No one believes your brochures, banner ads or billboards. What people trust are words straight from your customers’ mouths. From keywords, online reviews, and conversations taking place across social media, it’s easier than ever to listen to what your fans, haters and ambassadors are saying.
The words you use to describe your company, your products, the experience you provide — where do they come from? Typically, they are crafted by executives in board rooms or by marketers who are out of touch. But shouldn’t they come from the people for whom your products are intended or those who are already using them?
The right words can help attract the right audience, as well as help you relate to the current market place.
Simply telling people your business is the best in the market won’t convince customers to reach into their wallets. But hearing a message from other customers might compel them to do so. By incorporating the words customers use in their reviews and feedback into your marketing strategy can help you take your brand to the next level.
Why Customer Reviews Matter
Let’s consider the following:
- 70% of people rely on customer reviews before making a purchase.
- Nearly 81% of the consumers seek out the opinion of others online before making a purchase are categorized as millennials.
- Millennials say they are more likely to visit user-generated review sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, while consumers 35 years of age or older are more likely to rely on independent review sites like Consumer Reports.
- About 72% of millennials say they take their “friends” opinions into account, while 46% of older consumers trust the opinions offered by those in their social networks. (source: Mintel, 2015)
Not only that, customers are often using words that you might not have thought to use, as well, they may provide perspectives on how they are using your products and the considerations that influenced their decision to purchase, and their ultimate experience.
By looking closely at the words your customers are using might spark marketing inspiration, but they also may communicate to the customer that you’re paying attention.
Where to Look?
There are lots of places to look for the words your customers are using when they talk about your brand or products, including:
- Review Sites
- Observation in store
- Point of Sale
- Customer Service
- Social Media
- Online communities and groups
- Email and Web Forms
- Keyword searches
What Words are Customers Using?
What scenarios or events influenced your customer’s review? What qualities stand out? Look for trends in different locations. Customers in urban areas will have different standards, than those in suburban markets. Different products will appeal to different users — learn why and then use it to market it to similar target audiences.
Not all the words your customer use will be positive. That’s okay. Look for patterns in negative reviews and they’ll tell you what you need to work on. Perhaps customer service is lacking. Report back to your team and empower them to be better about meeting the needs of the customer. When you think you’ve turned things around, shout it from the rooftops. Let people know you’ve improved. Let them know that you saw what they wrote and took measures to improve it.
How to Use Your Customers’ Words?
Leverage customer reviews to build reputation
Proudly feature your best unedited reviews in a prominent spot on your website – bold and upfront. This is nothing but word of mouth publicity and it will encourage your visitors to buy your product or hire your services.
Adding the name and photo of a customer will make the review even more authentic and credible. But make sure you take permission from the customers first, before publishing their name or picture on your site. It can be done on your homepage or on all web pages.
Share reviews in promotional emails
Including customer feedback in your promotional emails may encourage your customers to make a purchase on your site.
Share customer reviews on social media
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are popular places for customers to talk about and leave feedback or reviews for a specific product or business. Collect and leverage positive customer reviews by sharing them on your company’s social pages. Adding a customer picture or video will add credibility to your business by showing them why people like you.
Always Listen – Hear What Your Customers are Saying
At a time when it’s easy to have a two-way dialogue with your customers, it’s important to truly listen. When listening to your customers, take into account what changes your organization should make from this feedback, and then follow through. Your customers are the lifeblood of your organization, and not dealing with the reasonable requests could cause backlash.