Most business owners know that a positive review is good for business. But how can reviews – good or bad – help you to increase profitability and engage more efficiently with clients, both existing and prospective?

Why is it good business practice to obtain regular feedback & reviews?

Feedback is crucial for many areas of our lives – from school projects and exams to professional appraisals. It’s how we grow and learn – and how we gain recognition, obtain praise for the work we do and earn trust. It’s the measure of skill and competency. Customers recognise this – which is why they like to read feedback (and contribute feedback, too). It’s important that as a business you don’t deny your customers this opportunity – but also that you use it as an intelligent tool to improve and grow your company.

I understand that positive feedback is helpful, but what about negative feedback?

By implementing a Feedback System, you show customers that you care. Your interest in them doesn’t cease to exist as soon as they leave your premises – you hold a continuing interest in their opinion and experience with you and your company.

Positive feedback is great, of course – the sort of feedback you want on the front page of your website or beneath your gold stars on Google. Negative feedback, however, is always seen as troublesome. Most business owners want to bury it or make it disappear, but unfortunately with the increasing popularity of online platforms, that’s not so easy to do these days.

Besides, negative feedback should be actively embraced. You learn a lot more from negative feedback than you do from positive feedback – because you already know (or think) that your business is good. Negative feedback challenges this view and gives you the opportunity to change or adapt products or services in line with what customers indicate you could improve on. Evolving your business based on what consumers say they want is an incredibly savvy way to make more money. As Bill Gates said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Negative feedback is important – but how you deal with it is even more important. Customers don’t like to be ignored or treated badly following a complaint – so naturally small issues can escalate if not dealt with immediately or appropriately. A good Feedback System allows you to deal with issues swiftly and efficiently before they escalate.

What’s the best way to obtain feedback?

Consumers like to leave feedback – and increasingly, they like to do so online. Lengthy paper forms and complex interviews conducted via text or phone are becoming unpopular. So it’s key that you are gaining feedback in the most efficient way possible.

A Feedback System allows you to maximise positive feedback as well as respond to negative in the best possible way. As part of our services, we push positive feedback out beyond your company website to social media platforms and relevant local directories. Research has proven that online systems such as ours are much more efficient than traditional methods of gaining feedback in our age of smartphone-induced impatience. The first thing many consumers do is to check out the company they’re looking to use online – even if they’ve been recommended by a friend. Along with a good website, reviews are crucial – with 90% admitting buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.

An online Feedback System also enables you to compile a list of email addresses for existing customers for marketing purposes. When surveyed, 77% of customers prefer to receive permission-based communication by email – and 70% of consumers said they made use of a coupon or discount received by email.

You should be encouraging all customers to leave feedback – as generally unless their experience was exceptionally good or bad, they won’t bother. Giving them a simple, quick platform via which to do so means they’re much more likely to leave feedback whenever they deal with you.

So how can feedback help me to make more money?

This is the bit most business owners are really interested in – how can feedback increase profitability? Recent research conducted by Bain and Co showed that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. Consider that in conjunction with Gartner Group’s findings that 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from 20% of existing customers, and a good Feedback System really is a no-brainer. You’re likely to make more money from three angles – one from return business brought by happy existing customers, another from fresh business arising from the presence of so much honest, real-time feedback online, and finally from improving and fine-tuning the service or product you offer in line with any negative feedback received.

Want to find out more about how Feedback Systems can benefit your business?

Take a look here: Invest in Digital – Online Feedback

Details about the author:
Michael Goldman is Managing Director of Invest in Digital LTD, a full service Digital Marketing Agency based in Manchester.

Contact details:
3 Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3EB
Tel: 0161 706 0004