Stand Out from the Crowd and Get Your Business Noticed

Whatever niche your business is in, it’s almost an absolute guarantee that there are at least a dozen other businesses within the same sector.

Competition is a natural part of running any business.

If you can’t find a way to stand out, then those competitors are going to acquire the consumers that otherwise would have been your customers.

Here are six methods to help your business stand out like a diamond in the rough.

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A fast and easy way to increase your Trust Pilot score

There are two huge reasons why you should care about your Trust Pilot score:

  1. Google uses Trust Pilot a lot for to work out its own star ratings, which then appear in search results and business listings.
  2. Trust Pilot appears near the top for pretty much any “[business name] review” search

They can either be a god send…

hostpresto reviews Google Search

Or a nightmare…

mothercare reviews Google Search

Whether you like it or not, this score is influencing people’s decision to buy from you.

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How to use customer feedback to improve online conversions

Research shows that 69% of online visitors are leaving your ordering funnels without completing the order. However, increasing conversions with only one percent can mean huge increases in new leads, revenues and profit.

Unfortunately, many digital marketers are not leveraging the power of customer feedback to increase online sales, despite 38% of customers being willing to give feedback after a negative experience (Temkin, 2013).

When it comes to measuring feedback from your website and converting interest into sales it can appear to be a very complicated process indeed.

Certainly on a technical level this is a very accurate observation, developing software systems to achieve this is not for beginners.

However, the basic principles of introducing the right solution to increase online sales with customer feedback are remarkably simple and straightforward.

When people ask me about the basic needs of any approach I like to use the analogy of the three pillars, namely:

  1. Collect feedback
  2. Feedback analysis and reporting
  3. Going from insights to action

At the most basic level that is the whole process! Every approach needs to cover these three points but I believe introducing anything extra at this stage is unnecessary and potentially distracting from the task at hand.

Here are my tips for all three stages:

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How to reactivate your churned customers

Customers come and go, that is the nature of any business. However, that doesn’t mean you have to accept that all those that have left are gone forever.

By implementing a series of key customer strategies, you can reduce the number leaving and reactivate more of those that have already left.

In this post I will show you how to protect churning customers, and reactivate more of those that have churned.

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Mobilising your customers to sell for you

Hands down, word of mouth is by far the most powerful, and cost-effective form of marketing.

How powerful…?

84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family and friends about products (making these recommendations the information source ranked highest for trustworthiness). [Nielson].

Additionally, Nielson found that 84% of consumers reported always or sometimes taking action based on personal recommendations. 70% said they did the same after reading online consumer opinions.

Our social media connections are also an important part of our lives. 81% of people admit to being influenced by what their friends share on social media. [Market Force]

In this post I will show you how to mobilise your customers in to an effective sales force, driving sales through word of mouth and positive online reviews.

Gaining control

There are countless ways for people to share negative and positive feedback about your business.

This makes it more critical than ever to have a proactive strategy in place to:

  • Make sure positive sentiment massively outweighs the negative
  • Ensure positive sentiment is left where your audience goes and trusts
  • Control your brand story

Waiting and hoping for customers to share positive reviews/comments is not an option.

Proactive businesses that understand the importance of this type of marketing are winning.

What motivates people to recommend a company?

The bad news is, there is no magic bullet.

Brands that inspire a higher emotional intensity receive up to threes times as much WOM as less emotionally-connected brands. [Keller Fay Group].

The same academic study that found these results, also found that highly differentiated brands have greater levels of WOM, as these brands allow consumers to share own sense of uniqueness.

However, more than 50% of respondents are more likely to give a referral if offered a direct incentive, social recognition or access to an exclusive loyalty program.

39% of respondents say monetary or material incentives such as discounts, free swag or gift cards greatly increase their chances of referring a brand. [Software Advice].

Whilst 72% say reading a positive customer reviews increase their trust in the business; it takes reading between 2-6 reviews to get 56% of them to this point. [BrightLocal]

The key take away points are:

  • Incentives do work, but they are far more likely to work if your customers are happy and feel connected to your brand.
  • One or two reviews won’t cut it, you need to be generating a lot of good quality, positive reviews across multiple channels.

