Customer satisfaction should be one of the most important measures of success for any company. While senior management must lead by example, every employee has a responsibility. Consumers must feel valued and companies should look to ‘over-deliver’ on a customer’s expectancy of a company. Failing to do so risks losing them to a rival.

Personalisation will help to encourage brand loyalty across your consumer base. At the same time, it should also help to deter customers from looking elsewhere even when price is a factor.

Value of online reviews

Increasingly, customers are sharing their experiences, both good and bad, online. Online forums provide consumers with a platform to air their views very easily. This is because reviewers don’t need to enter into a potentially unpleasant face to face discussion.

People share negative reviews online much faster than they share positive reviews. They also offer an opportunity for a customer to ‘let off steam’ anonymously. This means there can often be very damning reviews of a brand which consistently gets it wrong.

It’s important that brands take the feedback from online reviews on board. At first, it may seem daunting to see negativity discussed around your company, but reviews can provide you and your employees with an invaluable wealth of information.

Companies can gain a great insight into the way consumers see them online. This allows them to make improvements based on the insight gained. According to Fresh Business Thinking, Vision Express now streams the latest consumer reviews live around their offices ensuring that any issues are immediately picked up by staff. Every company should monitor all customer feedback regularly and implement a consistent response strategy.

Dealing with negative feedback

Negative feedback is dealt with much faster if all teams and all levels of staff address it together. This is simply because working together encourages the team to create solutions for each issue. A combined effort would also be beneficial for dealing with positive reviews. Teams can celebrate the positive reviews, and as a result appreciate what is working well in the company. Group success motivates staff and also allows them to feel appreciated by their hard work.

The experience customers gain will steadily become more positive if all staff are on the same page and everyone is aware of the job at hand. The business practice will also reduce the amount of communal errors.

Balancing good practice and consumer loyalty

But it’s not just about making sure your brand appeals to as many people as possible, as explained by Nathan Ansell, global director of loyalty, insight and customer analytics at Marks & Spencer.

He told the Daily Mail: “I don’t actually want everyone to like (Marks & Spencer), I want enough people to absolutely love (us).

“M&S Food is not built on everyone liking us a bit, it’s built on a number of people loving us a lot. If you don’t love food and you’re not interested in paying a bit more for quality then well thanks very much, Asda’s available… Brands have to be confident enough to be able to sack some customers.”

It is important not to focus on individual negative reviews. This is simply because all people cannot be pleased all of the time. It is however important that you stay true to your brand and company values. Whilst ensuring this, you have to maintain a consistent and proactive approach to customer service.

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