A Brief Guide to Customer Reviews

Customer reviews have proved to be the final judgment about a product’s image online. A product/service is considered to be useful only if customers gave it a higher rating. It has become a criterion of quality assurance for brands. All credit goes to social media, blogger sites and review sites like BBB, Google, Angie’s List, Amazon Customer reviews. End users and B2B customers can easily share their view on what they feel about a brand, product/service on the web, where most of the prospective clientele for your business lies.

Gathering and understanding consumer feedback is an efficient practice to get new customers and retain the existing ones. This helps in significantly strengthening sales and enhancing brand loyalty. True Power of Consumer Reviews: According to an online survey that was conducted by Pew Research in 2016, the consumer purchase decisions are greatly affected by reviews posted about them online.

The findings of this survey were as follows :

  • 50% of the customers who are less than the age of 50, check online reviews before buying on a routine basis.

  • 53% of 18-29 yr old customers always check product reviews before buying online.

  • 4 out of 10 people share their opinion about a product/service on social media.

  • 40% of consumers make up their mind about purchasing after reading at least 3 online reviews.

Determining Authentic Reviews:

Nowadays one can easily fake comments and reviews on a website to give a false impression of customer satisfaction and a higher rating. There are various freelance sites with off-shore services and talented writers that can provide thousands of amazing comments and shining reviews of your brand. This practice is so popular that it has made the value of online reviews questionable.

However this fake practice seems to be economical and useful for some people, this shortcut is not only unethical, but it’s also ineffective as compared to organic reviews. Authentic reviews can be distinguished based on age, language, ethnicity and often contain grammatical/spelling errors only if commented by a genuine buyer. They’re not always perfect, and they can contain suggestions or sometimes negative feedback.

If you still plan on buying fake reviews then consider visiting Fakespot.com. It’s a free online review analyzing website for customers and it checks reviews of famous e-com sites like Amazon and Yelp. Half a billion online users have visited this site alone to do an integrity check of business reviews

Sharing Reviews with Clients

There are many popular automobile manufacturers like Nissan and Kia, who have dedicated an entire website to customer reviews. Here the customers are featured and they share their driving experience and what it feels like owning these cars. This is an effective marketing strategy which focuses primarily on displaying the world, what their customers feel about their product and that makes all the difference.

Likewise, the giants of hospitality industry like grand hyatt, feature their page on trip advisor and display consumer ratings. This gives them organic ratings as well as a “medal” of customer satisfaction.

Do’s and Don’ts:

As a brand, it’s a necessity to engage with your customer’s feedback, whether they’re positive or negative. Assign this task to a team who governs all the social media activities. They make use of software tools that notify them whenever a review lands. Quick response makes your consumer feel valuable and they appreciate your concern, you get their loyalty in return.

Do’s and Don’ts while engaging with consumers:

NEVER argue with your customer online, as it leaves a negative impression about your brand. Try to offer support through a call or email to rectify the issue in product/service that the customer has reported. This is a method of showing other customers that your brand cares about complaints and other issues.

Try to keep your responses polite, positive and they should be helpful. You should also try to build brand image in a very impressive way, so as to receive positive organic reviews.

Try to respond to each consumer with a different and unique statement. Try not to create a template reply for similar issues.

Set Google alerts that gives you notifications whenever your brand name is mentioned anywhere online. You’ll get an email from Google providing more information on when and how your brand’s name was mentioned. This allows you to respond accordingly.

How to actually get customer reviews?

The basic step you can take to get reviews from customers is by asking them for it. After a purchase is made, try and schedule an email 3 to 5 days after the consumer has used your product/service. Ask for their feedback, ask them to rate your services. Ease the review process by embedding a link to your Facebook page. Make it so convenient that with a single click, they can share a comment and rate it.

Another creative way to achieve organic reviews is by offering an incentive. Value the time and effort for your customer invests while writing a review, so just reward them for it. You can create a positive brand impression by providing your customers with something valuable. It could be anything, a cash reward, a discount coupon, a shopping voucher or a direct entry in a monthly contest. Everyone loves free stuff and they’ll even willingly share positive reviews about your brand.

During all the processes of sales and service, employees must keep this in mind that customers must always be aware that the feedback they give and the suggestions they offer are valuable for your brand. Understand the insights from negative comments and take them as an opportunity of improvisation for your product and the overall customer experience.