Whether it is verbal recommendations or leaving a review on a website, you don’t have to sit and hope your customers share their positive experiences.

Putting it into practice

Here are some practical ways you can turn your customers into an active sales force:

Support customers’ micro-moments

Micro-moments are the want-to-know, want-to-go, want-to-do, want-to-buy moments that now dictate our search and purchase behaviour (check out a previous post where I looked at the range of ways you can support your customers’ micro-moments.)

As well as supporting your brand, and positioning yourself as a thought leader, this content also gives your brand fans something useful to share with friends or family, as well as linking to online in forums, email, blogs etc.

“I’m looking for a great Lamb shank recipe”

“Check out Knorr’s YouTube channel, they’ll have one…”

Mobilise customers who give high NPS ratings

If you are using NPS to measure customer sentiment, you have already taken a huge step to identifying those most likely to leave a positive review online.

Net Promoter Score

(Image source)

Pick out your NPS Promoters (those who left a score of 9 or 10) and contact them asking them to leave a review on your target website(s) e.g. TrustPilot etc.

Keep the approach email concise, and don’t ask them for any specific type of review, it is up to them.

Here as an example template I have used successfully in the past.

We Want To Know What You Think

Hi [Name]

Thank you for taking the time to rate us.

We are writing to ask if you would review us in more detail on [URL]’s website here [Link]?

It only takes a couple of minutes to do and you can review any aspect of our service you wish. We aren’t looking for biased reviews, just honest ones from our customers.

Kind regards

[Footer]

This has been in play for quite a few years now, and not once has anyone left a negative review.

Give customers something to physically pass on

At the end of your transaction/ correspondence with a customer, send them something tangible they can pass on to friends and family.

This can be as simple as a handful of business cards, a leaflet with your contact details or a full blown brochure.

For example, snack company Graze include a batch of discount codes with your snack box to pass on.

graze-referral-web

Incentivise them

You can encourage your customers to refer people through financial incentives that they also personally benefit from.

For example, give them access to coupon codes they can spread around, which in turn gives them money off their next order if someone then uses it.

For example, SKY TV run a ‘Introduce a friend’ program that (at the time of writing) rewards both the referrer and the new customer with £125 Mastercard credit.

Sky Rewards

In conclusion…

With so many ways available for your customers to consume media and marketing messages, the age of interruption marketing is quickly coming to an end for all but the biggest marketing budgets.

The new battlegrounds are customer sentiment and content marketing.

Make sure your business is at forefront of this shift, and put processes into place to direct customers to sell for you via positive online feedback, word of mouth and referrals.

A quick anecdote about Deliveroo’s wasted marketing budget

In marketing, if you get your targeting right, your communications/media plan should fall in to place beautifully.

Here is a personal anecdote that suggests deliveroo aren’t quite getting that quite right.

Right message, right person…wrong time

I love the idea of deliveroo; real restaurant food delivered to your door. The only problem is they don’t deliver to where I live, at least not until recently (or so I thought).

A deliveroo leaflet had been pushed through my letter box telling me they were now delivering to where I lived. That was that night’s meal sorted straight away!

The problem was when I went on to their website to start my order I was informed they didn’t deliver to my postcode. Gutted!

But I was also confused why they had posted their leaflet when they knew I couldn’t use them.

I assumed they’d messed up that particular leaflet drop. However, a couple of weeks later I got another leaflet as part of their follow up campaign.

I checked again. Still can’t use them.

I appreciate one leaflet isn’t going to break their budget, but how many other households around the country are getting this marketing they can’t act on?

Leaflet drops are targeted at the street level, so there is no reason why this should happen except for poor planning by their marketing team or poor execution by the agency they hired to fulfill the job.

Deliveroo’s poor targeting and execution all adds up to:

  • Wasted budget
  • Wasted opportunity
  • Wasted brand equity

Creating a targeted media plan

Whether you are advertising on a national or local level, they key component of your media plan has to be your target audience.

Where do they live, how old are they, what are their interests, what offers do they respond to, what media do they consume…etc?

Each one of these questions builds a profile of your target audience that enables you to deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.