Customer experience is key, and it should be considered at every stage of the sales process. A bad experience is the reason 86% of customers will not do business with that company again. Even loyal customers can be one negative experience away and switch to a competitor.
To build authority and maintain lasting relationships, it is essential to manage and exceed customer expectations. It doesn’t matter how a potential or current customer interacts with you company, it should be a priority to ensure that they have a positive, cohesive, personalized experience on all platforms.
The customer journey often begins before your frontline staff has had a chance to make an impact. Our 2021 Local Search Consumer Behavior Study found that 83% of customers use Google Search to find out more about local businesses. 90% of those who search for Google Search make a purchase within one week.
It is important to know what they find when they search online. 84% of respondents reported that they expect accurate and current information on the brand’s website as well as their Google Business Profile listing.
For a reason, the phrase “the customer always wins” has remained a constant. While the meaning of the phrase has changed over time, it remains important to understand how your customers experience your brand online. This will allow you to create the best ways to reach them and interact with them. These are some insights and tips to help you create a memorable customer service experience for your business listing starting with the first interaction through local search.
Customer Service Evolution
Technology has changed the expectations of consumers. Consumers expect prompt responses, proactive communication, and accurate information wherever they find your business. The challenge for brands and customer service representatives is to deliver exceptional customer service on multiple platforms.
Customers can communicate with you via social media, email, website or Google Business Profile Messaging. It doesn’t matter if they choose to use your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or by phone. To win satisfied customers, the experience must be seamless, informative, personal, and easy to use.
Customers need customer service representatives who can be flexible to respond to their questions and requests. This means being able to listen and understand customers’ needs. Your representative must have a deep understanding of the industry to help promote your brand as a trustworthy and reliable source. A positive experience and interaction can make the difference in retaining a customer, even if they only have brief online conversations.
Positively, technology innovations make it possible for brands monitor customer messages and to respond via local listings at scale.
Example of good customer experiences in business listings
Quality and current information is key to a happy customer experience. This includes information from sites, social media and business listings, as well as your Google Business Profile. It is essential to ensure that your Google Business Profile has all the relevant attributes.
To best communicate your business, you should use factual attributes. This will allow customers to understand what they can expect from you based on your service options, amenities, and safety standards. Understanding the subjective attributes customers assign to your company can help you develop your marketing strategy and drive your business success.
Google Posts is another example of how business listings can be used to provide outstanding customer service. It allows you to display locally relevant offers on your profile when you search. McKinsey says that 80% of customers desire personalized recommendations. It can help customers make informed buying decisions by ensuring that you are using local and relevant offers. Google Posts is a great way for you to connect with your local community, let them know about your brand and promotions, and plan your next events.
The Link between Customer Service and Online Reviews
Reviews are a key component of customer experience and how potential customers judge your business. Your brand’s credibility and trust will be built by responding promptly to any negative or positive reviews.
Online reviews are available for all customers and the world. They show how you handle situations and how frequently you respond. Businesses must respond quickly with an engaging, empathetic response. Potential and current customers should not be forced to copy-paste the same response to every customer, especially if it is a negative review.
Customers appreciate prompt responses. 73% of customers consider quick responses and resolutions to be a key component in evaluating customer service. It doesn’t matter if customers communicate with you via Google Q&A, Google Messaging or social media. What matters is that your brand and all locations offer clear, thoughtful and prompt communication. You can also use customer feedback to improve your business by using technology at scale to analyze and monitor reviews.
To ensure that you provide excellent customer service, send a quick survey to anyone who contacts your customer support representatives. To show your brand’s strengths, capture a positive experience. Also, if you capture a negative customer service experience, it will help your brand see where you can improve.
These tips can be easily incorporated by paying attention to the standard operating procedures of all people responsible for customer service and creating consistent experiences.
Business Listings Best Practices to Improve Customer Experience
These opportunities are available to you via your local search presence.
1. All local listings can be claimed and controlled
Claim and verify all Google Business Profiles in your area to maximize your local listings. Start your local listing journey here and create one if it hasn’t been done yet. Also, make sure that it is current. It’s important to include monitoring local listings in your marketing strategy.
Google Business Profiles are a single source for all data about locations, so your Map Pack listings will be accurate and up-to-date.
2. Google Messaging is a good option if you can monitor it at scale.
Google Messaging allows customers to reach out directly to your business and ask questions about your products and services. This can be a quick relationship-building method to connect with potential and current customers. It’s crucial to do this correctly.
There will be many people in your company who can respond to messages. Therefore, it is important that there is a consistent operating procedure. This should include brand voice and tone as well as following the Google business guidelines. It is not a good idea to create an expectation that customers can message you, and then not respond.
You should wait until you are able to communicate with franchisees who have their marketing responsibilities and can respond to your messages within 24 hours.
3. Optimize every field in your Google Business Profile.
Although it may seem time-consuming at the beginning, it is worth taking the time to complete your Google Business Profile. Google could suspend your Google Business Profile for incorrect information or violating their guidelines. Affiliate Marketing Buzz, a local listing solution, can speed up the initial optimization and help to monitor for future inaccuracies.
Google Business Profiles also contain key information and advertising opportunities, such as hours and messaging. Reviews can be used to build brand awareness and trust within the local community.
4. To ensure that hours are accurate, use Special Hours or More Hours.
Google’s Business Profile offers special and more hours options that make it easy for loyal customers to be notified when your business is open. There’s nothing worse than getting excited about a brand or company, only to find out their online hours are incorrect and they aren’t open.
It is crucial to make sure your listings don’t direct customers to closed stores in an emergency. Customers searching for nearby locations that are open now will not be able to find them if your hours say otherwise.
Hours must accurately reflect your business hours, even on holidays. If applicable, special hours like pickup hours or online service hours should be included.
Example of Additional Hours for a Listing
5. Customers can understand what type of experience they can have at each location by using high-quality photos and video.
Google’s guidelines will guide you when selecting images and videos to be used in your local listings. Make sure your images are clear and unique. Avoid stock images that are generic and don’t give searchers a true idea of what might be experienced at the location.
Videos should be short and high-quality. Google gives you a list of things they want to see in order to help you create content for your listing. This includes product images and exterior photos. This list can be found here.
You can request that images and videos be removed from your listing.
Google Posts, as mentioned previously, are great for marketing and connecting customers with existing and new customers in the local area. Consistent Google Posts can also make your listing more visible in Google searches, increasing visibility.
Google Posts can be used to help you create a plan to keep an eye on them once they’ve been posted. You should remove any Posts that are outdated or no longer relevant to your workflow so customers don’t get confused by inaccurate information.
7. Software to help you manage listings can be used to equip local marketers and managers.
You must have the permissions in place, monitor for inconsistencies and read and respond to all reviews. It is also important to communicate new information to consumers to connect and engage them. To do this on a large scale, you need a solid technology system, policy, and protocols. These capabilities should be integrated into your business strategy in order to maintain consistency across listings.
Customers can compare products and services, find out the hours of operation, view reviews, and access the most recent promotions in one place. Companies must adapt to customers’ needs, maintain current business information such as address, description, hours, and hours, and respond promptly to customer reviews, questions, or online chats.
Your business can be distinguished by providing excellent customer service and accurate, up-to-date information. To help you evaluate the quality of your existing listings, take a look at our free local audit.
Affiliate Marketing Buzz published 8 Best Practices for Creating an Outstanding Business Listing Customer Service Experience.