Reviews help customers make decisions on where to stay, what to do or what to buy.
You work hard at providing an excellent customer experience resulting in positive reviews on sites such as Tripadvisor, Facebook, Google, Yelp etc. But every now and then, you may get a negative review. Some are fair, and these provide you with an opportunity to improve aspects of your business. And some are unfair.
No matter what they are, you need to write a response. It provides you with an opportunity to explain what happened and apologise, and it shows your professionalism and that you care.
I have talked with many operators about their occasional bad review. It’s human nature to focus on these, even if the majority of your reviews are raving!
So, my first piece of advice is: keep the negative reviews in perspective. How many good reviews do you have compared to the bad ones? Don’t take it too personal and don’t dwell on them.
OK, now you need to respond to that negative review. Here are 5 tips to help you do it.
Final tip: Have a complaints procedure in place so it’s easy to respond. Ensure your staff is empowered to do this too to solve issues quickly and on the spot.
With the huge amount of options people have when buying your type of product or service, it’s so important to make it really clear why they should buy from you, what value do you bring them and what is the experience going to be like?
Every now and then, ask yourself the questions below. It’s also good to involve your team in this exercise to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Here are 5 questions that will help you clarify why people should book you or buy from you:
Till next time, Marijke
Coming soon: the new Agri-tourism Success Programme and the new Tourism Business Success Programme. Click here for more info!
Satisfied customers are important, but if you manage to delight them, they are more likely to write rave reviews, recommend you to others and come back. If you have an ‘emotional connection’ with your customers by creating a more personalised and memorable experience where they feel special, they are more likely to write positive reviews and recommend you to others.
Here are some ideas to delight your customers:
LAST CHANCE to register for the Tourism Business Success Programme starting on the 3rd of May 2018 in Queenstown. 50% funding available for qualifying business. CLICK HERE for more info. Don't miss out and take some time to work ON your business and take it to the next level!
Till next week!
Sending your customers a long link, such as a google map location, doesn't look very user-friendly.
Another example of a long url is a link to your Tripadvisor review page . Sending this link to your customers to encourage reviews is a great idea, but the long link looks terrible.
But don't despair! It's very simple little tool to shorten your url.
It’s called the Google URL shortener. Just go to: https://goo.gl/
Cut and paste the long URL in the box and click SHORTEN URL. The shortened URL is now: www.goo.gl/SJaKVv . That looks a lot better, doesn't it!
Till next week, Marijke.
Following onto the Marketing Tip I wrote a couple of months ago on how to improve your customer experience http://www.marketingwhizz.com/weekly-marketing-tip/june-30th-2015 , I have a little follow up story as an example.
Last week I spent a week in Auckland visiting inbound operators on behalf of my Smartourism Marketing Group (www.smartourism.co.nz ). I stayed in a nice downtown hotel and was kindly upgraded to a lovely refurbished room.
I was impressed with the lovely décor, amenities and features such as this bathroom light switch next to the bed. Now this is clever thinking & design.
I thought: wow, this hotel was really been thinking about the guest experience when they redesigned the rooms (and invested a considerable amount of money!).
Until I wanted to boil the jug for a cuppa. I picked up the jug, walked to the bathroom to fill it up. I put it under the tap and tried to fill it. Unfortunately the tap was too low and when I pulled the jug away, all the water ran out. So I had to fill it up with a glass.
What a shame... They thought through a lot of their features, but not everything.
So, how do your customers experience your business, products, experience, service etc. Put a system in place to check your customer experience regularly. And when you change anything (or refurbish), test it thoroughly to avoid mistakes as mentioned above!
Have a great week :)!
As I experience accommodation, restaurants, online purchases and more, I wonder how many businesses experience their own product or service AS a customer.
And I mean the complete process, to experiencing the whole product or service from start to finish, including the booking process.
If you offer accommodation, have you stayed in your accommodation as a guest yourself? With this I mean pretending you are actually a guest, with suitcase and all. (where do I put my toilet bag or hang my clothes??)
Or visit your own restaurant as a guest, go to the bathroom with your bag (where’s the hook for the bag??).
Alternatively if you want objective feedback, get some mystery shoppers. Do make a list with things you want feedback on.
You or the mystery shopper will pick up small things could significantly enhance the customer experience, increase the ‘wow’ factor, and get you better reviews!
Till next week, Marijke
About five years ago, I bought a state of the art Epson projector. I bought it online and I must say I can’t even remember the name of the online shop.
The projector is still great and working fabulously. Twice a year, I get an email from Linda, their sales person. She asks me if the projector is still working ok, and if there is anything else I need such as a replacement lamp.
When she emailed me a couple of weeks ago, I asked her how much such a lamp is and they are not cheap ($ 570!). I said I would think about it as I was very busy and TRENZ was coming up. I then filed away her email.
Today, Linda sent me another email, following up on my interest in the replacement lamp. I know I should buy one as a backup but I probably wouldn’t have done it right now if she hadn’t emailed me.
