The Danger of Fake Reviews

Many consumers depend on reviews to guide their purchase decisions, but they may be running into fake reviews more often than they know. PC Magazine reports that an average of 39 percent of online reviews may have falsified information in them, with some business and product categories having particularly egregious numbers. Your business needs an action plan to address these reviews to avoid negative consequences.

The Impacts of Fake Reviews on Your Business

Fake reviews make it difficult for potential customers to know the truth about your products or services. Several of the ways that they create problems include:

  • Providing inaccurate information: The reviewer may discuss details that have nothing to do with your offerings, or they could make up their experience.
  • Setting incorrect expectations: New customers may expect something entirely outside of the scope of your business. They could end up choosing the wrong product or service for their needs.
  • Decreasing consumer trust in real reviews for your business: Every fake review casts a shadow on the rest of your reviews. When you’ve spent a lot of time building up great reviews from your customers, this situation is frustrating.
  • Driving customers to your competition: If the fake reviews lower your rating enough, or have lots of incorrect details, then your potential customers may look for other options. The lower rankings could also make it more difficult to appear in the search results of online review directories and similar websites.
  • Damaging your company’s reputation: If enough people believe the fake reviews, your business could have a public relations crisis on your hands

Signs of Fake Reviews

So how do you tell which of your reviews are fake? You need to closely examine both the review and the profile of the person writing it for this process.

In the review, look for:

  • A lack of detail
  • Listing of specific factual information about your product, such as the feature list or measurements
  • Limited anecdotal information about using your product or serviceSpelling and grammar issues
  • Extreme opinions, either positive or negative
  • Smaller in size than your average review

If you’re unsure whether a review is legitimate based on its text, dig deeper into the reviewer’s online information. Some directories have profiles that you can look at. Problematic attributes of reviews can include:

  • Blank profiles
  • Stock image photographs
  • Generic names
  • Completely new profiles
  • Profiles with a single review

Some fake review indicators you can observe as trends across multiple reviews include:

  • Identical phrasing in the review text from different reviewers
  • Reviews published within a relatively short period

Why You Need to Address Fake Reviews Head On

You should respond to every review for your business, even those that are obviously fake. You can mitigate a significant amount of the damage that fake reviews cause when you make it clear that you read all feedback.

Your response gives you the opportunity to include accurate information about your product or service, set appropriate customer expectations for the experience, and show potential customers that you’re willing to address negative feedback.

If your actual customers have problems in the future, they trust that you’ll reach out to make things right. A professional and measured response to fake reviews also helps consumers know which reviews they should consider when they’re making purchase decisions.

How to Respond to Real and Fake Reviews in a Timely Manner

Responding to a handful of fake reviews per week is one thing, but what happens when you’re dealing with hundreds or thousands? You end up in a rapidly unsustainable situation, and the longer fake reviews stay up without a response, the more damage they can do. Customers with legitimate issues also fall through the cracks, making them even more upset with your business.

Hiring additional staff to help with your reputation management is one option, but you can still easily end up with a workload that’s practically impossible to tackle manually. A reputation management platform like Retention360 is a technology-driven way to fix this problem at scale.

Instead of going to each online review source, you use Retention360 as a centralized platform. You’re better able to stay on top of what’s being said about you, and you can manage all of your reviews in one place. It’s designed as a one-on-one customer feedback platform, so you can deliver a personalized interaction for each review.

In addition to responding to fake reviews quickly, you can also collect, track, and analyze your customer feedback in real-time, filter feedback based on specific incidence, manage feedback for multiple locations, and offer diverse feedback options.

Don’t let fake reviews ruin the reputation you’ve spent so much time building. Get your policies and procedures in place to address this ever-growing problem, and ensure that you can handle it at scale with the right technology.

The Customer Retention Advantages Of Using Retention360

When consumer habits go digital, your customer retention strategy needs to follow suit. Retention360 is the solution.

We all know the pain of poor customer service. You feel like you’re unimportant, that your concerns aren’t being heard, and that you’re meant to hand over money and leave. Nobody wants to feel that way, and no reasonable business owner wants to make their customers feel that way. So, if there’s a decline in customer happiness, you want to do something about that. But where do you start?

