Do you know what customers are saying about your online shop?

People have always talked about businesses, whether praising them or venting their frustrations. 

However, the face of the consumer has completely changed over the last two decades. While Baby Boomers relied more on traditional media, Millennials take to social media to seek advice and express their opinions. 

Unfortunately, way too many online shops don’t take advantage of the treasure that is customer feedback. Of those that do, many only gather customer feedback through sales channels, thus missing out on important insights from users and influencers.

Last but not least, many businesses lack the ability to use customer feedback to improve or innovate

These circumstances leave many businesses tone-deaf to the voice of the customer and prevent them from having a truly customer-centric strategy.

This is why any online shop should, at all times, know what their customers are saying about their business.

Why is it important to know what customers are saying about you?

Thinking about your customers yields better results than any 20% discount.

Be honest, how many times have you asked your friends to recommend a nice restaurant? Or how many times have you looked for online reviews about that TV you were planning to buy on Black Friday?

As a seller, there are many benefits to knowing what customers are saying about you:

1. You learn more about your business

First and foremost, gathering customer feedback helps you learn more about your business, so you know what and how to improve. 

Your goal as a seller is to meet your consumers’ demands. By listening to them, you can better understand their needs. This way, you know what’s going wrong, and where, and you can come up with a suitable solution. At the same time, you learn what works and what needs improvement.

2. You learn more about your competitors

Your customers will also check out your competitors. 

Listening to your customers not only gives you an insight into how you can improve, but also tells you what your competitors are doing wrong, so that you don’t make the same mistakes. 

When an unhappy customer rants about his experience with a competitor, pay close attention to what he’s saying. Why did he stop buying from that seller? Why did he choose you instead?

Look into the specified seller. See what he’s willing to offer that you’re not, and incorporate what you’ve learned into your selling strategy.

3. You can anticipate your customers’ future requirements

Knowing what your customers are saying about you can also help you anticipate their future needs. 

Let’s take the following example (a common one in e-commerce). Your customers are happy with your next-day delivery, and they praise you because their packages arrive quickly and safely. 

However, some of your competitors also offer this option, and you want to stand out. What can you do? Offer same-day delivery! 

Instead of relying on the fact that your customers are happy now, you take what makes them happy (the fact that their packages arrive fast) and you improve your service before one of your competitors does. 

4. You can prevent bad experiences

Needless to say, bad reviews hurt your business.

According to Business.com, 77% of people read reviews before buying. Would you risk the possibility of losing 77% of your customers because of bad reviews?

No business is perfect, but if you pay attention to what your customers are saying regularly, you can prevent issues from spreading too much. 

How do you listen to what your customers are saying?

Technology has completely revolutionized word-of-mouth. Today, people post their opinions on Facebook, share them on Twitter, and even publish them on their personal blogs.

However, knowing that that information about your business is out there somewhere is not enough. You need to find it, and more importantly, act on it.

Here’s how you can find out what customers are saying about you:

1. Your own reviews

This is a great way to start. Read through your reviews and pick out the negative ones and the ones with suggestions, and make a list of what you could improve.

2. ‘Mention’

Mention is a tool designed to help businesses keep track of who’s talking about them across the social web. 

From social media to PR mentions, from user reviews to blog comments, the platform helps brands track the most important conversations about their competitors and industry online. 

3. Tagboard

If you have a hashtag you use regularly, or a hashtag you use for events or special promotions, you can track it with Tagboard. This can scan Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+ for hashtag use, and collects the social posts that use your hashtag.

4. Google Alerts

Alternatively, you can also use good old Google Alerts. This tool will search the web for any keywords you choose, and it will deliver the results straight to your inbox. 

Things you WANT your customers to say about you

Did you know you can turn existing customers into magnets that attract new customers through positive word-of-mouth reviews?

The trick is to control what customers are saying about you. This is done not by discouraging reviews or silencing criticism, but by deciding what you want your customers to say, and then providing the kind of product or service that will inspire those very praises.

For that, you need to first identify three “what we want them to say” phrases. For an e-commerce business, such statements could be:

  1. They have the best products.
  2. They always keep me informed.
  3. They are problem solvers.
  4. They respect me.
  5. I trust them.

Once you’ve identified the three things you want customers to say, your focus should be on making sure they say it, by providing services that meet those specific demands.

Since word-of-mouth recommendations continue to be the most effective form of advertising when it comes to driving sales, knowing if customers might be willing to promote your company can be extremely valuable. This is where the Net Promoter Score comes in handy.

While metrics used in market research are often complex, NPS provides a quick snapshot of customer experience in a form that just about anyone can understand

A low NPS can alert you that you need to put more effort into improving your customer experience, while a high score can serve as evidence of a successful customer-centric business strategy. 

NPS is also measurable over time, so you can use it to easily track your progress from one year to the next.

How to choose the best NPS software for you 

Your NPS software can make or break your results. When choosing from the available tools, you should pay attention to:

  • 0 to 10 scales
  • Different types of triggers
  • Follow-up questions
  • Segmentation
  • Result interpretation