Online reviews are becoming essential to customer research.
Verified online reviews – posted on an open platform – carry more weight with consumers than unverified testimonials. They also make for quicker references than wordy case studies.
Online reviews help customers research and ‘learn’ about the product or service they are interested in. And, with this constant stream of customer feedback, businesses also learn about what their customers do and don't like.
Overall, reviews help build trust, and with that trust comes an improved business-customer relationship.
But what if I get negative reviews?
Unfortunately, it's bound to happen. But that's no reason to shy away from your reviews.
While positive reviews make up the absolute majority of reviews you'll receive (hopefully!) those negative reviews are actually positives.
Well if you can turn the ship around, you'll see that snatching victory from the jaws of defeat can be more beneficial. Around 40% of customers claim that they were swayed to try a business when they see a public resolution to a dispute.
Drive change through the voice of your customers
You should share reviews and comments made about your business across your website and social media channels. This will show you are willing to help customers’ research your products and services – you will become a transparent business.
Online reviews are important for customer research. With the right software, analysing review data for customer insights and trends is easy. They are a great way for you to keep an updated overview of what is working for your customers.
Using reviews, you can drill down into critical areas of your business, allowing you to spot problems with delivery companies, shopping cart abandonment or a particular product or service. You can then take action.
Keep on changing
Some businesses are creating round-ups of the most important reviews in management or internal newsletters. While customers research you, you can also research the view of your customers.
Others are using online reviews as a basis for scoring internal rankings and determining bonuses. After all, it’s hard for a call centre manager to know who’s doing a good job until they get feedback from customers.
More and more employees are setting themselves weekly targets to make the most of online reviews’ potential.
“I must get three new reviews each month.”
Some are even setting time aside each week to respond to non-emergency reviews; it’s all part of offering great customer service.
Companies who have a dedicated community manager are reaping further benefits with the community manager feeding back all relevant customer reviews on a regular basis. With this, trends and issues can be spotted and dealt with in a timely fashion.
The net result?
Standards across the company increase due to monitoring customer research.