If you’ve spent time on social media and seen links to stories with any political content whatsoever, chances are you are familiar with the acronym “DRTC.” It’s short for “don’t read the comments,” and it’s a legitimate warning that reactions to the piece may be vicious. Avoiding that unnecessary aggravation is understandable, but here’s the thing: if you are in business to serve consumers and you count on new customers, you can’t afford to dodge feedback.
Some potential customers skip right over reviews. But not all. And if a terse, unfavorable review sounds legit, it can cripple either the sales of that item, or your business in general. We all know there are some who will not be satisfied regardless of what you sell or what you do, so take each review with a grain of salt unless it rings true or unless it is repeated by others.
According to a 2015 study by Pew Research Center, the findings are notable. Here are a few:
Are you convinced? You may be missing a critical component of your marketing and satisfaction strategies by failing to track feedback. And while opinions are mixed on the value of direct responses to customers leaving negative reviews, it’s certainly an opportunity to not only appease them, but to let potential customers reading the missives know that you’re concerned enough to make it right. That means finding a balance between obsessing over Yelp and other review platforms and paying a visit there at scheduled intervals.
It’s Not All Bad News
Sometimes you’ll find glowing input on your products and/or services on review sites. Don’t let those go to waste. Find a way to work them into marketing campaigns. Don’t be shy about contacting frequent customers (who may or may not have written an actual review) to offer their feedback for your marketing use. It’s flattering to be approached for an opinion. And be sure to query the right way: don’t merely ask for general feedback, but rather drill down to specifics about what the customer enjoyed about the product and how she felt about your service.
Content Marketing Institute offers excellent advice on how to effectively turn customer reviews into testimonials that will present the coveted word-of-mouth feedback you could never buy for a price.
Psychology is a common field of study among marketing experts, and the consensus holds that influencing buying decisions has as much to do with offering high-quality, in-demand products as it does building a brand that generates trust, enthusiasm, and loyalty. Use this no- or low-cost tool to separate yourself from online and brick-and-mortar competitors, and find a new channel for connecting with buyers.