How To Triple Your Positive Online Reviews in 3 Months
Increasing your positive online reviews can make more impact than any bedazzled marketing campaign ever could. The fact is, what others have to say about your business is taken more seriously than what you have to say about your business. Tripling your positive reviews, as our friends at Schweiger Dermatology Group did, requires a two-pronged approach.
The first part is about getting more positive reviews in the moment: it’s about knowing which customers to ask and when to ask them. The second part, and most effective, is about creating consistently awesome customer experiences that generate more happy customers to get those reviews from in the first place.
Let’s take a look at how to nail both.
Part 1: Getting More Raving Reviews in the Moment
With the right tech, this part is pretty simple. You need to know who you are going to ask for a review (and who you might need to make things right with), and when you’re going to ask them.
Have you ever had a terrible experience with a company, and then got an email immediately asking you for a Google review? That’s a sign of a business without the right set up.
To understand who you’re going to ask, you need to have some understanding of who your happy customers are and aren’t soon after they receive your service.
Without this knowledge, you’re at risk of blindly asking customers to share their experience, without knowing if it was good or bad. Worse, if you don’t provide the opportunity for customers to provide feedback straight to you, a lot of unhappy customers will write a scathing review out of frustration. Basically, if they don’t get a chance to tell YOU why they are unhappy, they will tell EVERYONE. With just one bad online review costing businesses up to 30 customers, this is a risky approach.
With an internal up to date picture of who your biggest fans and critics are, you can take more meaningful action that results in more happy customers, fewer unhappy customers, and more raving reviews.
If customers are happy, act fast.
The high a customer feels after an awesome experience is short lived. Life moves fast and often, by the time a survey comes around they’re onto the next thing in their lives – a meeting, a school-pick up, a grocery shop, a dinner party.
To extract the most genuine positive feedback from your customers, you need to catch them within that short, but ever-so-important window. We know through working with thousands of experience brands that the most effective time to ask is immediately after an interaction, or when you’re sure they’ve had long enough to experience the results. As soon as positive feedback comes through, follow up with an immediate automated request to leave an online review, and turn them into a brand advocate.
If customers are unhappy, act faster.
The influence a single unhappy customer can have in a short period of time is colossal. A social media post, negative online review and a lengthy rant at a dinner party has the potential to reach thousands of people, negatively influencing their perception and behavior towards your brand.
On the other hand a low NPS score or some bad (unpublic) feedback is an opportunity. As soon as poor or average feedback comes through, follow up with that customer to understand what went wrong and most importantly how you can fix it in the moment. This way, feedback loops are closed internally, and you have the chance to make a life long fan out of someone who was getting ready to flame you online.
Part 2: Getting More Happy Customers to Ask
While on the outset this might seem more complicated than part one, it doesn’t have to be. We see proof every day that if service brands invest in their customer-facing teams using feedback, coaching and recognition, the number of happy customers (and subsequently the number of positive online reviews) skyrockets.
Case in point? Schweiger Dermatology Group. By following up with their happy and unhappy customers, and using the strategies below, they managed to triple their positive online reviews.
Understand What Matters Most to Customers
To get more happy customers, you need to be delivering on the things that matter most to them. And to know what matters most to them, you need to ask every customer about their experience, and surface the trends. Forget long, boring, quarterly surveys. Make it easy for your customers to give feedback more often using short, frequent and fun-to-fill out surveys. E.g a quick 60 second NPS survey as soon as a customer interaction ends.
When you gain this kind of feedback at scale across your various locations and branches, you can quickly spot the trends of your biggest brand advocates and critics, and use that information to improve and optimize your customer experience. You can also see which branches, teams and employees are getting the best and worst customer feedback, highlighting where recognition or further support is needed.
Circulate that Feedback, Fast
Collecting customer feedback alone does not create more happy customers. What does, is connecting that feedback to the frontline teams responsible for delivering the customer experience, and empowering them to act on it. At Schweiger Dermatology, each provider receives real-time patient sentiment straight to their phones, desktops and iPads that highlights what they’re doing well, and helps them understand exactly what they can do that day to improve the patient experience.
Service brands with the happiest customers and best reviews have feedback coming out of their ears. It’s on the walls, it’s being talked about in meetings, it goes straight to frontline employee’s devices. Not only does it help frontline teams improve and act on the feedback, but it shows them the impact their efforts have.
When an employee thinks outside the box to make sure a customer leaves feeling on top of the world, the 5-star review and thoughtful customer message that they personally receive makes them feel the impact they can have. It helps highlight the purpose and meaning inherent in their work.
Use Feedback Soundbites to Guide Coaching Conversations
Do your frontline teams know what an awesome customer experience looks like, and how to make it happen? Generic customer experience training that’s full of jargon and generalizations won’t help your customer facing teams create more happy customers. But using feedback to guide specific small improvements will. It’s about taking trends in what real customers are saying, and using that to help employees understand where and how to improve, one step at a time.
When you focus on coaching your teams to improve one thing every day, over time you build mastery. Using this approach, 50% of Schweiger patent providers improved their individual NPS scores by 12 points in a year.
Recognize Your Staff’s Impact
If you want to keep 5-star reviews rolling in, you need to make time to thank and recognize your customer-facing staff on a daily basis, especially as and when they are doing things right. Genuine appreciation for your staff’s efforts, whether that be through shoutouts, recognition in company wide meetings or a verbal “Thank you for all your incredible work, that customer is your fan for life now”, helps frontline teams feel good in their work and reinforces the best actions and behaviors. It’s a domino effect: employee recognition creates more fulfilled and motivated employees, and more fulfilled and motivated employees deliver better experiences to customers. Then of course, more satisfied customers leads to more positive online reviews. It all starts with a thank you.
Increasing your positive online reviews isn’t just a matter of asking happy customers at the right time, it’s about creating more happy customers. The most effective way to do this is by fueling your customer-facing teams with feedback, recognition and personalized coaching that empowers them to take action and drive customer advocacy.
Want to learn more about how Schweiger Dermatology Group focused on NPS and improved their patient experience? Check out the case study here.