Branding & the Upside of Bad Customer Reviews

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Your brand is the most valuable asset in your company. Greater than your inventory, buildings, and even employees.

Your brand is your REPUTATION.

A poor reputation will bring about a slow but sure death (no matter what improvements you make to try to rescue it).

A good reputation will bring loyalty and growth. A good and strong brand will be able to withstand shortcomings and mistakes, which are sometimes unavoidable.

If your brand is really THAT important, then being able to track progress in building your brand is vital. If you are going to grow and improve, you need to know:

  • Where, you are?
  • Where, you want to go?
  • The path in between

Your Actions + Customer Response = Your Brand

Your brand is the culmination of what you do and how your customers respond. So in evaluating your brand, you have those two areas to look at.

A recent post (4 Areas In Your Restaurant Marketing To Evaluate For Brand Consistency), goes into detail on "Your Actions."

So in this post, let’s look at the other side of the equation— how customers respond.

Survey Group

5 Tips For Gathering Insights Through Surveys

1. Offer a Good Incentive

Some would be willing to participate without any incentive, but why not use this as a chance to endear people to the brand? This information is crucial for your brand effectiveness, so offer as great of an incentive as you can! On top of the incentive, communicate how much you value their opinion. This will increase mutual respect between your customer and your brand, therefore deepening the relationship.

2. Don't Use “Leading Questions”

The goal here is to get the truth, not just praise. Keep questions simple, humble and open. Good or bad, you NEED the truth. Positive feedback feels good, but negative feedback helps you improve.

  • Bad: "We have worked so hard with this remodel project. Do you like the new look?"
  • Better: "What aspects of our recent remodel do you like or dislike?

3. Keep Answers Anonymous

By hiring an outside resource to conduct the interviews or gather responses, you can guarantee anonymity. Let them know that these responses are for internal use only and won't be made public. This will allow for honest answers without fear of hurting feelings.

4. Survey Customers

Strive for a mix of regular loyal customers, as well as some who have little exposure to your brand.

In the questioning, it is good to know:

  • How frequent does your customer visit your business?
  • What it is that makes them want to visit?
  • What parts don't they like?

If you can truly understand why people choose you over the competition, you'll have an amazing foundation for your future marketing and communication. Interestingly, it may be for different reasons than you would think. For instance, a restaurant owner may believe customers love them because of their commitment to certified organic ingredients, while many of their customers love them because of the kid-friendly atmosphere. Insights like this can drastically impact marketing ROI.

5. Survey Team Members

Understanding how your own team views the brand can be extremely helpful, especially when looking to move in the right direction. They are not only recipients of the brand, but also contributors. Insights from this unique demographic will help you uncover areas that need to be addressed internally. Anonymity here is most helpful in getting honest answers.

In a future post, we will consider the internal benefits of good branding.

Brand Phone

Taking Action

No doubt there will be some interesting takeaways from the responses. There may be good things confirmed and there will likely be some areas that need to be addressed. Whether positive or negative, this information is invaluable in knowing how to move forward.

By Dustin Myers, Industry Expert