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10 Ways to Turn Positive Feedback into Sales

All good salespeople worth their salt know the importance of feedback and how it helps them with future sales. But most people tend to focus on the negative rather than the positive, and businesses are no different: they spend the majority of their time addressing customer complaints and negative feedback.

Addressing problems is certainly essential to conducting good business – and a host of professionals have advice on the subject. But far less is said about what to do with positive customer feedback.

In reality, positive and negative feedback both have an impact on sales, but tapping into your positive feedback can yield excellent results for the bottom line. You truly can turn that customer compliment into more revenue for your company. Here are 10 ways to get started.

1. Get Customers to Leave Reviews

The first step in turning positive feedback into tangible dollars is to bridge the gap between a customer’s compliment and your website. Customers may enjoy your product, but you must offer them a way to let you know, or the only profit you’ll make is the personal satisfaction of a job well done.

The biggest challenge you’ll face in this arena is making the review process simple and convenient. Customers usually don't mind taking a minute to leave feedback, but if they have to jump through too many hoops or wait too long, they’ll decide it’s not worth their time.

Forbes contributor Nellie Akalp offers several techniques for getting these coveted reviews from customers. Among them is the mantra of “Make It Easy”:

“Unless someone has a negative experience to share, the average customer is not going to look for ways to leave your company a review. That’s why you need to ask them to post a review and make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Put direct links to your review profiles in multiple places; for example, a follow-up email, newsletter, and your website.”

If you put the time into making a quick, easy way for your customers to leave feedback, chances are they will soon supply you with glowing reviews.

2. Handle Reviews Properly

In order to capitalize on positive feedback, you must be able to squeeze the data for everything it’s worth. And all too often, online surveys and questionnaires are not designed with advertising and marketing in mind.

Tech Validate suggests that “the primary objective of most customer surveys is to benchmark customer satisfaction and loyalty. These goals result in survey questions that yield sub-optimal data for marketing promotion. As a result, marketing around the feedback collected is an afterthought and limits the power of the customer's voice.”

Rather than simply using the data you gather to examine your company from the inside, project that data outwards and use it to strengthen your marketing campaigns. You can do this by not only highlighting what customers have pointed out as the most well-liked aspects of your business, but oftentimes by directly quoting them in your ad copy.

3. Display User Reviews on Your Website

Whether it’s feedback on how clothes fit, or praise for a great customer service experience, you want to show the world that your business is user-friendly and desirable by posting user reviews on your site.

In an article for The Marketing Donut, contributor Chris Barling states , “It’s likely that you can exceed a 10% rise in sales from a good feedback system, as well as reaping the benefits from improved search engine positions.”

In addition, the customer service experts at Zendesk note that 88% of buyers have been influenced by online customer service reviews when making the decision to purchase. That’s huge.

Barling also notes that posting user reviews on your site “ensures that there’s plenty of good feedback to balance out any bad. It provides management with information and brings problems quickly to the fore, enabling them to be fixed before they get out of hand.”

A consumer might not trust the copy on your product descriptions, but they will be more likely to do business with you if a previous customer gives positive feedback.

4. Advertise Other Sites’ Positive Reviews of Your Business

Much like posting customer reviews on your own website, advertising your business’ success with review websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List can be a great way to boost your sales.

According to a study done by Harvard University Business School Professor Michael Luca, “[A] one-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue.” That’s an increase in sales for you simply because others left positive feedback.

In addition to this passive sales increase, consider what you could do if you harnessed these reviews in your own advertising. Elizabeth Harper’s article in Sprout Social encourages this: “If you have stellar online reviews, don’t be afraid to flaunt them. Highlight good reviews on your website, marketing materials, and social networks.”

Along with encouraging and advertising customer reviews on your own website, research what other platforms exist and encourage customers to leave reviews anywhere and everywhere you can get them. Then, when they do, put those reviews on your own website as well. It’s an effective cycle that has been proven useful in driving sales.

5. Harness Social Media

Along the same lines, make sure you are taking full advantage of social media. Facebook may be the key to unlocking your positive feedback potential, according to Zendesk:

“Review sites were the most common place to read a negative review of customer service (39%) where Facebook was the most common place to read a positive review of customer service (44%). These reviews are very impactful. The vast majority of participants who have seen reviews claimed that that information did impact their buying decisions. This was true of both positive reviews (90%) and negative reviews (86%).”

The reason positive feedback is so effective on social media platforms like Facebook is that it captures the power of testimonial advertising.

According to Entrepreneur contributor Derek Gehl , “A good testimonial has the power to convince even your ‘tough sell’ visitors that your product or service really made a difference in your customer's life – and can help them, too.”

6. Use Customer Experience Management Solutions

As mentioned above, at some point a customer is bound to mention your business on some form of social media platform. Just as advertising other online reviews of your business will turn passive, off-site feedback into an active marketing strategy, Customer Experience Management strategies will help you use the testimonies people are sharing about your business on social media.

Companies like People Metrics help provide real-time feedback for this. Its Market Alerts feature keeps you in touch with what people are saying about your business in real time.

According to the company’s blog, “Whenever a customer raves about your excellent service, a Market Alert will be sent. Those positive comments can be leveraged in future marketing campaigns.”

7. Ensure Your Company Is Communicating

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In many businesses, customer feedback is a tool higher-level executives use to gauge consumer satisfaction and brand loyalty. But according to Tech Validate, “Oftentimes, marketing has no knowledge of the existence of the data, let alone access to it. The net result: valuable customer data is trapped in spreadsheets and is never used in outbound marketing communications.”

Make sure your marketing team has access to customer surveys. Something as simple as interdepartmental communication could increase your sales noticeably, using resources you already have at your disposal. Make listening to customer feedback a priority in all departments of your business. As a result, your marketing department will be able to perform even better.

8. Take the Affiliate Marketing Approach

Customers are already talking about your products in surveys and on social media. Why not apply the affiliate marketing approach – where you reward an affiliate for successfully marketing your product – on a larger scale, by teaming up with other businesses and mutually advertising each other’s positive feedback?

According to Inbound Method, there are three core elements of successful affiliate marketing: traffic, trust, and reputation. These three aspects all directly relate to the positive feedback you are trying to turn into sales. Your guest traffic and their confidence in your business are what create positive feedback, and in turn, profits.

9. Offer Benefits for Repeat Customers

Many times, customers will be more likely to leave positive feedback when you have enlisted them as loyal consumers of your brand. Little things like repeat-business promotions and coupons can go a long way in building up your business to be testimony-worthy.

Create Hype contributor Lisa Jacobs suggests that when following up with your customers after a sale, you should offer exclusive discounts for returning customers. Putting forth the effort to keep customers feeling good will yield positive reviews you can market.

10. Continue to Offer the Best Customer Service

Don’t settle for a few good reviews. You want your customers’ positive feedback to keep flowing in, so do what it takes to ensure they have the best service possible. While this may seem like simply common sense, tangible results can be seen in customer satisfaction surveys.

According to Zendesk, “Among participants that had experienced good customer service, most of them (83%) reported that their behavior changed in some way as a result. The most common way that their behavior changed was that they purchased more from that company (52%).”

So take the time to develop and nurture a relationship with your customers – it will yield results. When the customer is your number one focus, your business will be headed in the right direction.

How have you turned positive feedback into sales? Have you had success in using any of the techniques outlined here? Let us know in the comments below:

Images, Pixabay, Pixabay

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