Customer Retention Hurdles

First, let’s look at some ways that customer retention efforts go wrong.

General Surveys Give Vague Answers

The standard customer experience surveys at the end of receipts are too common for retailers. But not all concerns can be ranked on a 1-5 scale, or most to least satisfied. And comment fields at the end are often too short for customers to give any meaningful information. Vague questions beget vague responses.

What’s more, the communication that stems from a generic survey is often one-sided. Customers can voice their concerns, but your options for reaching out to respond are limited. Your customers deserve more than to have their complaints confined to your email inbox.

Not Enough Tech Overwhelms Staff And Customers

Have you ever felt like running a business gets in the way of running a business? If your business is growing and your staff comes running to you every time there’s a customer concern, you won’t have time to handle other business matters. This leads to a vicious cycle of unhappy customers and poor management.

Without a means to streamline the customer experience, your staff, your customers, and you will drown.

Heavy Tech Use Alienates Customers 

Imagine you have a problem. You ordered something online, and it hasn’t arrived. You haven’t received any updates. So, you write to the company, asking where your item is. But instead of your message reaching a human representative, it goes to an automated system that responds with outdated information and closes the ticket. You send another message with more information to clarify, and you’re given the same response from the same automated system.

With “digital transformation” as the growing buzzword in business, some business owners like to take the other extreme and automate everything. But poorly implemented automation is worse than no automation at all. This will have an alienating effect on your customers as it becomes increasingly difficult for them to reach out to a live human with concerns. 

The most sophisticated AI system won’t anticipate every customer complaint, especially when you’re trying to automate blindly. And at the end of the day, your customers want to know that there’s a human on the other end of the line taking their concerns into account.

Retention360 Benefits

Here’s how Retention360 handles the above issues to increase customer happiness and reduce customer churn.

Detailed Feedback For Issues

Go beyond the general survey and find out exactly why your customers are upset. Retention360 goes beyond the customer survey to gather more information from your customers. You tailor your feedback forms, with options for open text fields and photo and video additions. Customers will be able to give as much information as they need without being constrained by generic survey questions.

Direct Connection With Customers

The first step to creating an excellent customer experience is to make sure the customer feels seen and heard. Retention360 gives you multiple channels to reach out to customers, whether through the Retention360 program, email, phone call, or even a text. It’s a simple way to add a personalized touch to your customer retention strategy. Reach customers where they feel most comfortable communicating, and they will feel cared for.

Use Of Tech And Human Element

The best use of technology retains a bit of humanity. From remote work to telehealth to grocery delivery, more industries have embraced this truth in recent years. Maintaining customer happiness is a personalized pursuit by default, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Retention360 makes use of AI elements like sentiment analysis and machine learning to improve your responses to customer concerns.

Learn More About Retention360

Retention360 has the tools to help you achieve customer success and increase ROI. Contact us today for more information.

How To Manage and Reduce Customer Churn During COVID-19

Social distancing, mask-wearing, financial worries, and general caution about dining in public have devastated the restaurant industry. There were 51 percent fewer seated diners in restaurants at the end of 2020 than the same period the year before. Things could get worse in the coming months, which is the least busy time of the year for the sector. Now, restaurateurs need to think up new ways to avoid closure. Managing customer churn — the number of customers that stop eating at your restaurant — has never been more critical.

The current situation might tempt you to cancel the technology that keeps your restaurant running, such as customer feedback software. Read on to learn why this is a bad idea.

Customer Feedback Software Improves Customer Retention

The restaurant industry took a colossal hit in 2020, so customer retention was crucial. It still is. Research suggests that just a 5 percent boost in retention increases profits by up to 95 percent. With falling revenues across the industry, improving customer retention might be enough to prevent restaurants from having to shut their doors for good.

Using a customer feedback platform improves retention by tracking customer experiences in real-time. Learn what customers like (and don’t like) about eating at your restaurant and keep them coming back time and time again. Retention360 is an all-encompassing customer retention solution that listens to the people who eat at your restaurant and, therefore, reduces churn. 

