Automating Customer Testimonials

December 14, 2019 |
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

 According to articles online, one of which quotes that 93 percent of shoppers say online reviews impact their purchasing decision.

So wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to completely automate the collection and publication of customer testimonials?

It’s one of those difficult things to do when running a business, and can be time consuming amongst normal ‘running a business’ duties.

First you’ve got to work your way through the mindfield of deciding where you should be posting testimonials. On your website, Facebook, Google, Tripadvisor and the plethora of other review sites online, all promising to make your life easier.

Once you’ve decided that, then comes the hard task of finding the time to ask customers if they have a moment to leave you a recommendation, review or testimonial.

What normally happens is you getting a spare 5 minutes, and sending a mailshot to all of your customers to ask for reviews.

You can normally tell the businesses who do this, because all of the reviews will be around the same time ago.

Something we did fairly early on in our days at Tekkers IT Solutions, was to work on automating this process as much as possible, to collect text based testimonials.

This brings in regular testimonials for your business, which you can in turn use for marketing purposes, brochures and of course across social media.

TL;DR – How do you do it?

In short, using an automation service such as Microsoft Power Automate, Zapier or IFTTT.

  • Use a CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Scoring) tool that allows for 1 click feedback. I recommend Customer Thermometer.

 

  • Add this 1 Click CSAT to the exit point of the customer doing business with you. For example, the bottom of an order confirmation email.
  • When the customer clicks the 1 click survey, it will pop up a window to ask for any further comments.
  • Pull these responses into your chosen automation service (see above) and this is where the fun begins.
  • Firstly, Post any feedback to a Customer Feedback channel in Microsoft Teams.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

  • Add a filter for reviews which are Excellent / Gold / 5 Stars only, then send a personalised email to the recipient to ask if they would mind leaving a public review on your chosen platform.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

  • Secondly, add another filter to pull only reviews that have comments on them
  • Send these testimonials to your WordPress site, in draft status and with a category of ‘Testimonial’ or ‘Review’. You can then (manually) log in to your WordPress website, tidy up the review and add an image ready to post to your testimonials page.
  • Send these testimonials to Fomo, which can pop up when people visit your website to show them the latest feedback.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

From here on, you can get as creative as you wish!

Platforms like Microsoft Power Automate and Zapier are hugely powerful. You just need to put the legwork in to begin with, then reap the rewards of watching testimonials be automatically collected and posted without you having to lift a finger.

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking DOwn – How do you do it?

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. You’ve seen above what we do – now let’s look at how we do it.

Step 1 – Choose your automation Platform

There are a few platforms out there, but you’ll need to decide on one that will integrate with the apps you’d like to link together. I will cover the 2 best platforms out there and ignore IFTTT for now, as that is more consumer based for automating your personal life, and not really for business.

Microsoft Power Automate

(Previously called Microsoft Flow)

Pros: It’s free

Cons: It doesn’t integrate directly with as many third party (Non-Microsoft) Apps as Zapier so requires greater technical knowledge to workaround.

Link

Zapier

Pros: It natively integrates with pretty much all the platforms, making automated tasks quick and easy to setup and get going.

Cons: You really need the paid version to make the most of it.

My personal recommendation would be that Zapier is the best platform (currently) due to the number of native integrations that are pre-built, however we are in the process of switching all of our Zapier automation over to Microsoft because of 1. Cost and 2. Better integration with Office 365 – however that does come at the cost of much more complicated coding required to talk to the non-native apps.

Link

Step 2 – Setup your CSAT Tool

We found Customer Thermometer to be a really great tool, with plenty of Integration options.

It provides a ‘1 Click Survey’ which enables your customers to provide feedback without a lengthy 5-10 question survey.

We saw 1, maybe 2 surveys were completed in A WHOLE YEAR when using a more traditional 5-10 question survey, .

With the 1 Click Survey, we saw this increase to anywhere from 10-40 per month.

With customer Thermometer, 1 Click Surveys are in the form of 4 smiley faces.

 

 

You can name them what you wish. Excellent, Great, Good, Average / Ecstatic, Happy, OK, Sad / Love, OK, Average, Poor – whatever floats your boat. You can also set up the landing pages which open once they click a link to ask them specific questions, which I encourage you to do.

For poor feedback, you should be asking why they left a poor rating.

