Word of mouth has been the best seller of all businesses since time immemorial. However, only 3.8% of very small businesses (VSEs) say they use automated tools to offer their satisfied customers the opportunity to share their positive experience… If you excel in your know-how but you still need the let them know, here are some ways to help you.
Did you know that only 20.5% of VSEs offer their satisfied customers to share their positive experience, according to a survey by Trends-Tendances and VOOBusiness? And while 61% of small businesses report measuring customer satisfaction, only 10% do so systematically, 28% regularly and 22% sporadically. More worrying: when we ask them how they operate, 69% of VSEs tell us that they work on the basis of oral comments from customers, 30.8% mention email, 19% provide telephone follow-up, 27% measure it via social networks but only 3.8% say they use automated survey tools.
Did you know that only 20.5% of VSEs offer their satisfied customers to share their positive experience, according to a survey by Trends-Tendances and VOOBusiness? And while 61% of small businesses report measuring customer satisfaction, only 10% do so systematically, 28% regularly and 22% sporadically. More worrying: when we ask them how they operate, 69% of VSEs tell us that they work on the basis of oral comments from customers, 30.8% mention email, 19% provide telephone follow-up, 27% measure it via social networks but only 3.8% say they use automated survey tools. In summary, a majority of companies rely on perceived oral satisfaction and 67% of them do not capitalize on the satisfaction of their current customers to stimulate their activity. Because, they tell us, they don’t have the time and they don’t know what to do. However, the positive recommendation, oral as well as written, is universally recognized as the first vector of trust, far ahead of all the panoply of marketing means available to an entrepreneur today! Word of mouth has been the best seller of all businesses since time immemorial. It is not for nothing that the most famous satisfaction indicator is the NPS, or “Net Promoter Score”. You know that evaluation at the end of the form that you have already filled out many times? Too often reduced to an indicator from 0 to 10, the progression of which obsesses marketing departments, it is based on a strictly formulated question: “How likely are you to recommend us to your loved ones?”. As often, the tree hides the forest. It’s not the number that matters but the potential recommendation that it translates. Satisfying is the duty of any business enterprise. Extracting this satisfaction to make it your first source of development is quite an art. If you excel in your know-how but you need to make it known even better, here are some ways to help you. First work on the existing expression. If you hear a customer expressing himself positively in your presence, in addition to thanking him, do not hesitate to ask him if he agrees to share his experience (as long as the nature of your activity allows it). Ask him to re-express his contentment in a short video, shot at the time, or in a few words under a photo taken at the moment. If he declines, politely offer him to make a Google or Facebook review “without changing a comma” to keep all the authenticity. If, at home, anonymity is a must, Google can live with it perfectly. Likewise, I see tons of useful emails wasted every day. Customers frequently express their satisfaction by return email. However, it costs absolutely nothing to offer them to copy and paste their comment as it is on Google, Facebook or LinkedIn, depending on your activity, by sending them the links to do so! Don’t forget to collect your most beautiful testimonials, all platforms combined, to highlight them on your own site, list them in your newsletters or make them content elements for your social networks! To enhance the positive comments already written, think first of systematically answering them yourself and offer the less loquacious commentators the opportunity to develop the points that caused their satisfaction. Too few companies and freelancers do this, preferring to focus their efforts on polemical responses to negative comments. In doing so, they send a mixed message to their audience by only giving importance to those who complain. Then awaken the satisfaction that is silent and make it speak! If your customers come to you regularly, know how to ask the right questions and stimulate their feedback in the form of a conversation. Likewise, a personalized follow-up call or email is always appreciated and allows the delighted customer to be heard. If this happens, return to the previous paragraph to capitalize on his experience. Find every possible opportunity to remember them fondly. Recognized by the Guinness Book as “the best car salesman in the world”, the American Joe Girard wrote at the end of his career more than 13,000 greeting cards (all holidays and birthdays combined) per month to all his customers, thus remaining constantly in their minds! Joe simply considered that each customer, alone, represented a capital of 250 other potential customers. Create elements in your customer environment that facilitate the expression of their satisfaction. Paper guest books still work. Make one available to your customers if your business allows it. Whether it’s a clearly visible QR code to join a recommendation page or a physical counter linked to a Facebook or Instagram account (which customers will enjoy incrementing live), there is now a plethora of ways to enable them to take the plunge. Without immediately asking your customers to write you positive reviews, simply invite them to join your online community on your favorite platform, either out of pure sympathy, or to be kept informed of new information concerning your activity or your business or , even better, to participate in a contest. Involve your customers in the life and choices of your business: have them test new products and services, have them vote for the entry-level of an exclusivity. And if this involvement is visual, take photos, videos and, after agreement, publish, tag and share! Also, don’t be afraid to speak highly of yourself by sharing the customer stories you’re most proud of, especially if they contain a lesson that’s relevant to your community. Discreetly reward your recommending clients afterwards. Avoid as much as possible to buy sponsorship against a financial advantage, it would mislead all its authenticity. But rather give something to offer. The dazzling success of Dropbox was built on this principle: once registered, you could offer free storage space to all your contacts and each new subscriber brought you a free extension of your own storage capacity. Similarly, I know an adorable broker who, each time a new client comes on the recommendation, sends five cinema tickets as a gift to his prescribing client. Why five? Because on average, after having used a place for his family unit (three to four people), there will be one left which he will probably offer to a third party. And when we ask him why, he will talk, again, about his favorite broker! You can also systematize the satisfaction of your customers through surveys and forms. The options are numerous and increasingly simple to set up. But please, if you integrate an NPS into your trading strategy, do not confuse the indicator and the objective. Raising a “score” is one thing, creating a relationship with those who raise it is another. So, contact all those who give you 9 or 10 to thank them for this excellent rating, let them explain to you what motivated it and offer them, in passing, to give you a new comment.