Why Not Use Offline Forms to Collect Customer Feedback?
One of the challenges small business owners have is collecting positive customer reviews in an online format. There are three main reasons for this:
- Customers often give a majority of their feedback verbally at the offline place of business spontaneously.
- Customers will often completely forget to leave a review online once they leave the business and go back home.
- Customer may find it a bother to submit an online review especially if it is not part of their normal internet activity and see it as extra work.
So how can a business owner collect more online reviews from satisfied customers?
One of the most effective ways to capture customer reviews is when they are at your place of business using a feedback form. It offers various advantages:
- You have your customers complete attention when they are your place of business
- Your customers have a few minutes to spare to fill out the form
- You can personally persuade them to fill out the form leverage your social skills and friendship
- You can address any customer complaints and problems offline before your aggrieved customer decides to go online to vent their problems, thereby nipping negative online reviews in the bud.
Tips on How to structure your feedback form
- A feedback form should be simple and easy to fill and not feel like a challenging multiple-choice question test.
- Just because it’s a form doesn’t mean it should on an A4 paper. Small post-card sized forms with your logo are more customer friendly since the use of color and graphics makes the card look attractive
- The form should have a clear rating system that anyone can understand. For example questions should have simple “Yes or No” options or “Great, OK, Not Great”. If have an ambiguous rating system of 0-10, that may not give you accurate results because everyone has their own personal meaning of what a 7 or a 4 rating means.
- The form should also have a section where the customer can write in their own words their experience. This is important so that your reviews can have a personal touch to them.
- Have them fill their name and contact details such an email address, location or phone number
- Include a statement asking them for their permission to use their feedback as part of your online customer reviews on your website. This is important as you definitely want their legal permission to quote them on your official website.
Examples of questions to include on a feedback form
Did you enjoy your dental visit/lunch/hotel stay with us?
Would you come back again for another visit?
How would you rate our staff/your therapist?
How would you rate our facilities/cleanliness of our rooms?
What was the Best part of your visit today?
What was the Worst part of your visit today?
If you were to refer your best friend to our business, what would you tell them about us?
Once you have collected these manual feedback forms, you can use the best reviews on your website under the client testimonial section.
Free ways to monitor your online reputation: Review Sites
Quite naturally, a lot of small businesses don’t particularly like reviews sites and who can blame them. While customers can get an opportunity to publicly endorse and thank a business for a good job done, review sites tend to attract those who want to voice a negative experience at a business much more than those who had a great time there. In addition, review sites can be manipulated by disgruntled current and former employees and even competitors with false reviews.
So while review sites need to make changes to authenticate reviews, review sites are here to stay because they provide the much needed social proof to the general public about a business’s reputation. How to monitor these consumer reviews is a critical component that affects any small business’s bottom line.
So how can a small business monitor what people are saying about it on review sites?
The best way is to actually set up your own profile. This is because someone else can add your business to the review site so it is critical to build your official profile and control it.
Major Reviews Sites to set up your small business profile
Here is a list of major review sites you need to set up a profile on:
- Insider Pages
- Google Maps
- Bing Local
- City Search
- Yahoo Local
- Merchant Circle
- Angles List
- Better Business Bureau
Other review sites worth considering
While there are major review sites like Google Places and Yelp, there are also niche specific ones and location specific ones too that may be more relevant to your small business.
- Restaurants -FriendsEat,
- Medical physicans-MyDocHub.com, InsiderPages.com
- Travel /Hospitality businesses –TripAdvisor
By setting up a profile, you can use your profile RSS Feed to get Google alerts so that you monitor any profile changes such as the latest reviews when they are submitted. In this way you can quickly respond to negative reviews and handle an aggrieved customer or thank those who posted positive reviews and include them on your website and other PR materials. Without staying on top of your reviews, your company will be playing catch-up in damage control.