One of the most powerful ways to grow your business is through your customers’ voices.
When your customers have a voice, they give you insight into what they like and don’t like, give you credibility for new potential customers, and serve as an excellent form of organic (unpaid) marketing.
With only 24% of consumers saying they “often” get a chance to provide feedback, this is a huge opportunity to set your small business apart. Here are four simple ways you can boost social media reviews to give your customers a voice with proven benefits.
4 Ways to Boost Customer Voice with Social Media Reviews and More
Online and Social Media Reviews
One of the biggest mistakes a small business can make when it comes to online review sites is to simply not be on them. And while stars and ratings matter, the quantity of reviews matter more.
The majority of online and social media review sites are free for both businesses and customers. Start with Google (especially for small businesses focused locally), as this will also help with your SEO. Google listings get the most visibility because they show up directly where the majority of searchers start. By simply claiming your Google business listing, small businesses see 10% higher annual revenue than the average business (Womply).
Tip #1: Increasing the number of items you fill out in your Google My Business profile increases your SEO, leading to higher web traffic. At a minimum, fill in your business’s name, address (very important for local search results), website, and contact information.
After Google, Yelp is a popular site where many users search for reviews, particularly for restaurants and service businesses. We recommend ensuring your Yelp profile is accurate and up-to-date.
Where you focus your energy outside of those two powerhouses will depend on the type of business you have and where your customers spend their time. Other popular review sites include:
- Angi (formerly Angie’s List)
Tip #2: Consumers spend 49% more money at businesses that reply to reviews. Set a calendar reminder to check up on your reviews periodically and build time into your schedule to communicate with your customers (or delegate the task).
SMS (Text Message) Surveys
With open rates as high as 98% and response rates as high as 45%, text messages are a strong channel for customer feedback. For SMS surveys specifically, research shows that over 30% of consumers will respond and they are more likely to give honest feedback than other formats.
Customers often provide their phone number for the product/service purchased, so with the help of an SMS Survey Software (e.g. SurveyMonkey or QuestionPro), a follow-up survey related to the customer’s experience can seamlessly be sent right after the product/service is delivered.
For example, a restaurant may use a customer’s number to text them when their table or takeout order is ready, and then have the follow up survey be automated after their meal. Another example is in the hospitality industry, where contactless mobile check in/check out can be followed up with a survey.
Other advantages of SMS surveys include:
- Easy automation
- Unlike social media reviews, you can solicit negative feedback without it being publicly displayed
- Customers don’t need an account to complete the survey (unlike most review sites)
Social Media Content
Social media content is another easy place to give customers a voice, and it’s where the customers and the conversations are happening. As with online and social media review sites, the biggest mistake a small business can make with social media platforms is not being on them.
Staying active on social media, engaging with your audience, and generating content that is interactive gives customers a way to have a voice. It’s also an effective way to spur organic marketing from your audience, with posts or campaigns that encourage them to tag your business with feedback. Ben & Jerry’s Twitter is a notable example of engaging with customers in an authentic brand voice.
Most social media platforms—including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter—offer specific tools like polls and surveys to make engagement simple and straightforward.[Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to discovering which social media platforms are best for your business.]
Although emails don’t have the same open and response rates as text messages, they are still an effective way to give customers an opportunity to voice their opinions. Email surveys show an average response rate of 25-33%, and provide the ease of being viewed on mobile and desktop. To get more responses, we suggest you incorporate personalization to your email for the strongest engagement.
Where will you start?
With the advent of the digital economy, there are more ways than ever to hear from customers and give them a voice. Providing these opportunities builds your relationships with customers, provides valuable marketing insights, turns positive feedback into marketing, and ultimately can translate into more revenue for your small business.
Want to learn more about managing customer feedback effectively? Check out these other insightful resources:
- How to Manage Online Reviews
- Responding to Positive Reviews: How to Engage with Happy Customers
- How to Respond to Bad Reviews Gracefully
- One of the biggest mistakes a small business can make when it comes to online review sites is to simply not be on them.
- The quantity of reviews matter more than your actual star rating.
- Claiming your business on review sites is a simple task that leads to additional revenue.
- There are many channels for increasing your customer feedback; consider where your customers are more likely to be reached and respond.
- Responding to the reviews you receive and engaging in conversation with your customers on review sites further increases revenue and provides you with valuable feedback on your product or service.