April 2022

New Feature

LoyaltyLoop and ePS Announce Product Integration

Save Time & Get More Frequent Feedback!

Earlier this month, LoyaltyLoop and eProductivity Software (ePS) announced the availability of the new LoyaltyLoop PrintSmith Vision Integration Add-On. This Add-On provides a new level of simplicity for LoyaltyLoop users running PrintSmith Vision software.

When using this Add-On, PrintSmith Vision customer contact info (i.e., customers to be surveyed) will flow automatically to your LoyaltyLoop account when you add a delivery date (aka pick-up date) to your PSV Invoice. There are no reports to run, no manual uploads, no emails to send.

Key Advantages of this Integration Include:

  • Set it, and forget it!
  • Engage customer soon after their transaction
  • Send requests as often as daily
  • Save time (and money) not running reports

The integration saves you time, and, since the contact info is sent as your orders are delivered, it enables you to send your requests for feedback and reviews from LoyaltyLoop closer to when the customer worked with your business. Instead of batching and sending all feedback requests once a month, the integration gives you the option to send requests for feedback as frequently as daily or weekly.

Moving the feedback request closer to when the customer experienced your business can increase both the quality and quantity of responses. For more details on the great new enhancement for PrintSmith Vision users, please check out our LoyaltyLoop PrintSmith Vision integration page.


First-Party vs. Third-Party Reviews

Do you know the difference?

Getting reviews is a cost-effective form of organic promotion, and enlisting your most loyal customers to work as your own brand ambassadors promoting your services can save money on your bottom line. An increase in revenue can be often attributed to an increase in 5-star reviews. So, it would make sense you would want to collect as many as you can, both first-party reviews and third-party reviews. But what is the difference between first- and third-party reviews anyway?

What are first-party reviews?

First-party reviews are provided by your customers directly to your business, where your business owns and controls the use of the reviews.

Also called customer testimonials, first-party reviews may include a rating, such as a number of stars on a five-star scale. The key distinction from third-party reviews is the fact that you own these reviews and you are in control of where they appear.

Typical uses of first-party reviews include displaying them on your website, sharing them with your social followers, using them in your newsletters, and other marketing methods. When placed on your website, first-party reviews can help your overall web marketing content and SEO. Of equal importance, first-party reviews, like third-party reviews, help you demonstrate social proof of your product or services to others, helping drive more word-of-mouth advertising, and organic promotion to turn prospects into customers.

What are third-party reviews?

Third-party reviews about your business are posted by users of review platforms, and the review is owned and controlled by the third-party.

Third-party reviews are posted by users of public review platforms like Google and Facebook. The user posting the review may be a customer, but could also be a prospect, a vendor, or anyone else who wishes to publicly share their experience with, or opinion of, your business.

When these third-party platforms have large audiences, their user reviews about your business can provide great exposure for you. Google is the world’s largest search engine, and through their free business listing service (Google My Business), they can display relevant search results about your business, including your Google Reviews This great for your online presence, and can also contribute to your SEO and natural search rankings on Google. While they don’t carry the exposure of Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor and the many other industry-specific third-party review platforms offer similar benefits.

What's your review strategy?

As a prerequisite to any first- or third-party review strategy you choose to employ, it is paramount that you first focus on employing methods that help you deliver great customer experiences. If you don’t have a method of measuring your customer experiences using metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS), then you’re essentially flying blind. The reviews you may receive, may not be the ones you had hoped for.

In LoyaltyLoop, we call first-party reviews “Testimonials”. LoyaltyLoop Promoter Plan automatically collects first-party reviews when respondents give feedback to your survey. Testimonials are fresh, user-generated content (UGC). As more feedback is generated, so are more testimonials. Using the LoyaltyLoop Testimonial widgets or API, your first-party reviews can be easily displayed on your website - simply review them, and click “Publish” in your Testimonial Publisher section. Your published testimonials can also be shared on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter at the click of a button to drive further social proof. For a recommendation of how you can use testimonials outside your website and social channels, click here for suggestions, and advice on keeping your testimonials fresh can be found by clicking here.

LoyaltyLoop also helps Promoter Plan subscribers collect third-party reviews. In LoyaltyLoop, we call third-party reviews…drumroll please…“Reviews”. In the same process as collecting customer feedback, customers are automatically encouraged to post reviews on Google, Facebook, or other platforms that matter to you. Customers exit your survey to a “Thank You” page where they are encouraged to post their review on these third-party sites. They can also be sent an automatic follow-up email requesting the same. This third-party review process is easy on your customer, automatic for your business, and effective.

When interacting with your customers, remember to remind them that you value Google reviews, for example. If your customers know certain review platforms are important to you, they’ll be more inclined to take the time to post one there for you. Do not steer the customers by asking them to only post a review if they’re happy. Solicit their honest opinions. In addition to LoyaltyLoop automatically encouraging customers, you and your team can also distribute the review link for your customers to use. Follow our instructions to obtain your Google review link to share it, making it easier for customers to post their review.


The Importance of Google Reviews: Part 7

Online Review Management | Replying, How, When

Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

As a preview of our latest whitepaper on the Importance of Google Reviews, here's section 7.

In the world of politics, oftentimes, perception is reality. Meaning, how a candidate is perceived can be more important than the actual truth or reality about that individual. We all appreciate a politician we feel listens and cares about our needs and concerns. The world of Google reviews is very similar. Whether you’re receiving positive or negative reviews - it’s important to listen and respond, acknowledging that customer and their feedback. They took the time to provide you feedback, now it’s your chance to let them know you’re listening.

