Successful entrepreneurs are rarely satisfied—and for good reason. Once you offer something unique to the marketplace and build a loyal customer following, there is always a drive to improve marketing. To innovate branding. And often, to expand locations.
However, how do you know if you’re ready to adopt a new marketing strategy? To rebrand? To expand to a new location?
You may be surprised that some of the best tools to evaluate the viability of new initiatives actually come from customer review management. If your review process is healthy, and you’re seeing results, expansion may be on your horizon.
This can take the form of:
- Expanded Marketing: Whether you’re set to begin a new targeted mailer, a mass email campaign, or to unveil outdoor billboard advertising, you will want to know that your customer response strategy is solid before launch.
- Expanded Branding: When giving your brand a facelift, customers will know if it’s just a cosmetic change or a genuine reflection of your brand. Your brand story should be consistent with how customers perceive you. Monitoring customer feedback and response is key to discovering what customers really think.
- Expanding to a New Location: Whether you’ve started with one brick and mortar storefront and you’re considering adding a second, or you’ve already created a community of locations and you’ve set your sights on the next location in line—you will want to confirm that you are already serving customers well. (And that you’re ready to take on more!)
The health of your review management process, as well as the quality of your customer feedback, can help determine if you should expand your business. For example, if reviews indicate a positive customer experience, you may be justified in increasing marketing or branding efforts, or opening a location elsewhere.
However, a new marketing strategy, a brand change, or location expansion may need to take a back seat if you’re not staying on top of your reviews or customer feedback.
Since the health of your customer review management is so vital to your business, how do you evaluate your current process?
Key Questions To Ask Before Expanding Your Business
1. Do We Respond To Online Reviews?
Your digital footprint expands far beyond where you intentionally tread through online marketing and advertising, your website, and your social media presence. What others are saying about you is a huge part of the equation when it comes to your reputation. And nowhere is this more clear than in customer reviews.
Businesses have an incredible opportunity to engage and respond to customer reviews (and in doing so, stay on top of the competition). Data show that responses from businesses really matter, even if the review is negative and may seem like a “lost cause.” Marketing Charts reports that 7 out of 10 consumers changed their opinion about a brand after the company replied to a review.
When you consider how to respond to an unflattering review, keep these guidelines in mind:
- Maintain objectivity: Exercise empathy as you acknowledge why the customer might be feeling frustrated. Avoid appearing biased or one-sided in your response.
- Aim for friendliness: While following your brand’s style, exercise warmth and friendliness whenever possible. Strive for professionalism and genuine customer service.
- Go the extra mile to connect: As you respond to reviews, you can leave an email address, phone number, or a link to a customer feedback form to invite further communication.
Tip: Let Us Respond recently offered five effective customer review response examples on the blog!
While negative reviews can be remedied with strategic responses, responses can also encourage loyalty from positive reviewers. Your on-brand response can be like a handshake, connecting with your customer on a personal level and promoting further business.
Did you know? 72% of consumers will leave a review if asked (BrightLocal). That’s why it’s important to consistently encourage your customers to review your business. With more reviews, you have more chances to respond to customers.
Key takeaway: Take every chance to respond.
If you haven’t been responding yet, start now. If you have been responding consistently, you might be ready to expand your vision for your business.
2. How Quickly Do We Respond To Reviews?
Some companies make the mistake of thinking reviews can be responded to in bulk, at infrequent intervals. However, it is best to respond to each individual review within 24 hours.
Reviews can bring out big emotions. A customer composing a review may write with passion about your product or service. When you respond within one day, you often have the opportunity to reach them while they are still feeling the emotion that drove their review.
With a positive review, you can enforce the positive perspective of the customer while they’re feeling great about your business.
With a negative review, you have a chance to mend the relationship before the reviewer’s opinion of your business is solidified. Your response can also reach potential customers and position your business as a brand that values customer satisfaction.
Tip: To address your customers’ joys and concerns in a pinch, use this quick-reference guide to responding well to negative and positive reviews.
Key takeaway: Respond within 24 hours.
If If you aren’t responding rapidly to reviews, consider consulting with experts to keep up with the demands of real-time feedback. If you’re able to stay on top of customer responses, you may be ready to expand your marketing, rebranding, and/or locations.
3. What are our reviews telling us?
If your reviews are generally positive, you are on track for meeting the needs of your customers. If your reviews are more than one-fourth negative, you may need to retool your goods or services to improve customer satisfaction.
By reading each review individually, you can bring specific feedback that helps managers and supervisors to retrain and retool. Also make note of the most common concerns in your reviews overall, in order to address customer feedback broadly and continuously improve your operation.
Key takeaway: Look for trends in your reviews
If you’re experiencing overwhelming customer satisfaction, it may be time to launch new endeavors in marketing, branding, or multi-location expansion.
Monitor and Respond to Local Reviews — Effortlessly
The health of your customer review management is vital to the future prospects of your business. Join with the successful brands who trust their review tracking, responses, and analysis to Let Us Respond.
Let Us Respond is your trustworthy resource for managing reviews with brand-approved responses. Our experts collaborate with yours to identify and implement review solutions that are right for you. Try a risk-free personalized consultation to glean strategic insights about how customers are talking about your brand.