Customer Feedback Helps You Adapt to Industry Changes

The restaurant industry transformed in 2020. Diners swapped sit-down meals for take-outs, exercised general caution when eating at restaurants, and tightened food budgets. The pandemic altered consumer behaviorhow, where, and what people eat. 

Expect these changes to last well into 2021 as restaurateurs adapt to the “new normal.” So much has changed over the last 12 months, it’s difficult to know just what diners want when they visit your restaurant. But customer feedback software will help.

A platform like Retention360 lets you collect, track, and then analyze feedback so you can change your restaurant operations based on the concerns and suggestions raised by your most valuable customers. This software prevents customer churn and helps you increase ROI. 

Customer Retention Software Manages Negative Feedback

Ninety percent of customers read online reviews before visiting a business like yours, and 88 percent trust these reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. Negative reviews can have a detrimental impact on your restaurant, so you must manage all feedback — the good, the bad, and the ugly — on Facebook, Google, Yelp, and other websites. 

Replying to negative reviews can be difficult, especially if you think the feedback was unjustified. But communicating with former diners proves your commitment to customer satisfaction and reduces customer churn. (One study suggests that replying to reviews reduces churn by 15 percent.) 

Here are some tips for responding to customer reviews: 

  • Acknowledge the complaint. 
  • Apologize for any mistakes or unsatisfactory experiences. 
  • Use the negative review as an opportunity to show you care about your customers. Other people will view you positively if you effectively manage a complaint. 
  • Ask the customer to contact you via private message or email to discuss the problem further. 
  • Ask the customer to edit or update their review after you successfully manage the issue. 
  • Try to stay positive. All restaurateurs receive negative feedback from time to time. 

Another way to manage customer reviews is to use a platform like Retention360. This software lets you track customer communication in one place, making it easier to identify negative feedback. It also alerts you (or someone from your customer success team) when a diner posts a negative review or feedback requires an immediate response. As a result, you can reduce customer churn and improve customer success.  

Final Word

It’s a tough time for restauranteurs right now, but there’s no need to abandon the technology that powers your business. Using a customer feedback platform isn’t an unnecessary expense but a powerful weapon that reduces customer churn during this extraordinary time. Customer feedback software like Retention360 improves customer retention, helps you adapt to industry changes, and manages negative online complaints.

Are you trying to reduce customer churn during COVID-19? Learn more about Retention360 here.

A Business Owner’s Guide to Yelp Reviews

With 145 million monthly users, Yelp is a force business owners can’t afford to ignore. Along with Google, user-generated Yelp reviews are often the first place people look for information about a small business. Yelp is also the first place people go to voice their opinion about the service they receive — good or bad.

Here are 3 things small business owners need to know now about Yelp reviews, plus a checklist to make sure you’re managing your business page correctly.

1. Every star matters.

How much does a Yelp review impact your bottom line? A Harvard Business School study showed a 1-star increase in Yelp rating increased revenue by 5-9% for independent restaurants alone. Today, most people use online consumer reviews as a substitute for other, more traditional forms of research (word of mouth, endorsement by the Better Business Bureau, etc.). If you’re not monitoring and responding to your Yelp reviews, you’re risking your reputation. 

2. Yelp users may be more likely to take action than Google users.

In the U.S.:

  • Yelp users span all age brackets
  • 64% have some college education, and 
  • Most make at least $60,000. 

That means Yelp review writers are more likely to have disposable income and be ready to pull the trigger on lifestyle purchases such as entertainment, dining and vacations. Where Google is mainly used to search for a business at the top of the sales funnel, Yelp users typically have a specific intent to buy a product, sign up for a service or make a reservation.  

3. Yelp reviews can get stuck in purgatory.

Some Yelp reviews get stuck in the “not recommended” section because Yelp’s algorithm doesn’t think the reviewer is experienced enough. The less active users are, the more likely their reviews are to get caught there. What can you do? If you have positive reviews from new users that are stuck in that section, reach out. Thank them for their business and tack on the fact that if they review a couple more businesses, their reviews will show up.