Here are a few suggestions from Google for replying to positive reviews to add to your online review management best practices:

  • “Thank you! We hope to see you again soon.”
  • “Thanks for sharing your experience.”
  • “We’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed your experience.”

Customer Feedback

One key thing to remember is the customer is already a promoter of yours, therefore, your response does not need to be a sales pitch. A simple acknowledgement and a “thank you” goes a long way. Demonstrating your business is willing to engage with customers gives them reassurance that you care about them as a customer and not just their money.

Google reviews are one of the most important aspects of maintaining your business profile on Google, and online in general. But you can’t solely rely on them alone.

customer feedback

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Optimizing your Google Business Profile can be like running a social media account. Consistently making posts for your local business will keep the account fresh, active, and up to date. Utilize posting to notify your audience/customers of events, offers, announcements, or new products. You can also upload photos from your business to your Google Business Profile and get notified when receiving views from users, in fact, you can receive insights for all posts made on Google.

By implementing these content strategies, your Google Business Profile will be optimized, increasing the likelihood of users finding your business and receiving positive Google reviews. Staying on top of your Google Business Profile and Google reviews will translate to a more powerful online brand/presence which in turn will increase business.


The Importance of Google Reviews: Part 8

How to position your business to get Google reviews

google business profile

Photo by Souvik Banerjee on Unsplash

As a preview of our latest whitepaper on the Importance of Google Reviews, here's section 8.

First things first, getting your business setup on Google is a step in the right direction toward building your online presence and generating valuable customer feedback.

Follow these steps to create your own Google Business Profile:

1 Claim your Google Business Profile

The first thing you need to do in order to get any reviews on Google is to claim your Google Business Profile. Here’s a Google help document explaining how to claim your listing.

2 Complete your Google Business Profile

Now that you have a Google Business Profile, ensure all your relevant business details are added. If you don’t include relevant information, it may not be all that helpful to those who see your listing. Remember, the objective is to inform and educate people about your business who search for it on Google. Make certain to give your business a proper description, hours of operation, images, and all other details that help people understand more about what you do.

3 Encourage customers to post reviews on Google

Getting reviews is a continual process. Have you ever looked up a business and read their reviews, only to find the most recent review was from 5 years ago? If your reviews are not fresh, they’re not relevant and can hurt your chances of influencing visitors to consider your company. Whenever you solicit a Google review, it’s always a good idea to explain to your customers why you want them to post a review. Let them know you want their honest review of your business so others can learn from it. You should never pay customers to post a Google review for 2 primary reasons: First, it is against the Google terms of service for text reviews, and second, it defeats the point of using reviews to develop trust and transparency with customers.

So how exactly do you solicit a review? When you speak with customers, ask them to post a review on Google. Place a link in your email footer to your Google review page to entice customers to post their review. Place a sign in your store reminding customers to post a review on Google. Google even has stickers and tools for you to solicit reviews. Follow up with your customers with customer feedback surveys. If they have a positive experience, ask them to please leave a review (see next section). There is no single magic bullet to get more reviews. Build the process of asking for reviews into your regular business processes and manage it just like you would any other. It takes work, but the work will pay off in the long run.

4 Use a reputable Review Management and Customer Feedback service

One sure fire way to get more Google reviews is to use a reputable Google review service to acquire customer feedback. Unlike manual solicitation, using a customer review management software will automate the process and help you deploy a system that regularly engages customers to request a review. This will ensure a balanced approach to having quantity, velocity, and diversity of reviews. Look for a service that makes it easy for your customer to post a Google review, and easy for you to monitor and track activity.

google review service

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

In a 2021 Forbes article, Jon Clark cites that “91% of customers said positive reviews make them more likely to use a business and 76% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations” (2021). These statistics demonstrate the importance reviews online hold in today’s marketplace. They are one of the most crucial factors that dictate the online perception of a company. Because Google is the number one platform in this space, their reviews hold the most weight. So how can a business encourage it’s customers to leave Google reviews?

“Ask and you shall receive”, and why not ask for Google Reviews? The data listed in Jon Clark’s Forbes article states that “if a local business asks, 72% of customers will write a review” (2021). There you have it folks; half the battle is simply just asking! However, there is still a strategy involved in how to approach asking for Google reviews. First and foremost, is the timing of your request. The answer, ask for a Google review shortly after your transaction with a customer. This way, your service, and the experience they had with your company is still fresh in their minds. The timing is more relevant than asking six months down the line, at which time the details of your interaction are lost. Additionally, many customers view a request for a Google Review as a positive, rather than a nuisance. It shows a company cares about their experience and wants personal feedback to improve their product or service. It’s a way of demonstrating your company values them as a customer. Getting more Google reviews is generally a positive, but when it comes to negative customer interactions, other factors need to be considered.

It’s been said that “any press is good press.” The logic being, anything that brings attention to a person or a brand, positive or negative, grows awareness, but in the case of Google reviews, this is not always true. Negative Google reviews will bring down your company's star rating. Too many bad reviews compared to good ones will damage your reputation and can deter customers from choosing you over a competitor when landing on your Google Business Profile. Exercise caution when requesting a Google Review from a customer you believe had a less than satisfying experience with your business. Implement the strategy of providing excellent customer service, asking for feedback (positive or negative) so that you can improve your business processes in order to avoid negative reviews in the first place. And never, never attempt to censor negative reviews if you do get them.


How To Measure Customer Experience

Startup Hustle Podcast

Our CEO, John DiPippo, was interviewed recently on the popular live podcast series the Startup Hustle.

Andrew Morgans, the CEO of Marknology, interviews John to discuss business and how to measure customer experience, among other topics.

If you'd like to learn more about the customer experience, give it a listen.