How To Make Best Use of Online Customer Reviews
So your customer decided to write an online review describing their experience and judging your organization. How many stars did you receive? Just one (very poor cx), three (decent), or an enthusiastic five-star review? What did the customer write in the comment section to add important details and motivation to their experience? Now take a breath, or a drink if you will, because I will help you capitalize such insights.
Why Online Customer Reviews are Golden Nuggets
Regardless of whether the customer talked wrote ‘it’s the worst experience of my life‘ or ‘fantastic! I highly recommend them‘ be grateful to them. They’ve invested their time to let you know about their experience, giving you the chance to dive into the what and why of each of them. As some of my clients asked to review their – and competitors’ – online customer reviews, I’ve had the chance to read hundreds of them over major dedicated platforms, such as Google MyBusiness and TrustPilot. What really matters though is what are you do with your online customer reviews after reading them…
What Brands Usually Do
Based on the level of importance brands attribute to online customer reviews, they may take different actions. Here’s a quick snapshot of the most frequent behaviors that I’ve observed:
- Monitoring online reviews. Some do it consistently, others not. Some monitor one major platform, but not yet the other due to their internal constraints (e.g. various departments involved). Usually, this is the first cultural shift towards a more mature service culture.
- Monitoring and responding. That’s already one step beyond, since they’ve decided to respond to some reviews. Most of the time they just reply to negative ones, meaning those with one or two stars (and bitter comments of course).
- Monitoring and responding. Providing feedback also to customers that have expressed positive feelings, thanking them for their time, and adding extra context and value. As customer reviews conversations are public, it’s strategic to be able to leverage business acumen. That iss one of the most important capabilities included in the Digital Customer Personas© skill set model.
Go Beyond the Extra Mile
Some organizations are acting upon online customer reviews. They analyze them, especially negative ones, to learn about new or recurrent reasons for dissatisfaction. These may be complaints about a page on your website or a process (payment, onboarding, content). That’s why diving into them and reviewing your internal processes becomes paramount if you aim at continuously improving overall customer experience.
Improving your customer experience will increase their willingness to keep doing business with you. So keep it healthy.
Have great conversations.
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