Why You Must Increase Your Negative Reviews

hug-your-hatersMarketing Podcast with Jay Baer

Okay, I’ll admit, the headline for this post probably seems a little odd, so let me explain.

No one likes or wants negative reviews, but the fact is, that’s how you get better.

In a perfect world, everything your business does makes the customer smile, but I don’t know too many businesses that live in that world.

In reality, it is quite likely, there are many things your business does that are confusing, irritating and surprising – the problem is that it’s also quite likely that you have no idea what those things are.

By encouraging and rewarding people to give your feedback at every turn, you can learn and hopefully fix things that do not serve – without this mindset you’ll go blindly out there wondering why you can’t keep your best customers happy and loyal.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert, and author of Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers. We discuss customer service, the nature of complaints in today’s market and the basics of improving your customer retention.

Baer explains why so many businesses despite negative feedback and why you can’t afford to do so. In Hug Your Haters he relates a story of a marketing officer who claimed that her number one current objective was to triple negative reviews. Now, while that may seem like a terrible thing to do on the surface, the point is she was simply going to encourage and involve her customers in the process of helping them get better – and that’s the lesson this book teaches so eloquently.

Customer service is the new marketing!

Questions I ask Jay:

  • How can you view Customer Service as a competitive differentiator?
  • Why is exceptional customer service so rare?
  • What’s the first thing you should do to improve your customer service?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How you can turn a complaint into a raving fan
  • The root of most of your customers’ complaints
  • How negative feedback affects your mindset as a business owner

 

How to Create the Ultimate New Customer Experience

5216909292_0c9b8121ef_mTell me about your “buy” process.

This simple question causes confusion for many of our small business clients.

In response they might say: “Once a new customer signs on, we send them a contract and maybe even an invoice and start working with them.”

While that does describe the basic process and in some ways is correct, it’s not really the complete answer.

What I am actually looking for is what is your new customer experience?  How do you thank a customer, orient them for the work, make them feel welcome, set them up for success, and turn them into raving fans is the question I am actually asking here.

One of the most powerful tools to accomplish this right off the bat is the new customer kit.

This tool can be used in just about every industry, however, the contents will vary based on a number of factors. Type of sale, price, upsell potential, client life span, and other pieces of information should be considered when creating a new customer kit.

What should be included in every Marketing Kit?

Welcome and/or thank you note
I am sure you have heard it by now: A handwritten note goes a long way these days.  If a handwritten note is not possible, include a printed letter with an actual signature from the CEO. Sure it might not be the most fun signing 100 letters but think of each signature as a new closed sale and the process gets a little more exciting.

A branded invoice
This is where people fall off the map from time to time.  Anything to do with financial transactions should be taken seriously, don’t forget the invoice and fail at one of your first impressions.  Some pieces to include besides basic elements of an invoice: branding (colors, fonts, logos), contact information, URL to website and links to social media profiles.

Contact information for members of the team
More than just a link to a “contact us” page here.  Include actual pictures, actual email addresses, actual phone numbers.  Customers love to have a connect with the people they are purchasing from vs feeling like the are giving their money to a team of robots.

Additional items to include in the Ultimate New Customer Kit:

Introduction to success
Overview on how to get the most out of your products or services.   This could include best practices, FAQs, and “how to” content.

What to expect next
Will you be contacting the client to schedule a demo? Will they receive login details soon? Taking out the wonder and make the process as simple as possible is the goal here.

Pledge to clients
What is your plan to make sure the client is taken care of? What is your Mission? What are your company values? An overview of why you do what you do – how you make the world a better place for your clients.

We appreciate you
A “surprise and delight.” Some kind of gift that the client is not expecting. This could be something related to your products or services or something completely unrelated. Every time I order from Photojojo, I look forward to receiving my little free dinosaur they include with the invoice. Do I need a toy dino? Of course not, but I appreciate the unexpected little bonus and it makes me smile.

Free stuff
Do you have any samples? Could you provide a “try” opportunity to upsell a client to a different product or service? The main focus here is providing something else free to the client with the goal to sell.

Introduction to your Referral Program
Do you have a referral program in place? A client may not be 100% ready to suggest a referral at this stage, however, informing them of the program will help them keep the opportunity in mind as you continue to make them the happiest customer possible.

As you can see, the new customer kit not only provides your customer with the best possible onboarding experience, it also gives you the chance to upsell and ask for referrals making it a very important element in the overall marketing plan.

Now it’s your turn! What do you include in your new customer kit?

Sara HeadshotSara Jantsch is the Director of Community at Duct Tape Marketing.  It is Sara’s job to see to all the little things that make our community members feel appreciated, informed, special and looked after.  She is also a Marketing Consultant and has a strong passion for working with small business owners.

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