. Bad responses should be responded to constructively, not ignored. The correct answer and analysis of the situation can turn a disgruntled client into a brand advocate. Other users will see the answer and make a mental note: “This company is not indifferent to customer problems”.

  • Reviews find "breaches" in a product or service and seal them off. When launching a product, you rely on marketing research, and this is reviews that complement them in the process. Through them, you will study consumer behavior in reality, and not in a simulated situation.

  • Returning customers and increasing revenue. If the buyer is disappointed in the product, received a poor-quality service and writes about it, then the answer will not only reduce the negative, but also bring the client back. How? Offer to fix everything and do it 100%. Then the client will buy from you again. He may even recommend your product to his friends and acquaintances.

  • Building future strategies of the company based on feedback from customers and creating products for the needs of people.

  • Additional promotion. Reviews are unique content that mentions your brand and does not repeat itself in descriptions on different websites. Take reviews on your website and use them on social media.

What Altcraft Marketing offers

Altcraft Marketing has its own built-in service for creating surveys. This tool is called Forms. Using it, you can easily collect the customer data you are interested in. If you know in advance what your customers are unhappy with, you will be able to quickly react to negative reviews and maintain a positive opinion of your brand.

Implement an NPS survey through "Forms". In a Net Promoter Score survey, customers are asked to answer the question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or colleague?”. Those who gave a score of 9 or 10 are promoters; 7 or 8 — passives; less than 7 — detractors. Such a survey is considered to be very useful in measuring customer loyalty.

The survey can be posted on a separate page or embedded in the site as an iframe code. When it is published, its analytics will open for you.

NPS Survey in Altcraft MarketingNPS Survey in Altcraft Marketing

Conclusion

Customer feedback is the key to increasing sales. Of course, this is not a guide to action, but only opinions that need to be filtered and analyzed. Reviews let you know how your product or service works and what customers actually want to see. Get to know your audience. This way, you will improve the product or service and fine-tune it to better meet customer expectations.

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Author: Lyudmila Kovalenko

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