It might not be in the foreground in the grand picture you’ve painted for your business’ success plan but it should be. Customer excellence, also more commonly referred to as CX, is the essential element separating you from your competition in today’s world of business.
In this article, I’d like to discuss with you where you can track your current customer excellence ratings, monitor your future progress, review a few of the major benefits you’ll receive for having a high customer excellence rating, and the downsides to having poor ratings.
So, let’s start with where you can find out where exactly your business rests in the world of CX. Let’s get online and check out those reviews.
As many of you already know and probably do, when you want to get the skinny on a product or service you’re either interested in or in need of, you unlock your mobile phone and you type in “best rated …” whatever or whoever it is you want to know has the best ratings. It’s these online reviews that help you find out what those products and services are and why you should choose one over another. It’s these online reviews that sway your final decisions as a consumer before contacting a company or completing a purchase. And, it’s how others will rank your business in the world of CX today.
Monitor all your reviews and review sites. Don’t just get stuck on Yelp and Google. There are plenty of other resources for people to rate and rank you in customer excellence, depending on your industry. And, you don’t want to miss any of them! For example, there are blogs that write reviews for certain types of businesses, and aggregate company information.
Not only should you be checking in on these reviews, but you should also be responding to them too. Preferably sooner than later. The response rate is key to demonstrating how much you care about your customers and is often a part of a review site’s ranking algorithms. Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. After all, good or bad, when you have something to say to someone do you like having to wait very long for a response? No, I can’t imagine you would. I know I wouldn’t.
Staying well connected with your customers across all communication platforms is key to building a strong bond between the business and the customers’ journey. Don’t let communication fall through the cracks. Even if you think that a compliment, like a good review, really doesn’t need a response, just do it! Thank the reviewer for saying all the good they had to say. If they say something negative, reach out to them and try to resolve the issue. Don’t leave that awkward comment to linger in your reviews section. Don’t leave any comment lingering. When concerning your communications with customer reviews, having the last word here is always the best practice.
If you aren’t getting reviews voluntarily don’t be afraid to request your customers for their feedback. Show them how and where they can share feedback with you at any time. Collect it in many places. Remember, there are lots of outlets for this kind of thing out there. Don’t limit your business to just one or two.
Uncover weaknesses before they become public and correct problems before they occur. At Abby Connect, we reward our accounting and reception teams when their clients leave reviews. Now, you might be wondering what defines a review to be considered good. And, that’s a good thing to be curious about.
What Exactly is a Good Review?
Well, it doesn’t have to exactly 5 stars. Human beings grade their personal experiences differently on a case by case basis. So, just getting a five-star rating isn’t quite what you’re aiming for here. After all, we have all read plenty of “five-star” reviews that start with a compliment and end with a complaint.
“I’ve really enjoyed the service but I find what I am paying for it to be rather steep.”
That word but will negate all the good that a customer had to say about your business and service every single time. Make sure you reach out to these reviewers with the same amount of urgency you would for a consumer that wrote a completely negative review with a less than desirable rating. People read and when they read a comment like the one you see in the above example; they’ll wonder why your company never addressed the rather off-putting comment left by the reviewer.
Also, the actual numeric evaluation that each individual submits for their review doesn’t always match the content written about the business. For example:
“I absolutely love this product! Glad I made this purchase.”
An incredible thing to say about this business. Yet the four stars doesn’t really reflect what was written in the comment section of this review. Strange, I know, but this is rather common in the world of review writing. There is no guide for any of us to follow here.
A good rule to follow though when evaluating your review rating is to always keep this in mind. It’s better to have 50 reviews averaging 4.3 than 10 5-star reviews. Those 10 five-star receives could have all been written by friends and family. It’s the businesses with more than fifty reviews that tell the readers this business has a strong outreach to the communities and industries it serves.
On the Other Hand…
Without good CX you run some serious risks for your business. And, these are a few major setbacks that your business simply can’t afford to take on in today’s economy.
- Negative Reviews
- Lost Customers
- Loss of Reputation/Trust
Did you know that 39% of consumers decrease their spending with a company after just one bad experience? And, 17% never buy from them again!
Add to that, with how quickly consumers are sharing their bad experiences through word of mouth, social media, and review sites well, you’ll end up in some pretty hot water. Because, don’t forget, REVIEWS MATTER! Only 13% of consumers would consider using a business that has a one or two-star rating.
So, now you understand how those reviews can really affect your business and its future success. You now also can know the difference between what is considered good reviews and bad ones. And, where you can find and keep track of your customer excellence ratings across multiple platforms.
So, what are a few other benefits to having a fantastic CX rating as a result of amazing customer reviews? How about we start with why we all get into the business, to begin with? Making money!
You may have started your business for a good cause or some other personal reason. But the simple truth is you also got into running a business to make profits, to support yourself and your family.
Revenue is one of the simplest and truest forms of measurement for a business’s success. An increased revenue tells you and those around you in the industry you serve as well as compete with that you mean business. You are the one folks want to be doing business with. Not your competitors.
Having a high rating for your business’ CX is pertinent to increase revenue. Without top-notch customer experiences, there isn’t much motivation for customers to return for our products and services. Or, for new customers to be attracted to your business.
It’s not about selling to someone once. It’s about selling to them over and over again. That repeat customers are what make up a substantial portion of your revenue margins. You want new customers, of course. But it’s the customers that you build relationships with that will see your business through. So, along with revenue, having the best CX in your business provides you with an increase in retention.
Speaking of retention…
Did you know that 90% of customers say online reviews influence their buying decision? And, those positive reviews make your company look 73% more trustworthy in the eyes of new buyers. With your CX up to snuff, you’ll build a solid foundation for trust and earn a higher retention rate for clients and even employees.
Trust is a MUST! Without this sense of trust in your relationships between your brand and your clients’ your business just won’t last. Neither will your relationships between your business and employees. It simply can’t if customers and staff members don’t find what you have to provide them with as reliable or consistent.
And, when it comes to hiring, those looking for work these days do the same thing all of us do when we need to find out more about a company. They look at the reviews! Sites like Glassdoor allow jobseekers to compare notes on companies and how they care for their employees. These reviews are just as important as the ones your customers write about your business.
Retention is on the rise for companies that stay on top of their CX performance and ratings. It’s even been proven that just a modest improvement here generates a greater increase in revenue for many businesses across the board. In fact, only a 10% increase in customer retention can lead to a 30% increase in revenue. That’s astounding!
You Get What You Give
So, there you have it! When you put in the effort to provide the best CX you get the best kind of customers and a following that’ll put you ahead of all the competition. Still not convinced? Well, just have a quick look at a few of the businesses I’ve listed here below. All of which have developed and executed a customer excellence plan that left their competitors in the dust.
A successful company capitalizes on this by improving customer experience:
It’s hard to argue with these companies, their reputations, and their success stories. What they’ve gotten out of practicing great CX has set them aside from all the rest. And, it can do that same for you and your business too.