Many businesses rely on online reviews to build their reputation and offer assurance to potential customers. With a whopping 91% of customers reading online reviews before purchasing a product or service, online reputation management is something no business should underestimate the value of. In this blog, we explore ways in which businesses can take their online reviews from good to great.
As a commercial gas and electricity supplier working in a highly saturated and competitive energy market, we understand the importance of looking after our customers in order to develop relationships with them that lead to loyalty and trust. We’re proud to have a 5* Excellent Trust Pilot rating, and a plethora of repeat customers that underpin our growth and stability in what can be a capricious market, highly influenced by a “switch and save” mentality.
You probably incorporate an element of this already with a follow-up email about an order or service. However, you should also look to follow up a few weeks or even months after a sale to check in and ensure that no issues have arisen. This may also be the perfect opportunity to ask for feedback as the customer is reminded about your business and could simply click through to a review platform.
If your business is an e-commerce site, you may feel that one order confirmation is enough, but in fact a sequence of emails such as “order dispatched” and “order due for delivery” will markedly improve the customer experience. Similarly, if you provide a service that requires booking, it’s great practice to send a booking confirmation and then reminders of the booking up until the day it takes place.
Don’t Be Afraid to Apologise
Apologising can be a tricky avenue to manoeuvre, some businesses are dead against it as they feel it means they are admitting fault which could lead to further action. However, for something as small as a delay in delivery that is certainly not the customers fault, an apology is probably warranted. In this scenario you’re keeping the customer informed as well as maintaining good communication. By addressing the issue head-on you’ll also minimise the chances of later fallout.
Compensate – When Applicable
If a customer’s order is a day late because of weather conditions or other mitigating circumstances, you may choose to compensate them in some way – perhaps by offering a discount on their next order. If an order has been delivered damaged, it’s important to resolve the issue promptly and compensate the customer accordingly. Compensation doesn’t necessarily have to be a refund, you could be creative and choose to send a gift, offer a voucher or even free delivery for a month.
Customers love surprises – the pleasant ones that is! If a customer has agreed that they are happy to be contacted with regards to offers, promotions, discounts, updates etc (check your GDPR regulations) then surprising them randomly with a discount or exclusive offers is a sure-fire way to please them! If a customer has ordered multiple times or spent a large amount of money with your business, it’s a great idea to reward their custom and it’s the best way to stimulate repeat business.
Engaging with Customers
The benefits of having some form of social media presence for your business are evident; you’ll reach a larger number of potential customers; you have an easy form of communicating with your customers and you can create a real engagement. It is important to remember that you should only create a social media account that you know you can devote time and energy to. There’s little point creating a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn if you can’t manage them appropriately, so choose wisely.
You should endeavour to post regularly; at least every other day, respond to comments and queries and avoid only posting sales themed posts – mix the content up. Try hosting online competitions – this is particularly great for businesses that can’t offer discounts – and it helps drive brand awareness if you’re asking entrants to like and share your social content.
Reduce Response Time
Having a process in place for responding to customers is good but having a process that responds within 24 hours for example is what will make you great. 66% of people believe that valuing their time is the most important element of the customer journey. Resolving customer queries as quickly as possible is a cornerstone of good customer service. Speed should be of the essence — especially for smaller issues that don’t take much time to solve. However, don’t sacrifice a good quality resolution for the sake of a speedy response. Customers understand that more complex queries take time to resolve. There’s a difference between the time it takes you to respond and the speed at which you resolve their problems. Get back to your customers as quickly as possible, but don’t be in a rush to get them off the phone or close the ticket without resolving the issue completely.
UGP is a 5 Star rated “excellent” commercial energy supplier, offering great value renewable power to businesses across the UK. Customer experience lies at the heart of our business and we take great pride in our reputation.
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