Getting customers to leave reviews shouldn’t be hard, but sometimes it seems that no matter how hard you try you just aren’t getting any. You go above and beyond expectations, making good on every promise you made and more, but the customer just walks away afterward. Why won’t they give you a good review after all you’ve done?
Generally speaking, most people don’t leave reviews, or even offer any feedback at all. There are a wide variety of reasons, but there are four specific issues that most often get in the way. With some simple planning you can eliminate these problems, but first you have to know what they are.
Issue #1: Your Customers Aren’t Happy With Your Service
People are socialized from a very young age to be nice to each other. How many times did your mother quote Thumper at you? “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
While being polite is important, worrying about it often prevents us from getting the critical feedback we need. Delivering bad news feels unpleasant to us and frequently comes with negative consequences, so many people feel nervous about providing feedback.
According to some statistics provided by Help Scout, for every customer who complains, there are 26 other customers who are dissatisfied, but said nothing. Typically a business will only hear from about 4% of its dissatisfied customers and 91% of dissatisfied customers will not do business with you again. However, if you resolve a customer’s complaint, they are 70% more likely to do business with you in the future.
To fix this issue, you want to create an environment in which customers feel at ease with providing feedback. It can be challenging to do so, but there are a few strategies you can try.
1. Embrace bad reviews. Take every negative review as an opportunity to improve your business. Take time to respond to negative feedback to show the customer (and other customers who follow you) that you’re willing to take care of them. Thank customers for negative feedback, act on it, and then show them that you’ve done so.
2. Ask for all kinds of feedback. You want to reassure your customers that you will listen to their feedback regardless of what kind it is. You want them to hold you and your staff accountable. When they do, be sure that you act on it because new customers will test you. If you handle their feedback well, you’ll have earned their trust. If you don’t respond well, they’ll slip away and never come back.
3. Improve staff quality. Give incentives to your staff to improve their skills and eliminate dysfunctional behaviors. The four big killer behaviors are condescension, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Make sure you provide your employees with the resources and training they need to avoid these behaviors, while encouraging them to be kind and helpful.
4. Value clarity over persuasion. It’s tempting to try and sell your customers on more, but nobody likes to feel pressured, especially when it comes to resolving issues. Focus instead on making sure that you anticipate and diffuse concerns and objections ahead of time. Set policies that focus on making sure your customers always understand your services and emphasize solving problems. If your customers are treated well, that will be all the sales you need.
Issue #2: Customers Don’t Remember What You Did
“If we succeed, no one will remember. If we fail, no one will ever forget.”
— Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson, Jingo
There is a bias in favor of negativity built into us as a survival trait. Problems create stress and anxiety to encourage us to avoid them. Conversely, solutions relieve stress and anxiety, making it harder to remember. The longer you wait to ask customers for feedback, the more likely they are to forget what you did for them.
The solution to this issue is simple. Ask for feedback immediately after they’ve purchased or used the product. You can do even better by prepping customers for it. Tell them at the start what you’re going to do, let them know you’ll check in regularly and that you’ll solve their problems. If you can, get their permission to save live chats, emails, and record phone calls, first so that you can easily recall what they’ve asked for, and also so that you can remind them of it later.
By doing this, you can dramatically reduce the tension with clients and when it comes time to leave a review they’ll know exactly what it was you did for them.
Issue #3: It’s Too Hard to Write or Share a Review
Most customers are open to the idea of writing a review, but the more time it takes them to do so, the more likely they are to not bother. If the customer spends fifteen minutes trying to find you on Yelp or Facebook, they’re going to give up and move on with their lives.
The solution to this is also simple. Once you’ve confirmed that they’re willing to give reviews, follow up with a message showing them where to go. Provide them with links to sites you want them to review you on. By telling them where to leave a review, you’re cutting out most of the work, which makes them more likely to write a review for you.
Issue #4: Customers Don’t Know What To Say
The biggest barrier to getting reviews is that many customers feel like they don’t know what to say, so they simply say nothing. This one can be tricky to overcome because you have to guide your customers without telling them exactly what to say. You do this by making sure you ask the right questions as you work with them. The right questions can prep your customers for reviewing you by creating a space in their mind for the right thing to say.
Be sure to get their feedback because good reviews flow from feedback. Some basic questions to ask include:
1. What would have prevented you from buying?
2. What did you find as a result of buying this?
3. What did you like most about our product?
4. What would be three other benefits of this product?
5. Would you recommend this to someone else? Why?
You can add other questions to these, but be sure that the questions make it easy for your customers. The harder you make your customers work, the less likely they are to remember you in a positive light.
Make it Easy
Don’t let all the hard work you’ve gone to meeting and exceeding your customer’s expectations go to waste. If you leave these issues on the table they’ll become barriers that your customers have to overcome before they can leave you a good review. If you please your customers, they’ll be more than willing to leave a review, so make sure that nothing gets in the way of them doing so. Solve these issues and you’ll find that your customer reviews will act like magnets, drawing more customers to you.
For more information on how we can help you get more online reviews, feel free to get in touch with us.