Your Yelp Checklist

Want to make sure you’re on the right track? Here’s a checklist to get you started.

  1. Claim your business.
    Upload photos, add links to your website and social media, and verify key information like phone number, hours, menus, etc. 
  2. Fill in the About section.
    Be straightforward and use relevant keywords customers might search to find you.
  3. Respond privately and publicly to Yelp reviews.
    For positive reviews, a simple “thank you” should suffice. For negative reviews, feel free to respond privately first. 
    • If a problem is valid, say so and let the person know how you plan to change things. 
    • If it’s not, explain why as succinctly as possible and remember that the goal is not to change someone’s mind; It’s to show you care about what they’re saying. If you reach a point where they feel satisfied and heard, consider asking them to revise their review. 
    • If someone is simply angry and not truly seeking a resolution, respond as calmly as possible, apologize if necessary and let it go. Engaging in a long online battle with one angry person isn’t a good look for any business owner.
  4. Report errors.
    If someone posts something that’s incorrect about your business, ask them to change it. If they won’t, report it to Yelp.
  5. Review and refresh your page every month or so.
    Set a reminder so you don’t forget, and be sure to consider timely updates. For example, in the current COVID-19 climate, people are searching for terms like “social distancing” and “no-contact delivery” for the first time. You’ll want to update your profile to include those search terms where they apply.
  6. Get ahead of Yelp reviews with Retention360.
    Better Yelp reviews come from better customer experiences, and those start with interactions. Retention360 was designed with that goal in mind. Our one-on-one customer feedback platform collects, tracks and analyzes customer feedback in real time so you can address customer concerns directly and immediately. 

Contact us to learn how Retention360 can help you get in front of your Yelp reviews today.

5 Ways Machine Learning Improves Customer Service

What do you think of when you hear the words “artificial intelligence” or “machine learning”? To many people, those phrases come off as cold or impersonal, but when it comes to customer service, they’re actually anything but. 

Studies have shown machine learning can make customer service more effective and efficient, and can ultimately help customer service representatives connect with people more meaningfully. Here’s why it works. 

1. Machine learning guards against data overload

If your eyes have ever blurred from looking at a spreadsheet too long, you know that human brains aren’t built to process constant, monotonous streams of data. Algorithms are. When deployed properly, artificial intelligence (AI) can parse data seamlessly to make smart, efficient decisions. That takes the processing load off of customer service representatives, which leaves them with more time, brainpower and empathy to offer customers.

2. Customers like self service

As a customer, which do you prefer when you first encounter an issue: a self-service option or a live representative? Studies show that 81% say self service, which means most people prefer to first address matters on their own if given a choice. If a proper base of knowledge has been used to create the AI they’re accessing (chatbots, virtual assistants, etc.) customers get a response — and results — faster. That means customer service representatives can focus on solving more complex problems while standard issues are handled by machine learning applications. 

3. Machine learning cuts costs — for customers and companies

Harvard Business Review found that DIY transactions cost less than a dollar each. Interactions with live customer service representatives? At least 7 times as much. 

Agent interactions are estimated to cost: 

  • $7 for a B2C company, and 
  • $13 for a B2B company.

With the proper investment in machine learning, companies can remove simpler issues from live agents, which allows them to cut costs. Those savings can then be used to improve services or lower prices, both of which help create happy customers. 

4. Efficiency improves customer satisfaction

This one’s simple: people are happier when they get what they want faster. Machine learning helps route customers to the type of agent they need quickly, and that leads to more efficient solutions. Machine learning can also help a customer service representative do their job more effectively once they’re connected with a customer by:

  • Recommending resolutions
  • Offering scripts to address certain problems, and
  • Providing agents with relevant customer history.

When data is both collected and applied, neither person starts from scratch. That leads to faster, more satisfying interactions. 

5. Machine learning is always evolving

Business owners know that analytics are key in determining what customers want, but metrics only matter if you can learn from them. Today, machine learning applications help humans do that without thinking twice.