Important Tip: If customers provide poor feedback – you should be contacting them immediately to try to resolve their concerns, even if it’s just to apologise and communicate that you will take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again in future.

For good feedback – ask them what you’d need to do next time for them to rate you great…

…and for great feedback – ask them why they think you’re great! (These are the ones you will be selecting to leave public feedback)

The Integration

Now for the fun part which sets this whole thing up. The Integration.

From Customer Thermometer, you can head to the ‘Push Options’ tab, and from here you can natively integrate it with Slack and Microsoft Teams to post messages straight there if you wish. We don’t do this as we send everything to Microsoft / Zapier first and then deal with it there, but if you want a quick win you can set these up here.

What you want to do is Configure Webhooks, which allows you to tie the customer feedback into everything else.

Firstly, you’ll need to go into Zapier and create a new Zap with the trigger being a Webhook, specifically a ‘Catch Webhook’. Here you’ll be given a Custom Webhook URL. Copy this and head back to Customer Thermometer.

For Microsoft Power Automate you’ll need to create a new Flow, with the ‘When a HTTP request is received‘ as the trigger. Again, you’ll be given a URL so copy this and head back over to Customer Thermometer.

Complete setting up the rest of the Webhook in Customer Thermometer. Tell it what to trigger on (Gold / Green / Yellow / Red Responses, with / without comments etc..)

Step 3 – Posting to Microsoft Teams

We decided to post to Microsoft Teams through Microsoft Power Automate because it lets us customise the message which is posted, which the native Customer Thermometer Integration doesn’t.

Microsoft Power Automate

From Power Automate, you want to use the ‘Post your own adaptive card as the Flow bot to a channel’ Action.

Select the Team and Channel you want to post to. Under Message – we have then used the following, but feel free to adjust to your needs.

{
“type”: “AdaptiveCard”,
“body”: [
{
“type”: “TextBlock”,
“size”: “Medium”,
“weight”: “Bolder”,
“text”: “New @{triggerBody()?[‘response’]} Feedback Received “
},
{
“type”: “ColumnSet”,
“columns”: [
{
“type”: “Column”,
“items”: [
{
“type”: “Image”,
“style”: “Person”,
“url”: “@{outputs(‘Compose_3’)}”,
“size”: “Medium”
}
],
“width”: “auto”
},
{
“type”: “Column”,
“items”: [
{
“type”: “TextBlock”,
“weight”: “Bolder”,
“text”: “@{triggerBody()?[‘first_name’]} from @{triggerBody()?[‘company’]}”,
“wrap”: true
},
{
“type”: “TextBlock”,
“spacing”: “None”,
“text”: “@{triggerBody()?[‘custom_3’]}”,
“isSubtle”: true,
“wrap”: true
}
],
“width”: “stretch”
}
]
},
{
“type”: “TextBlock”,
“text”: “@{triggerBody()?[‘comment’]}”,
“wrap”: true
},
{
“type”: “FactSet”,
“facts”: [
{
“$data”: “{properties}”,
“title”: “Closed By:”,
“value”: “@{triggerBody()?[‘custom_2’]}”
}
]
}
],
“actions”: [
{
“type”: “Action.OpenUrl”,
“title”: “View in Connectwise”,
“url”: “https://eu.myconnectwise.net/v4_6_release/services/system_io/Service/[email protected]{triggerBody()?[‘custom_1’]}&companyName=”
}
],
“$schema”: “http://adaptivecards.io/schemas/adaptive-card.json”,
“version”: “1.0”
}

Zapier

With Zapier, you’ll need to use a ‘Custom Request’ and use a Webhook to post to Teams directly.

From within Teams, right click on the channel you want to use for Customer Feedback and go to Connectors. Add an ‘Incoming Webhook’ Give it a name, maybe an Icon if you fancy, then copy the URL.

Paste this url back over to Zapier, then in the Data field use the code we’ve used.

