The truth about customer reviews
There’s little doubt social media and a digital world has changed the way customers relate to businesses, with reviews now a common denominator when it comes to seeking out the right services or products to fulfil the customer’s needs.
But did you know the following?
- About 95 per cent of customers read reviews before making a purchase (Spiegel)
- 91 per cent of customers from the ages of 18 to 34 trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations (BrightLocal)
- On average, 19 per cent of reviews a business receives are negative (Womply)
So how can you gain better control of reviews and ultimately your brand’s perception in the digital world?
Know what your customer’s thinking
Long before a review makes its way to social media, a consumer is mentally recounting their experience with a business.
The trouble is businesses often fail to ask or do not seek to understand what that experience is.
Instead, they learn about their customer’s experience online when that experience is recounted in the public domain.
And that’s too late. Long before a customer takes the time to review a business online, the brand should be well aware of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Feedback before reviews
One way to help ensure those reviews showcase your business in the best light is to actively seek feedback from your customers throughout their journey with your brand.
And the benefits of this feedback are multiple…
Seeking feedback helps business:
Improve products and services – When you ask your customers about their experience, you gain an insight into whether the products and services you provide are meeting their needs.
This offers the potential for constant improvement that caters to the changing expectations of your customer.
Know your customer – When you ask a customer how they feel, you get to know them better. This allows for improved business decision making when it comes to products, services and customer interaction.
Measure customer satisfaction – Customer satisfaction is directly related to loyalty and repeat business. It’s a well established fact that it costs more to create a customer than keep one, with statistics indicating it costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one.
Illustrate you value your customer’s opinion – The benefits of asking your customer how they feel about your products or services goes beyond the financial, with the simple act of asking for their opinion illustrating you value them as a customer.
Shape a better customer experience – Armed with feedback, you have the opportunity to shape a better customer experience, defining each and every touchpoint on the customer journey to create a frictionless encounter and eliminate lost opportunity.
Improve customer retention – Figures illustrate increasing customer retention by 5 per cent can increase profits from 25-95 per cent, while the success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70 per cent, compared to the success rate of selling to a new customer which is 5-20 per cent.
According to Deloitte, reputation makes up over 25 per cent of a brand’s market value. That’s a quarter of the value of any business.
This is why it’s critical that businesses proactively manage that reputation, long before it’s out of their hands and in the public domain.
To learn more about state-of-the-art tools that make seeking feedback simple, see here.