As Linda has provided me with such good service all these years, I will be buying the lamp off her.
If she hadn’t sent me these emails, there is no way I would have bought the lamp of this anonymous-online-shop- that-I-can’t- even-remember-the-name-of.
So, the moral of the story is: keep in touch with your previous customers! There is a good chance they will be buying from you again!
Have a great week!
I’ve just spent a few weeks in Holland on family matters. A busy time, but I did manage to fit in a little bit of retail therapy (the sales were on)!
I’d like to share a shopping experience of good customer service, follow up and marketing practice that you can use for your own marketing.
1. My sister and law Amanda and I walked into this nice shoe shop. As we walked to the shoe racks, a sales lady came up and asked if we wanted a cup of coffee. We said yes and a few minutes later a steaming cup of coffee arrived.
(this made us feel good on a cold winter’s day – great service and a bit of wow factor).
2. We carried along trying on shoes and boots and both ended up buying 2 pairs. Upon check out, they had a good pitch why we should also buy this very special shoe cream that would protect the shoes. (This is a good upselling strategy – what else can you sell your customers?)
3. After we paid for our shoes, they asked if we wanted to go in the draw to get our money back. Who would say no? We put our names and email addresses on a list.
(Here, they’re building their database so they can stay in touch).
4. The next day, we received an email with a 5 Euro gift voucher for our next purchase and additional sale reductions.
(This would encourage you to go back and buy more, or buy shoes there again the next time).
5. Several days later, we received another email with the new collection shoes. Great follow up!
As a customer (and marketer), I find this impressive. It’s not rocket science, and not difficult to do. What it does do is create a very pleasant shopping experience and an incentive to come back…
I will, the next time I’m in Holland!
So, what can you do to create that great customer experience and keep in touch with them?
I’m back, so till next week!
The other day I walked past a clothes shop. Now I do like a good sale so I went in as they had rack after rack of clothes on sale.
They had grouped everything by colour, not by size. It looked very nice on the racks, all the blues together, all the pinks all the yellows etc.
But do you think it was easy to find anything in my size? In order to find the correct size, I had to go through all the clothes to find my size.
As I didn’t have a lot of time, and frankly, I couldn’t be bothered looking at every tag, I gave up and walked out without having bought anything.
If they would have grouped the clothes by size, I could quickly have seen if there was anything to my liking and I quite likely would have bought something.
So, what ‘s the lesson here?
If you offer a range of options to your clients, group them by type of client. Say one of your customer groups are families, group all the products you offer that are suitable for families in one brochure and on one page on your website. This way, you make it easy for them to find everything in one place and they’re more likely to book!
So, don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers and have a think about how this could apply to your business.
(I did end up buying something else in another shop where it was all grouped by size :) Only took me 5 minutes!
Till next week, Marijke
Marketing is all about making customers feel good so they buy (more) from you!
What people remember most about a holiday or other customer experience is the people that they're dealing with.. how they are treated at accommodation places, in shops, restaurants and activities etc. If you are treated with friendliness, and a high level of customer service, that's what makes you want to go back. It makes you feel good!
I know I've mentioned this before, but the easiest way to achieve this is to hire people with enthusiasm and passion for what they do. The skills can be learned (do ensure you train them, though :)
I was looking on Youtube and found this little video which reminded me of my 'random-act-of-kindness-when-I'm-downtown-Queenstown'.
Living in a tourist town, I feel it's important to be friendly to visitors and make them feel welcome. One easy way to do this is when you see a couple taking a photo of each other, I ask them if they'd like me to take the photo for them. They always do and walk away happy.
Click here to learn more about the FREE 2-hour tourism marketing workshop:
Effective ways to grow your international visitor numbers!
(4 Sept 2014 in Lumsden and 5 Sept in Invercargill)
Till next week, Marijke
This morning, we started the new Marketing for Success Programme. Another great group of people who will set goals, learn a lot along the way, achieve what they set out to do and have fun!
I am very passionate about this programme and am excited about working with this new group.
We were talking about setting goals and how important passion is when trying to achieve great things. If you don’t have passion for what you do, you may as well try something else!
On the other hand, passion is also contagious.
A few weeks ago, when the soccer world cup just started, I was in Holland. Now, I am not a soccer fan in the slightest, never have been. But when you’re amongst millions of soccer fans, everyone dressed up in orange, all the houses decorated in orange, you can’t help but get excited too!
So, I now watch the games too and am very excited that Holland is in the semi-finals tomorrow morning (NZ time). I just got caught up in the passion of it all! I am Dutch, by the way :)
If you look at it from a customer’s perspective, they like to deal with people that are passionate about what they do, passionate in dealing with you as a customer. If customers feel the enthusiasm, they tend to spend more.
Remember: you can teach someone skills, but you can’t teach them enthusiasm and passion. So, hire people with passion!
PS for the next game: GO HOLLAND!!!
