How to get 5-Star Reviews, and why they matter!
Do you want to get 5-star reviews? It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. In this blog post, we’re going to cover:
- The importance of customer and employee experience design in creating customer loyalty
- How Small-medium businesses can go about getting those coveted 5-star reviews
- What the future looks like when it comes to customer expectations
- And more!
Hire the right people.
When you take the time to bring on a person who fits your culture and is service-minded, it pays dividends! Get creative in your approach to hire, onboard, train and keep top talent on your team. Appealing to a diverse workforce is also an opportunity to get the right fit. For example, if you are looking for hospitality in the western world, someone who has experience in Eastern hospitality (China, Dubai, India) typically has an extremely high sense of Service mindedness from their training. In my experience in the East, it’s their pleasure to welcome and service guests. As a culture, they are committed to ensuring that guests are highly valued and well respected. So if you are trying to attract service-minded individuals from diverse backgrounds, consider advertising your career opportunities with local cultural associations. Welcome diversity with open arms, and do what you can to put yourself in front of a diverse audience!
Craft your culture.
When looking for those 5-star reviews, remember that it’s not just one person in your organization that creates the experience. It’s everyone and everything! Designing your internal company culture to delight will ensure that the entire team works towards customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention. For example, ensuring that if a customer sees that the bathrooms are not as clean as possible, regardless of whether the service was spectacular or not, that restroom experience is now what they may hold onto. As a culture, the team must recognize this and work together to ensure that your environment is consistently delightful!
Train them: Set the bar for great service.
Train your employees on how to have a positive customer experience. This doesn’t just mean that they should be polite – it means having empathy and understanding for their customers’ needs. About 10 min before I started writing this blog, I was trying to book a reservation at a well-known, high-end restaurant for an afternoon tea party for an executive board I chair. Many of us have not seen each other in a while because of the pandemic, so we thought afternoon tea might be a nice way to reconnect and enjoy the afternoon. I was excited to call – the greeting lacklustre, to say the least. I started to ask a few questions, and the gentleman said (in not a nice tone), “Woah Woah, we are getting a little ahead of ourselves here; I don’t even have my computer open yet.” I was so caught off guard at the lack of finesse in his tone that I was immediately turned off. However, I continued the call, and – well, it got worse from there. Between having to repeat me four times, him not knowing the menu, and his extremely sarcastic and non-courteous tone – I was shocked that I even made the reservation. In full disclosure, I may cancel…
- SO the bottom line, It’s one thing to hire great people, but it’s even more important to train them and test them on your standards. Often organizations train their team once and then leave people to fend for themselves. Hey, if you’ve ever worked in retail or a restaurant, you know exactly what I mean. However, with customer service expectations at an all-time high, training and testing your team consistently (including your leaders) is imperative to receiving 5-star reviews! Consider an initial on-boarding/ training, but perhaps you also want to invest 4-8 hours of training on a specific topic monthly, allowing your team to role-play scenarios? For example:
- January – How to handle difficult conversations.
- February – How to communicate with courtesy.
- March – How to organize your time when dealing with large parties.
By allowing service expectations and standards to stay top of mind for your team, they see just how important it really is to the organization’s long-term vision and short-term mission. It also allows them to be prepared when things go wrong; after all, 78% of consumers will do business with a company again after a mistake, so long as the mistake is handled well.
Look for opportunities to make the best experiences even better.
This is where you get to put on your spy glasses and your investigator hat. Look for opportunities to get ahead of your customer’s expectations. A great example was when my friend’s 25th wedding anniversary came up, and he is not great at remembering those special dates. So Amex called him to remind him that his anniversary was coming up and was interested in assisting him in booking a reservation or creating an experience for him and his wife. He ended up booking a 7 day holiday, on his Amex of course, and needless to say, his wife was thrilled! To this day, I’m not quite sure if his wife knows Amex was to thank, but regardless – She was happy – Happy wife, happy life as they say!
Challenge your team to challenge each other.
I often ask my clients – what would they do to create a special, memorable experience if money or time was no object? You would be amazed at the innovative, heartfelt, and deeply connected answers. Everything from putting the clients’ names on a parking spot so they feel valued when they arrive, to anticipating that an elderly guest may need a comfortable chair and a cup of tea when deciding to buy jewellery. You see, it doesn’t take thousands of o dollars to create a magical moment for your customer. It takes good intentions, a service mindset and the autonomy to get creative!
If you really want to crank up your culture to design dynamic experiences – challenge a competitor, colleague or an association you belong to as customer, “Making magic moments challenge”! See who can create the most dynamic experiences, put together an internal scoring system and… put a super awesome prize on the line! That’s one way to hold yourself and others accountable!
Make it easy for your customers to talk about you.
Most importantly – Make it easy for people to tell you how they feel. Create a space for feedback and be sure to respond quickly, if not immediately! Thank them and let them know that you appreciate it when they spend some of their precious free time sharing a review with you. A text or email leading them to leave you a review immediately after or just before they are done is typically best. Then be sure to acknowledge the time they took to write something for you. We often see that organizations only respond to the challenging comments, apologizing for the poor service. But wait – what about the people who are taking their time to give you a great review? Be sure to continue the relationship right away – let them know just how much you appreciate their words and that you welcome them back. You want to establish a connection as best you can to retain customer loyalty.
We all know that customer expectations are higher than ever before, and they will only be getting higher. With the digital experience and the user experience playing a big role in how customers engage with your brand, the emotional connection is still the heartbeat of your relationship with your customer and your employees. Be intentional, authentic, and look for opportunities to make the best experiences even better!
We hope these six tips will help you design dynamic experiences and create customer and employee loyalty that generates that 5-star reviews you want and need!!
In addition, there are still a number of things you can do in-house to ensure your team is doing everything they can to ignite, excite and delight your customers. We’d love to hear some of your best practices to earning 5-star reviews, please share them with us in the comments below!
Chief Experience Officer,
The INSIDE View Inc.