The Importance of Google Reviews: Parts 1 and 2
From our latest white paper
History of Customer Feedback and Reviews (pre-Internet)
Before the days of the internet, the world of customer reviews and feedback was a different landscape entirely. There was no easily accessible database of information on different businesses, let alone that of individual customer feedback. The method by which you would find out about customer experiences with a particular business would be to ask people or have them tell you in conversation.
Word of mouth was the dominant method of spreading this type of information. The problem, of course, with this avenue of gathering information is you can only go off that person’s individual experience. Other customers may have had vastly different experiences and there would be no way of knowing unless you had access to them as well. Given this reality, most often customers would have to take the chance on a product or service and come to their own conclusions.
Enter, Online Business Reviews
Gone are the days where access to the products and services you need is constrained by the town or city in which you live. Business does not just exist in brick-and-mortar stores anymore. We live in an era where online presence dominates the market. When you want to find a local restaurant to have that special dinner date - Search on Google. When you're in a hitch and need your car repaired - Search on Google. When you forgot to buy a cheap bottle of wine as a last-minute gift in desperate need of a liquor store - Search on Google! Simply, today, people find businesses online. This adds a whole new layer to the way business owners operate. Managing your online presence and your online reputation is critical in today’s marketplace as it can make or break a company's success in the long run.
The key factor that dictates a company’s online reputation in this new landscape is reviews online. Google Business Profile is the go-to platform for capturing and accessing local business reviews. Reviews on Google help dictate the perception of your business by the public, both positive and negative. When someone searches for your business or the product/service you offer, and they come across your Google Business Profile, often the first thing they’ll lay eyes on is your company's review rating. Depending on what your rating is (the average of all Google reviews, based on a 5-star rating system), a potential customer could either be impressed and enter further into your sales funnel, or become deterred from your business entirely, choosing one of your competitors with a more promising online reputation instead.
Carol Kinsey states in her 2011 Forbes article that you have “seven seconds to make a first impression” when meeting someone new, well, similar rules apply in the online world. If your Google Business Profile is stacked with strong, positive, and happily serviced customer reviews, that first impression could convert into your next biggest sale. If your page is riddled with detailed, negative, and disappointed customer reviews, don’t expect an influx of new and eager customers.
One important thing to understand is that Google reviews for local businesses remain online forever. Positive or negative, Google makes few exceptions to taking down its reviews online. This puts the power and control in the hands of your customers. Only they have the ability to edit or remove these reviews. All the more reason to keep your business’ customer service in check. In the online world, a company’s accountability is often kept in check through reviews on Google. Think of Google Business Profiles as the new town square, through its reviews the townsfolk can either be singing your praises or cursing your company name.
Have you tried your Launch Pad or Launch File Email Address yet?
At the end of last year, we announced two new ways to help you get your contact data into LoyaltyLoop. If you missed this announcement, we encourage your to learn about both new features.
What is the Launch Pad?
Just like a NASA or SpaceX rocket launch, your Launch Pad is where you can stage your to-be-surveyed contacts, and where they'll reside until the survey is actually launched (i.e., sent to your customers).
The primary function of the Launch Pad is where you can now easily and securely upload your survey launch data inside LoyaltyLoop. Here's the complete feature release explaining the Launch Pad.
What is my Launch File Email Address?
Instead of sending your launch files to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, you now have your own unique Launch File Email Address. When you send data TO your Launch File Email Address, LoyaltyLoop can automatically associate your launch data with your account. Read the full explanation of your Launch File Email Address.
Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash
LoyaltyLoop is Your Promoter
Photo by Kraken Images on Unsplash
In July, we wrote about how subscribing to LoyaltyLoop is “Like Having Your Own Personal Concierge on Call”, but do you want to have a look behind the curtain to see all of the ways in which LoyaltyLoop acts as your partner and promoter?
LoyaltyLoop is always in a state of continued development; adding enhancements, and improving our services for you. In the last few months, we introduced our new UI, updated your Customer Experience Charts on your Dashboard, added new and easy ways for you to send us your data through the new Launch Pad, and enhanced the experience of LoyaltyLoop on mobile devices! We also rebuilt, from the ground up, the way in which you can share customer testimonials on social media! Not only are these the sort of upgrades and enhancements we think you’ll enjoy using, but most of them come to us from you, our customers. We are glad to receive any feedback and suggestions to improve LoyaltyLoop. We love to hear from you!
