How often do you seek feedback from customers?

Do you action it?  What do you do with your feedback?

I’m going out on a limb here… but most brick and mortar business are terrible at seeking feedback from their customers.  Online business owners are a little better but most still don’t do it properly.

Feedback can be extremely valuable for several reasons:

  1. feedback provides you with a measuring stick to gauge your performance, reputation, efficiency etc…
  2. Feedback provides your with testimonials for your website
  3. Done the right way, feedback can also boost you search engine rankings.

Reputation

Feedback is good for a regular reality check.  It will gauge how your business is traveling.  And more importantly will give an indication of your reputation.  Online reputation is critically important.  If this get trashed… it’s a long way to recovery.

Testimonials

Testimonials are a great way to show social proof of a product or service.  I ran a campaign for a client not so long ago where I used Google forms to collect feedback.  The results were spectacular and were included on the business website.  It made a huge difference (and I mean huge difference) to the rate of new customer acquisition.  Have a look here http://tamborinespringwater.com.au

To do this I used google forms.  I made a simple form and one of the questions was

If you were to refer us to a friend what would you say?

This is where the richest information came from.  The question was open-ended and allow the customer to express their views.

Google-Drive-Form

Once you have completed the form, google gives you a  link to the form.  Place this in an email to all your customers and ask them to fill it out.  The responses are collected by google for you.  You can the copy and paste them straight into your website just as I did.

google-form-share-link

Very, very easy and very very effective!

Feedback for Search Engine Rankings

Search Engine Rankings is like a big popularity contest. But more than that a popular website demonstrates relevancy to your audience.  An irrelevant website simply won’t rank.  Google doesn’t want to show dud websites.

For local business, ranking in local search results and being placed in the map on the first page is critically important.

The best chance you have to appear here is Google reviews.  The more people who write a review the better chance you have in appearing in local search results.

Google reviews are written on your google Plus page.

PMS-Google-Plus

There are several places to access the review area.  On your page header, there is a pencil icon which will take you to the review section.

PMS-Google-Reviews

Or… scroll down the page and you will see a “Write a Review” button.

I used the same principle as above.  I email people a link to my google plus page or I tell them the link address.  The problem with google plus addresses is that they can be very long and hard to remember…’

Google-plus-link

So I use a URL shortener that will take the ugly google link and make it pretty and easy to remember.

I use bitly.com which is a free URL shortening service

Bitly-Screenshot

Paste in the ugly google URL into bitly.  It will create a short link but its a bit ugly.

Customise the link to something easy

bitly-usage

Once you have an easy to remember URL, the link can be used again and again in an email.

The proof is in the pudding…

Notice the google listings below for accommodation in Mount Tamborine?

The listings with reviews are shown toward the top of search results.

google-local-search-results

Management

The best businesses value feedback and are proactive about collecting it.

It’s easy to do and it doesn’t take a whole lot of time.  Done properly, the end result will be well worth it.

Some ideas:

  1. Write your review URL (the shortened URL for the example above) onto the back of your business card.  Give it to customers and ask them to fill it in.
  2. In your waiting room, ask customers, patients or whomever to fill in a review whilst they wait.  Provide them with a tablet or laptop and ask them to do it there and then.  They can do it on their smart phones too.
  3. Have a survey form printed and ready for your customers.
  4. Create a monthly giveaway.  Have an entry form where email addresses are collected.  Request feedback
  5. Create a loyalty program.  Collect email addresses from customers who join.  The request feedback
  6. Create a QR code and display it on your counter.  Ask customers to scan the QR code with their smart phones and fill in the feedback.  QR codes look ike this
    qrcode-PMS
  7. Provide a quick link on your website requesting feedback
  8. Provide a QR code on a business card to collect feedback
  9. Request your facebook people to fill in feedback on your google plus page
  10. Request everyone on all of your social media to fill in the google plus review.

Once set up, all of this becomes systematic and a culture with your business.  It then becomes a powerful tool in growing your business.

I hope this was helpful.

PS.  There are lots of other ways to collect feedback.  Please leave your ideas below.