The Customer’s Voice

So, Facebook is allowing reviews on business pages. I noticed it recently, and I have no idea when it took effect, but it got me thinking. Do people put much weight into online reviews? It’s possible that the correct answer is yes.

Online reviews have certainly grown in popularity over the past several years. With sites like Yelp!, FourSquare, and Highlight not only offering customer reviews, but also the ability to let your friends know where you’re at, many people are paying more attention than ever before. And, with most companies offering check-in based discounts through those services, people are far more likely to see those reviews.

If you know me, you know I see a strategy here.

On my home page, you’ll find testimonials at the bottom. It’s a square that rotates through the list of client praise that I have received via email or message. It’s a great form of pomposity, really, but it never offers the real picture. Just like anyone else, I’m only going to select the best reviews to display on my site. That’s sort of the point of testimonials, though…

Customer reviews are real, though. They’re usually unsolicited feedback given by a customer who wants to let the world know about their experience, whether good or bad. Sites like Yelp! offer the sort of overall fairness of averaging good and bad reviews to give a true score of the company. That is, unless your customers don’t leave you feedback.

The strategy is simple. Offer excellent customer service. There will be mistakes and slip-ups, but do everything in your power to make the experience awesome. Then, make sure you remind everyone that they can leave feedback on Yelp!, FourSquare, or Facebook. Encourage it, even from the customers who may not be leaving as happy as you want them to. Remind them as you part.

People pay attention to that score.

When it gets too low, or someone leaves a somewhat nasty review, you have to make sure you handle it properly. Ivan Ristic, President and Co-Founder of Diffusion, offers his expert response to the question of dealing with negative feedback the right way.

And as a reminder, if you like what we offer, let the world know with a Facebook like, Yelp! review (we’re still working on it), or a LinkedIn recommendation, would you please?

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.