Till next week, Marijke
Do you want instant feedback on your business's customer service? This is how Shangi Airport does it.
I just came back to NZ through Shangi Airport (Singapore) last night (I was going to send this out last night, but I was too tired...)
At most service locations, whether they be information points, toilets, shops, and even customs, you see these instant customer rating screens (see photo above - she did smile!!)
It makes it very easy for customers to rate the customer experience, just one little click on the touch screen.
What a great tool! It’s nice when people have the opportunity to provide easy instant feedback, it keeps the customer service staff on their toes and it provides valuable feedback for management on who does well and what areas can be improved.
The system has elevated the standard of customer service as a whole. Since the introduction in 2011, the average number of feedback received per month has been about 354,000, compared to an average of 200 feedback received before it was implemented. (source: Shangi Airport website) That’s pretty amazing!
Customer feedback is a very important way to improve your service standards. Great service will grow your sales, it’s that simple.
So, have a think about how you could solicit customer feedback in an easy way.
And yes... I did click the survey buttons at the different locations a couple of time! :)
Marketing for Success Programme – starting next week, register now!
If you’re interested in growing your business and meeting your goals, there are still a few spaces left on the Marketing for Success Programme starting in July 2014. Click on this link for info: www.smartraining.co.nz or for testimonials, go to: http://www.smartraining.co.nz/testimonials.html
Funding from New Zealand Trade & Enterprise may be available.
Till next week, Marijke
We've been doing a bit of travelling in the last few weeks and it reminded me what makes customers buy more.
Here are a few observations:
- Customers buy 48% more if there is an emotional connection. This means that if you make your customers feel important and comfortable right from the start, they'll spend more and stay longer.
- You don't remember what people said, but you do remember how the made you feel. What do you or your staff do to go the extra mile for your customer? I know this sounds like a cliché, but it is SO important you hire the right staff and train them well in customer service.
- When you analyse bad reviews on sites such as Tripadvisor, it usually starts with a bad initial first contact, like being ignored when you a arrive, or a bad handling of a complaint. Ensure you (and your staff) control these situations.
- In our Marketing for Success Programme (the next one starts in July), one of the main areas we look at is the Customer Experience, as this is what it's all about.
We all go to our favourite restaurants and hotels because of the way these places make us feel and the way we are treated. Successful businesses get the experience right. We have had some great experiences at certain hotels, which made us stay an extra night.
- When was the last time you were a customer in your own business? Do test your own product regularly so you can improve the experience for your customers!
Till next week, Marijke
Don't miss the next Marketing for Success Programme (Starting July 2014), there are a few spaces available so don't hesitate if you'd like to achieve your personal goals and business goals. To read about the current programme, go to: http://www.smartraining.co.nz/testimonials.html
What sells? Happy! People don’t remember what you say, it’s how you make them feel! Here are 3 examples of how to make your customers feel happy!
I’ve been keeping an eye of what marketing tactics are being used out there. The ads that seem to go viral are the cute ones and the ones that make you smile, ie happy! And when something goes viral, it means lots of free publicity for your product or service.
Here are 3 examples:
Make them laugh!
For the Marketing for Success Programme we run, I did some research on the type of ads that are the most popular.
Looking at car commercials, one of the most popular ones is the one from VW that got millions of views, way more than the boring ones. All you see is people laughing! Nothing to do with the car, it’s about. Have a look:
Make them feel happy!
You’ve probably heard the song 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams. Musically, it’s not that great, but it’s had nearly 260 million views because it makes people happy! Hundreds of people have made their own “Happy” video and posted them on Youtube.
Puppies, other animals & kids
What else makes people smile and feel happy? Puppies & little kids!
As some of you may be aware, I have a puppy (named Jessi). She’s not that small anymore now: 6 months. But when I take her for a walk, EVERYONE smiles. Puppies just make people happy. It’s quite amazing .. and nice!
Today I met with Melanie and Rex who operate a lovely Boutique B&B in Clyde, Hartley Homestead www.hartleyhomestead.co.nz . We were talking about their positive reviews on Tripadvisor, what people particularly enjoyed about their accommodation, and how so many guests mention their dog Mollie.
And do you remember the 'Charlie Bit Me' video with over 600 million views? (if not, check it out on Youtube)
So, how could you apply this to your business to encourage people to spread your message (viral marketing)?
You could post videos or photos relating to your business that make people feel good & happy! Animals, kids, people laughing, people doing silly things. It works! Brainstorm ideas with your staff - you'll be amazed what they come up with!
Have fun & be happy :)
If you’d like to achieve your goals and get ideas and support to do this, join us on the next Marketing for Success Programme, starting in July. Registrations now open! It’s a lot of fun too! Go to www.smartraining.co.nz for more info & testimonials.
Have a great week, Marijke
Note: I will be on leave for a couple of weeks, so sorry, no Weekly Marketing for the next 2 weeks!
Marijke Dunselman. Click here to read more about us!