  • Some ML apps are so advanced that they can use deep learning to continually improve their responses. That means AI-enabled services can improve on their own, while you and your team are interacting with customers in real time. 
  • Predictive customer service analytics can even use data from past interactions to catch things agents might miss, or to suggest related products or services that similar customers have enjoyed. 

Whatever the situation, the important thing is that knowledge is being used — not just collected. 

How Retention360 fits in

While machine learning often focuses on efficiency and cost-savings, at its core, it’s really about creating a better customer experience. Retention360 was designed with that goal in mind. Our one-on-one customer feedback platform collects, tracks and analyzes customer feedback in real time so you can address customer concerns directly and immediately. Contact us to learn how we can help you put machine learning in action today. 

Businesses & COVID-19: 3 Tips for Community Building Online

Right now, small businesses are temporarily closing their doors across the country for the greater good, but people are still craving connection. Now more than ever, community building is important, and developing a close online relationship with your customers is a great way to do it while still safely social distancing.

Here are 3 ways to foster community building with your brand.

1. Make social connections.

While many businesses have had to shutter in-person services temporarily, there is one positive: more of us are at home, online, looking for ways to connect than ever before. It’s no surprise that social media is where most of us start our search for community building.

If your brand doesn’t have a social media presence, setting that up is step one. Research which channel is best for your industry, and make sure you select one you feel comfortable using long-term. 

If you already have a social media presence, build upon it by getting more active.

  • Seek out, follow and talk with customers, other businesses or influencers during this down time. 
  • Support other businesses and post about your favorite quarantine activities using their products.
  • Pitch collaborations with related businesses, like a puzzle and pizza promotion between a toy store and Italian restaurant.
  • Ask your followers questions — both serious and fun — such as:
    • What’s your favorite food item to have delivered from our menu?
    • What fun way are you using a home good purchased from our store while quarantining? 
    • Who can snap the most creative socially-distant selfie while wearing our clothing? 

Whatever your brand is, a good community-building question is one that you’re genuinely interested in the answer to. It should say something about your business and your clients. Start there and see where it takes you.

2. Teach people something. 

People are looking for things to do, and you know stuff. Don’t forget that! 

Ask yourself:

  • What does your brand do better than any other? 
  • Which of those things can you teach people virtually? 

Nothing is too small to teach, and sharing knowledge is a great way to keep community building going while social distancing. Bonus: Most tutorials won’t cost you any money to make. All you need is a phone, or to leverage assets you already have. 

For example:

  • Present a few slides of the Keynote you made for franchisees on how to organize storage spaces properly on LinkedIn. 
  • If you run a brewery, teach people a sanitization technique you use that they can replicate at home on YouTube. 
  • Own a store with a beauty counter? Give a tutorial on how to do the perfect smokey eye using products that can be bought online. 

3. Ask for feedback.

Businesses are working round the clock to find their way through these challenging times, but one thing it’s not hard to find right now is an audience. Take this opportunity to practice community building by asking your customers questions they wouldn’t always have the time, attention or capacity to answer. Social media is a good place to start, but quality feedback really needs to be gathered in more in-depth ways.

Consider customer surveys. Most people use net promoter score, customer satisfaction survey, post-purchase survey or some combination of the three. All are solid options for measuring your success as a company in the eyes of a customer, and we’ve broken down exactly why here. But they don’t tell the whole story — especially when it comes to gathering feedback in real-time, which is something that’s just as crucial online as in-store.. 

What you need for that is a customer feedback platform that creates an open communication channel between your customers and your brand. You need to have a way to find out when problems arise, and respond quickly when they do.

If feedback collection isn’t part of your current process, it’s crucial that you take this down time to learn why it should be. We created Retention360 with the goal of open communication top of mind. We can do everything virtually, and in many cases, just the act of making feedback collection front-and-center sets you apart. 

Contact us to set up a quick demo today, and please stay safe and healthy. 

ROI & The Customer Experience: What You Need To Know

Customers expect more from businesses today than ever before. If you’re an owner, you’ve seen that in action: A customer whips out a phone to tweet or text about an experience, perhaps even as it’s happening. What you may not have seen, however, is just how much that one encounter can affect your ROI, or return on investment.