{{ “@type”: “MessageCard”, “@context”: “http://schema.org/extensions”, “summary”: “{{23331677__response}} Feedback from {{23331677__company}} “, “themeColor”: “0078D7”, “title”: “New {{23331677__response}} Feedback Received”, “sections”: [ { “activityTitle”: “{{23331677__first_name}} from {{23331677__company}}”, “activitySubtitle”: “{{38533656__output}}”, “activityImage”: “{{38534176__output}}”, “facts”: [ { “name”: “Ticket:”, “value”: “{{23331677__custom_1}}” }, { “name”: “Closed By:”, “value”: “{{23331677__custom_2}}” }? ? ? ? ? ? ], “text”: “{{23331677__comment}}” } ], “potentialAction”: [ { “@type”: “OpenUri”, “name”: “View”, “targets”: [ { “os”: “default”, “uri”: “https://eu.myconnectwise.net/v4_6_release/services/system_io/Service/fv_sr100_request.rails?service_recid={{23331677__custom_1}}&companyName=” } ] } ]}

Zapier

With Zapier, you’ll need to use a ‘Custom Request’ and use a Webhook to post to Teams directly.

From within Teams, right click on the channel you want to use for Customer Feedback and go to Connectors. Add an ‘Incoming Webhook’ Give it a name, maybe an Icon if you fancy, then copy the URL.

Paste this url back over to Zapier, then in the Data field use the code we’ve used.

Step 4 – Filter Excellent Reviews with Comments

In this step, you’ll need to add a Filter (for Zapier) or a Condition (for Power Automate) to filter out any responses which are not Gold, and don’t have a comment.

This should be fairly self explanatory – leave a comment below if not and I’ll adjust the blog post if need be!

Step 5 – Email asking for a Public Review

Very simply, the next step you want to setup in either Zapier or Power Automate is to send an email.

You’ll of course be sending this email to the email address which comes through as part of the Customer Thermometer response, and this will be your chance to ask them to leave a public review on your chosen site.

A couple of tips here:

1) Don’t ask for more than one site. If you’re asking them to leave a Facebook, Google and LinkedIn review – they’ll likely not bother with any. Just focus on one. You can always update the template here from time to time to balance reviews across sites.

2) Where possible, provide them a direct link to leaving a review. For how to do this with Google, see here.

For us, this email just thanks them again for their feedback and explains that we are trying to collect some public feedback on [Insert Google / Facebook here]. We’d really appreciate if they could take just 2 minutes to leave feedback, and thanks them again for their business.

That’s all you should need to start collecting public reviews, regularly, for your business.

Step 6 – Send the Review to your website

We previously made use of a testimonials plugin for WordPress, which our site runs on.

With this, we can add an action to send this review over to our website as a draft, and then we manually (yes, manually!) tidy up the formatting and grammar to make it presentable on our own testimonials page on our website.

Step 7 – Fear of Missing Out

Fear of missing out is a widget that pops up at the bottom of the Tekkers website from time to time.

It announces the latest feedback received both with Customer Thermometer, Google Reviews, and can also feed in the latest online purchases (if you run an ecommerce site) and advertise things like the company YouTube channel.

With Zapier, it’s simple – just connect to Fomo and use the ‘Create Event in Fomo’.

With Microsoft Power Automate, it’s a little more complicated – but still easily achieveable!

Within Fomo, go to the Integrations Page and select ‘Webhook’. From here, copy the Webhook URL and head back over to Microsoft Power Automate.

Here, you’ll want to create a Http Webhook Action.

Subscribe – Method: POST

Subscribe – URI: Paste in the URL

Subscribe – Body: (See below)

{
“first_name”: “@{triggerBody()?[‘first_name’]}”,
“response”: “@{triggerBody()?[‘response’]}”,
“company”: “@{triggerBody()?[‘company’]}”,
“comment”: “@{triggerBody()?[‘comment’]}”
}

Finally under Unsubscribe – Body, add a Dynamic Content for ‘Callback url’.

Important: If you don’t do this then your Flow will never end!

Summary

And with that – you’re done!

Of course, this can be extended as far as you can imagine if you wanted to send the feedback anywhere else.

You could use the system to look for any negative feedback and immediately send this to managers or directors for immediate action – closing the time that it takes to resolve customer issues dramatically.

Whilst setting this up may take a little amount of time (I’ve included most of the hard work to make it mega easy for you!) – it will save you countless hours in future, manually asking for reviews – when it should be engrained in your day to day business and allow you to effortlessly obtain new reviews, testimonials, and gain vital feedback to help improve your products or services.

I hope this article was useful to you – if it was, let me know in the comments below, and if you think I’ve missed anything or need help setting this up further – again, drop a comment below!