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Public Displays of Affection: How to Leverage Customer Feedback

Gone are the days when a brand can define its own public story. In the past, the combination of marketing campaigns and personal recommendations created an informative trust network. With the ubiquity of social networking, companies must confront the power of customer feedback.

People love to share. For many, it’s become an art form (just do a quick search for “unboxing videos”). Opinions come in the form of photos, videos, reviews, blogs, social posts, and forum discussions. They appear on social media, ecommerce sites, review sites, and pretty much everywhere else across the web.

Leveraged correctly, consumer feedback can be genuinely meaningful (not to mention, financially beneficial) for a brand. In these days when we’re all searching for more authentic, human experiences, it is no wonder user generated content (UGC) has become a highly effective means of digital marketing.

To leverage UGC and positive customer feedback for your brand, there are a few things to you should do.

Give your customers space to tell their stories

It’s time to embrace the notion that your customers have real opinions about your brand and that they’re keen to share them. In fact, both Millennials and Gen Z are likely to research brands online before making a purchase, then share their own experiences on social. Encouraging customers to share positive feedback in a visible space is key. This can be within an owned brand channel or a popular review platform. What’s important here is that the relevant insights a customer has about your product easily make their way to other potential customers — and also to you!

Celebrate positive feedback in your community

Get involved in the conversations customers are having about your brand. This is where social engagement can add significant value to your efforts. You may already have a plan for helping customers find solutions to their problems, but being there to celebrate their positive experiences is equally important. In order to generate UGC within your community, you can invite your customers to participate in photo/video contests, share their stories, and interact with your content. You won’t be the only voice in the storytelling, but you’ll have some influence over the narrative.

Share and amplify user generated content on your own channels

Amplifying positive customer feedback is a smart idea. Not only does it let you share effective content with fewer costs, but it helps you show fans you care about what they say and recognize their contribution. Your customers have their own wide-reaching networks with whom they engage every day. Tagging them in a post that celebrates their content will go a long way in rewarding their loyalty.

Listen to your customers and understand what they care about

When you understand what your customers love about your brand, you’re able to build upon and promote those elements through product development and marketing. It’s one thing to respond to customer reviews or share beautiful images, but it’s yet another thing to analyze the collective voice of your customers and adapt your products and services to meet their ever-evolving needs. If you can find meaningful ways to learn about your customers through what they say about you online, you can utilize UGC and customer feedback to transform your business.

In the world of customer feedback, it’s usually true that a negative experience will travel further and faster than a positive one. Because of this, it’s essential for brands to be active participants in the conversations customers are having about them. While brands are no longer the sole storytellers of their own narratives, they can help by celebrating customer voices, which ultimately hold the greatest power.

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