How Does Customer Experience Affect ROI?

Customer experience affects ROI because it affects profits. Happy customers spend more money, act as brand evangelists and return to your business more often. Unhappy customers obviously don’t do those things — but their impact doesn’t stop there. 

Let’s start with the good news:

Satisfied Customers

Good customer service is the single most important factor for consumers in developing a relationship of trust with a business. In fact, 42-62% of consumers return for a second purchase after having a good customer experience.

Dissatisfied Customers

When customers are dissatisfied, however, they tend to be more vocal. A customer who has a negative experience:

  • Is highly likely to share that experience by leaving a bad review,
  • Will typically tell 9-15 other people about that experience, and 
  • Won’t do business with the company again 91% of the time.

That’s bad for your brand, your bottom line, your ROI and your company morale. 

How Far Can One Bad Review Really Go?

Farther than you think. Inc. found that it takes roughly 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of one negative review. 

You can read how they came to that conclusion here, but the gist is that: 

  • Unhappy customers leave reviews far more often than happy ones, and
  • Ratings are calculated as averages, so 
  • One bad review can easily tank your rating.

How Does A Bad Review Affect Profit?

ROI is hard to measure, so we’ve developed a calculator to show you how much one dissatisfied customer can cost.

Say your business has 15 locations and your average annual revenue per customer is $125. If you have one dissatisfied customer who walks out of your business each month, that can create an annual loss of $22,500. That means one unhappy person equals weeks or months of advertising down the drain.

How Do You Fix It?

The execution isn’t simple, but the solution is: Create better customer experiences. Make sure you have a way to find out when problems arise, and respond quickly when they do.

With Retention360, all of that is built in. When a customer has a problem, they scan a QR code displayed in-store to leave their feedback. The Retention360 platform prioritizes that feedback (positive, negative, or neutral) and alerts your team so they can address it ASAP — sometimes right on the spot. If you need to, you can also follow up via text, email or call.

Why Does It Work?

Because your team not only gets the opportunity to fix a customer’s bad experience on the spot — they get the opportunity to turn that experience into something positive. Loyal customers are made one personal, positive interaction at a time. It’s up to you to make those interactions happen. 

Contact us to learn how we can help you start doing that today. 

Using Customer Feedback to Inform Your Customer Service Strategy

It’s vital to listen to what your customers are saying. In 2015, US companies lost $62 billion a year because of poor customer service. That’s a ton of money left on the table because businesses didn’t make an effort to give customers what they want. Don’t let yourself fall into this hole. Here’s how you can use customer feedback to tailor your customer service strategy.

How to Organize Your Data

Your primary goal in obtaining customer feedback is to garner an understanding of the customer experience. Once you’ve collected enough customer feedback, you’ll need to find a way to parse through it. Start by separating it into feedback based on your products, your customer service, and your marketing techniques.

  • Product feedback might include things like problems with a new release or requests for a new feature.
  • Customer service feedback lets you piece together commonly asked questions so you can see widespread issues and address them head-on.
  • Marketing feedback lets you see where your advertising campaigns might be misleading, which you can use in the iterative process.

Once you’ve organized everything into three simple categories, go a step further by giving each item a code. For example, you might want a tag for email issues, incorrect product data, or compatibility problems. This helps you quickly see what your customers’ most common issues are so you can start addressing them.

Focusing on the most common issues allows you to make as many people happy as possible, but don’t completely neglect smaller items. Even the smallest group of customers have a voice, which can damage your reputation if you don’t listen.

Putting Feedback Into Action

The most crucial step of customer feedback is actually putting it into action. This can be a little tricky, but consider taking the following steps to keep the customer happy.

