Raise your hand if you’ve ever left a review for a business. Now, put your hand down if it was a negative review. I’m trusting you all to be honest here since I can’t actually check, honour system guys. I’m guessing there aren’t as many hands still up as we’d expect. Leaving a positive review after a good experience is a much rarer phenomenon than leaving a bad one after a negative experience - who doesn’t enjoy the self-satisfied feeling that comes from letting loose a horribly over-the-top tirade on a company that let you down in some small way via an anonymous review. It’s a cathartic experience, I know. That being said, positive testimonials are one of the most important tools in a businesses arsenal in a world where a word-of-mouth recommendation is worth its weight in gold when it comes to generating leads. Wait, that doesn’t work - sound doesn’t have weight… it’s worth the weight of something very heavy in gold. Like an elephant or mid-size family sedan or something. If you’re interested in carving off some of that gold for yourself, then keep reading to learn how we ensure those positive customer reviews just keep flowing.
First off, let’s talk about why this is important. First and foremost, people want to know that they’re not being scammed or tricked into buying a product, and the easiest way to do this is by checking user reviews. This is even easier and more effective now that reviews can be placed on Google or Facebook, where a business doesn’t have the power to affect them, or hide any negative opinions. Secondly, services such as Google factor positive reviews into their ranking data - a strong review conveys trustworthiness, meaning Google is all the more willing to spoon out some of that all important ‘authority’.
The reason so many people balk at asking for reviews is because the threat of a negative review from an outlier with a bad experience can royally ruin your day, and as we’ve mentioned, they’re a lot more likely to write that review than all your customers with nothing but great experiences. As such, what you need is a way of separating out those who are going to promote your brand, before you get as far as asking for the review. Enter, the NPS.
What is an NPS?
An NPS is basically a short, score-based review you ask your customers to complete at set intervals for your business - importantly it consists of only one question “Would you recommend our service to others?”. An NPS lets you take a pulse check on whether or not your customers would be willing to promote you to friends and family and is usually scored from 1 - 10 and breaks down as...
1 - 6 : Detractor
A detractor has had a bad experience, and will not promote your business.
7 - 8 : Passive
A passive wasn’t wowed, but also wasn’t disappointed. They can probably be turned into a promoter with a little TLC.
9 - 10 : Promoter
Ideally, this is where you want all customers to sit - at a level where they would happily promote your brand for you.
Each of these levels should trigger a different response in your system when received. At Neighbourhood, our responses break down as such;
In the event of someone giving us a 1 - 6 and becoming a detractor, it’s straight to battle-stations. Sirens go off, people start shouting ‘Fire’, it’s all a bit hectic to be honest. Immediately after submitting this score, the customer receives an email saying how sorry we are to hear about their negative experience, before they are contacted over the phone by our Managing Director to discuss in person, normally within minutes of their submission. The goal here is to fix the problem as soon as possible and ensure that the disappointed customer doesn’t have a chance to spread their negative experience publicly.
A passive response isn’t as urgent - they’ll receive an immediate email iterating that we’re disappointed that they didn’t consider the experience perfect, and asking what we could have done differently in order to get a 9 or a 10. If it’s fixable in the short term, then absolutely fix it, but if the problem is deeper or harder to address, then it probably can be addressed a little down the track.
And here is where we come to getting those killer reviews. If we receive a positive score of a 9 or 10, then invariably the customer had a great experience with only the most minor of issues. This means they’d probably give us a solid review, if asked so… we ask them. Immediately after receiving their score, we’ll send them an email saying how stoked we were to hear that they enjoyed our service and, most importantly, asking if they would be able to share that experience in a Google review. This means that we are only asking those that we know had a good experience to share it, and sometimes all you need to do is ask. Once they’ve done that, ask if they can possibly do the same for any other review sites that are important to your business… Facebook, Yelp, whatever. You’ll find a tonne of people jump on the opportunity, bolstering your profile online and helping drive more business themselves.
If you’ve been looking for a way to set up a more consistent and reliable process of gathering reviews without sounding like Oliver Twist with his hand out; “please sir, can I have some more… 5 star reviews?”, then you should absolutely get onto building out your own NPS based review generator. All it takes is a few emails and the humility to put yourself out there and ask people to rate your service, and you’ll be onto a winner. If you're interested in other ways to generate leads, without relying on crowd-sources reviews, then check out our white paper on lead generation and conversion opportunities - there's something in that for everyone.