Have No Fear! Asking for Customer Feedback Can Be “Painless”

Boost your online reputation management using customer surveys.

Too shy to ask your customers for reviews? Here’s a sure-fire method to break the ice and fire up your online reputation management strategy!

To marketing professionals, it’s no secret that customer reviews play an important role in boosting your reputation on the Web and could lead to higher ranking in search engine results. In fact, nearly 71 percent of those who shop online will read a review before making a purchase, says Forrester Research. 

Customers like to be asked for feedback. Or, not?

Though customers love to read reviews, writing them may be another story. Business people often fear that customers get annoyed when asked to write a review about their business. What they do not realize is that many customers enjoy sharing their opinions!

Every time you ask a customer to provide feedback about your product or service, you could actually make them feel valued and important. Asking for feedback says to customers: You care about what they think and the experience they had with your business.

The challenge:  Asking a customer directly for a great online review is often frowned upon. Review services like Yelp openly reject reviews if they discover that they have been solicited by the business (how they find out is a mystery, but they often do). So how do you get great reviews without asking for them?

Forget Online Reviews – Think Customer Satisfaction Surveys!

An easy way to extract reviews in a less aggressive way is to ask the customer to complete a survey. Create an online survey, and a protocol to deliver that survey to existing customers – email is often the best way to go. The main objective is to make it easy for customers to provide feedback in a non-threatening fashion, then use the results to publicize your good points, and improve your bad ones.

It is often a good idea to hire an outside company or provider to plan and execute online reputation management campaigns.

Online reputation management has never been easier – all it takes is a little planning and some discipline. Before you know it, the Web will be filled with kudos for your business!

Author: Clifford Yurman

Clifford Yurman is the principal behind ConsumerReviewService.com. Cliff is a creative and business professional skilled across a broad spectrum of communications disciplines including marketing, web design, producing and directing, podcasting, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing and Strategy. He is president of Media Consulting Services. Through MCS, Cliff has provided SEO services to professional practices and small businesses, and written and produced major video and interactive projects for such clients as Pfizer, BASF-Pharma, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AIG, KPMG, American Express, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and other global enterprises. Cliff completed an MBA in Finance and Marketing at Columbia Business School in New York where he received the Distinguished Service Award upon graduation. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Management from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In his last staff position before starting his own agency, Cliff served as Director, Corporate Development for News America Publishing, Inc. (Rupert Murdoch’s holding company). Reporting to the Vice Chairman, he managed communications and business functions including mergers and acquisitions analysis, industry analysis, and corporate communications. At CBS Corporation, Cliff was Financial Manager for the CBS Television Stations Division and CBS Records Division (now Sony Music); Editor, Standards and Practices for the CBS Television Network; and Writer/Story Editor for WCBS-TV/New York. Cliff began his career in advertising, first as Senior Media Planner at Lintas Advertising for such clients as Citigroup, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Tropicana and Mennen. He later moved to Bates Advertising, serving as Account Executive on the Panasonic Consumer Electronics business. Cliff is a member of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau

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