  • Train your employees on how to respond. If you discover an issue with your software, make sure all your employees are aware of it. Nothing is more frustrating than a customer chatting with a knowledgeable rep and then following up later with a rep who has no idea what is going on.
  • Identify which channels are the most popular. Chances are, after organizing your data, you’ll quickly begin to see which of your customer service channels are most popular. While chats and emails are becoming more common, research shows that 70% of customers still appreciate being able to call for a quick response. If you’re throwing more and more of your budget into developing the perfect chat response bot but a majority of your customers are still calling in, think about reallocating funds.
  • Test new follow-up strategies. Perhaps your customers have indicated unhappiness with your service. Rather than taking that at its word, try following up with customers after a few weeks after their purchase to see how things are going. Consider email surveys or even a personalized phone call to ask if their level of satisfaction has gone up or down.
  • Revise FAQs and other informational content. If your customers are asking a lot of basic questions about your service, perhaps your FAQs are lacking. Beef up this content so customers can find their answers on their own. This gives them more autonomy and also frees up your customer service team to handle more pressing issues.

Always Review and Revise

As with any new changes you implement, it’s crucial to follow up and see if they’re making a positive difference. See if you can ask the same customers who provided your original data to rate the improvements you’ve made. If they still aren’t happy, keep at it. Customer service is an iterative process that constantly requires your attention.Need more help taking your customer service to the next level? Consider Retention360, a fully-fledged service that can help transform your business.

The Most Successful Franchises All Have This One Thing in Common

Whether it’s an online store, brick and mortar retailer, or the hole-in-the-wall place you get your favorite burger with chipotle avocado magic on it, we’ve been on the customer experience side of a brand.

Have you ever sat down and really thought about why you choose certain companies over others?

Maybe it’s a great product.

Perhaps it’s how unique they are.

Or maybe they’re the only place that cooks a burger right.

How many coffee shops did you pass on your commute? How do any stand out?

The most successful brands know that there’s a lot that goes into making a company thrive. Yet, there’s one thing, no matter what you are selling, that all of the best franchises have in common:

Fantastic customer service.

Duh, right? You know that your company needs to make the customer experience a top priority. Is the service you’re providing your customer at its best, though?

Don’t just take our word for it. When a franchise is successful, the roots of that success can be traced back to amazing customer experiences.

Successful Franchises that Offer a Great Customer Experience

IKEA

When we say customer experience, there’s a lofty abstract way of thinking of it, or you can be like IKEA and take it literally.

Going into an IKEA is a real experience.

Every turn through their store allows customers to imagine themselves in a home rather than a retailer. There’s even the IKEA Place app that takes this idea to the next level by utilizing augmented reality to give customers a clearer image of the product in their home.

What if a customer gets hungry in the labyrinth of furniture? IKEA has that covered too with in-store restaurants. The customer experience for IKEA means giving excellent service and keeping their customers within their building, which helps drive conversion.

Apple

You can’t talk about successful franchises without bringing up Apple.

The tech giant has stayed on top because the first thing they always think of is the customer experience. Even the design of their open-concept stores allows customers to feel a sense of freedom.

Apple goes above and beyond just products. There are free classes in stores around the globe that aim to teach kids about coding.

All of this is fueled by employees selected from the best of the best in the industry. Apple is a company that knows customers will interact first and foremost with their payroll in stores. Those employees go through extensive training to ensure that the customer gets the absolute best experience possible.

Trader Joe’s

Compared to the previous two entries, Trader Joe’s seems like small potatoes (which they have organic options of in-store).

In the competitive grocery store industry, Trader Joe’s has grown to over 500 stores nationwide.

How do they make themselves stand out against such large competition? In addition to great prices and unique product offerings, Trader Joe’s knows about customer service.

A story from ten years ago shows just how far out of the way Trader Joes will go to service their customer.

A Reddit story about a woman’s grandfather, trapped home alone because of a snow storm, blew up the internet. In it, she tells of how Trader Joe’s delivered food (not typical for the grocery chain) to the Navy vet, and then didn’t even charge.

Those are the kinds of stories that stick with customers and why it’s hard to go very far without someone gushing about what they love at Trader Joes.

Key Aspects of the Customer Experience

These brands show that the most successful franchises focus on key factors with their customer service:

  • Give customers more than they expect
  • Ensure your team has the best customer service training
  • Allow customers to see what you sell in action
  • Technology is the key to interacting with customers

These factors take a lot of work to get right. How are you supposed to keep track of your growing customer base at all times?