While we work to improve your experience, we also improve the experience of your clients. If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel, and you’ve taken a feedback survey, you know the horror of taking a (seemingly) 50-page survey to tell them the one thing that could have made your stay better. We help you craft concise invitation emails and surveys so your clients can quickly leave feedback and return to their day. Once you earn a reputation for having a brief and smooth survey experience, your repeat clients will be glad to take your survey each time they’re asked. To get the most from LoyaltyLoop, you should ensure your survey is using our new modern theme. You can read more about it here, simply reach out to our support team or give us a call at 888-552-LOOP (5667) option 3 to convert your survey.
We are always looking for ways to improve your experience when sending your data to us. Anything we can do to make your job easier, is tops on our list. Our customers use many software systems to track purchases, and for every one of them we seek to find a way to have your data sent to us automatically. We work directly with those software vendors to build integrations. Recently we partnered with iRestore to provide integration for our shared customers, and, more are coming soon! We also use other companies like Zapier to bridge our customer’s software directly to Loyaltyloop. Check out all the great LoyaltyLoop ZAPS that you can use. Zapier is a great automation tool for use with LoyaltyLoop, but you might find other automations that could help you beyond LoyaltyLoop.
You can find how to reach us in the Help section of LoyaltyLoop. We have a responsive and personal support team available to answer your questions via telephone, or through our support ticketing system. Our accessible support team answers the phone, a rarity for a tech company! In fact, some of our customers even call for our support members by name!
We’re always working to find improvements and enhancements so you can get the most out of LoyaltyLoop. This is all happening behind the scenes for you, and is included with your affordable no-long-term contract, subscription plans.
(Having the right) Perspective on Net Promoter Score
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash
If you’ve used LoyaltyLoop for a few minutes, one thing comes to the front repeatedly in your user experience: Net Promoter Score. NPS® is the leading, global standard metric, for understanding customer loyalty, and integral throughout your LoyaltyLoop experience. When customers answer the “recommend” NPS question, they are categorized as Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. These categories represent the different behaviors exhibited by customers relative to loyalty, and each warrant different actions on your part. For example, following up with Detractors to learn what can be improved in your business, or encouraging Promoters to be vocal advocates for your business, and so on. But there’s more beyond the score and the buckets into which your clients fall.
NPS is not a vanity metric. A vanity metric is a measurement with feel-good numbers that have no context or value. For example, "friends" on a social media account in the tens of thousands; a measurement of followers, but there are so many, none could meet the definition of the word, “friend”. NPS results need to be used in your follow-through. Thank your customers for their feedback, resolve issues, send campaigns to Promoters for Google reviews. All these things allow you to use your NPS meaningfully beyond the score.
CSAT isn’t all that. Customer satisfaction doesn’t cover everything you need in relation to your customers. You can have a hundred happy customers, but it doesn’t mean they’re loyal. Loyal customers mean repeat business. We cover this in greater detail in our previous article, Customer Satisfaction vs. Customer Loyalty
Isn’t an “8” or “Likely” good enough? An “8” or “Likely” appears to be a positive score, but it doesn’t represent a loyal customer. You’re not looking for a pretty good score, you’re looking for someone who will advocate for you when mentioning the products and services you provide. Someone who generates word-of-mouth advertising for you. Imagine if you answered the NPS question on a survey, “How likely are you to recommend a company, product, or a service to a friend or colleague?” Think of the distance between choosing an 8 and a 10, or “Likely” or “Very Likely”. It means a very different thing. A “Very Likely” is an enthusiastic recommendation. Exactly the kind of recommendation you want from your customers.
Be sure to use NPS in tandem with the other metrics LoyaltyLoop offers, the CSAT and the PQUAL scores. Your CSAT is a general sense of satisfaction your customer feels after completing a transaction with you. Your PQUAL helps you with understanding the quality of the service or product the customer received. Improving these tangible experiences, products, and services can increase your NPS. See our previous article on Understanding Customer Experience Metrics.
Every time you log into LoyaltyLoop, you are presented with a graph showing you your Net Promoter Score over time. If your NPS rises and lowers each month, then use this metric to measure the effectiveness of the changes made in products or customer service. Were there any events or product changes that could have led to the rise or fall of NPS scores? What lessons can be learned from the dips?
The Net Promoter Score is a valuable scoring system that measures the loyalty qualities in your customers that no other metric measures. But, NPS is not a score you’re trying to attain, but rather a business attitude and overall company mindset, focused on helping you deliver outstanding and life-enriching experiences for your customers. Do your customers truly love, yes love, doing business with you?