Before the first online review ever, there was first a customer service experience. That’s right, good ol’ customer service in which a person (the customer) was served by a business. The transaction ended in a feeling: was it good, awful or wonderful?
In the magical time we’re living in, that customer service feeling can translate into an online review, a social media rant, a conversation over drinks, a comment made in passing to a colleague, an Instagram post and more.
So it bears repeating: the first and best way to get great online reviews is to offer amazing customer service. Here are three ways to make customers fall in love with your business (and maybe offer up that five-star review!)
1. A Personal Touch That Delights
The great thing about a “personal touch” is that it’s so very personal. In a world of emailed party invitations and wide-net social media postings, it’s truly wonderful to receive something from a business or brand that shows it knows who you are. It’s no surprise the video of Taylor Swift’s generous gift giving went viral immediately. Who isn’t moved when they unwrap a special selected-just-for-me gift?
For your business or brand, getting personal may mean hand-written notes to customers; knowing your customer’s names when they walk in; following customers on Twitter (once they follow you, of course!); or putting aside a few items from a new shipment that’s bound to sell out and then leaving a voicemail inviting the customer in to check it out.
2. Offer Insider Secrets, Access or VIP Status
People love to think they have the “inside scoop,” so make sure they do! Depending on your business, offer inside information for sales, special promotions, guest expert visits or free classes. Treat your email list like a treasure trove of besties: they get first crack at all the goodies. Then hop over to Facebook to remind followers there what the email list just received…and include a link to the email signup.
VIP clubs have been around forever because they work. If you want to see loyalty increase in your customer base, try a loyalty club that’s linked to credit or debit cards, like CardSpring. Rewarded customers are more likely to stay loyal and offer constructive feedback instead of lobbing flame-throwing reviews.
3. Make Everything Easy
We know not every customer interaction is warm and fuzzy. But to the extent you can control it, make shopping at your brick-and-mortar store or online shop a simple pleasure. Create flexible and helpful return policies. Hire people who are nice. Train your staff to try to solve problems and not simply take up counter space.
Think to yourself: “Would I shop here?” In life, we often make choices based on what’s easy. Call the cable company? Nah, I’ll put that off. Grab a coffee at the local place down the street that knows my morning soy latte habit? Yes!
How do you make customers love your business? Tell us in the comments!
Alex is Connectivity’s VP of Marketing.