That’s where Retention360’s customer feedback platform can make your company stand out.

Retention360 goes beyond the typical customer survey and lets you have a direct and personal connection with your customers via email, SMS, and phone.

Customers themselves have options on giving your brand feedback, from open-ended text boxes to photo and video.

The most successful franchises got that way through constant growth and always keeping the customer experience at it’s best.

Retention360 gives you the tools to take your customer experience to the next level too.

Explore more here.

Brands Love Customer Surveys: But Do They Actually Make a Difference?

Customer surveys have long been the gold standard for collecting feedback. However, innovation and technology have paved the way for new ways of interacting with customers and getting actionable feedback. Brands today are constantly searching for newer and better ways to improve customer experiences. A new study from Adobe and Econsultancy found that the single most exciting opportunity for B2B companies in 2020 is customer experience. So what does that mean for customer surveys? Let’s explore the types of customer surveys in the market today and if they’re effective.

The 3 Most Common Types of Customer Surveys

Net Promoter Score® (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, is one of the most popular customer surveys today and informs many of the customer experience solutions growing in the market. It measures customer loyalty by asking questions on a sliding scale, usually from 0 to 10. Here’s an example:

Based on your experience, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or loved one? 

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Those responses are categorized into 3 main groups – promoters, passives, and detractors – to determine how happy your customers are with you and how likely they are to recommend you to others. Emails and text messages are good avenues to send NPS surveys as well as within pop-ups or chatboxes on a website.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Survey

A customer satisfaction survey, or CSAT, is similar to NPS® in the sense that it measures customer satisfaction with your brand. However, they zero-in more on overall satisfaction with your brand rather than if they would recommend you to a peer – and often fall on a 5-point scale. 

How satisfied are you with your experience today?

  1. Very unsatisfied
  2. Unsatisfied
  3. Neutral
  4. Satisfied
  5. Very Satisfied

CSAT survey scores are measured differently than NPS®. Take the sum of respondents who were “Very Satisfied” and “Satisfied” and divide that number by the total number of survey respondents. Multiply that number by 100 and you’ve got your CSAT score as a percentage for easy measuring.  

Post Purchase Surveys

When a customer purchases something from your business in-store or online, it’s vital to collect feedback on their buying experience so you can make improvements to the checkout process and overall experience. Post-purchase surveys include questions on a sliding scale that typically ask customers to agree or disagree to a degree with a set of statements from the first-person point of view. Open-ended questions offer a chance to get more in-depth feedback from customers.

Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of my product. 

  • Strongly Disagree
  • Disagree
  • Neither Agree nor Disagree
  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree

Please explain your response.

Going Beyond the Customer Survey

All three of these customer surveys – the NPS, the CSAT, and the post-purchase survey – are great options for measuring your success as a company in the eyes of a customer. Aspects from each of these customer surveys are must-haves in whatever customer feedback platform you incorporate into your CX strategy.

However, what most of these customer surveys lack is a way to respond to customer feedback and solve problems swiftly. While all of the metrics that come with these surveys are vital for measuring the success of your CX efforts – that’s only half the job. Incredible customer service comes with not only knowing what the problems are but being able to fix them. 

A customer experience software solution like Retention360 offers the opportunity to interact with your customers one-on-one through direct communication. Follow up with a customer issue through a phone call, text message, or email – and be able to solve their issues before they even leave your storefront. After all, studies show that 86% of buyers will pay more for better customer experience. That’s extra revenue your business could be bringing in by investing in the people who buy from you.

Retention360 allows you to tailor your customer surveys so you can get a full picture of the situations your customers are going through. Users can not only fill out sliding scale surveys, but also upload photos and videos regarding their issue alongside an open text form for in-depth descriptions. The key to a great customer experience solution is being able to solve problems quickly and easily with the added benefit of having context regarding the issues your customers are having. Retention360 gives your customers a voice and your CX team a way to listen – and solve problems on the fly. 

If you’re looking for a way to supercharge your customer experience capabilities and go beyond the typical customer survey, reach out to us today and see how Retention360 can transform your business.