We all know how important customer reviews are to businesses, whether that be a small independent retailer, a restaurant or a service provider. After what has been such a difficult year for many organisations, reviews are one of the crucial tools that can really elevate a business.
By now, most businesses have accepted and acknowledged the importance of consumer insights. They are vital in helping to connect your business to the customer. Not only do reviews drive trade, but they also help to form relationships between the brand and customer as well as establishing brand loyalty, which in turn helps with business growth.
If you’re looking for ways to better manage your customer reviews in 2021, then these tips are sure to help you achieve your goals.
Track Your Reviews Properly
In 2020 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, an increase from 81% in 2019, therefore it’s vital that you don’t overlook any reviews that are left for your business or service. A quick Google search for your brand name can bring up your reviews, and this will usually be the first thing that new customers will search for, making it an essential aspect of your overall marketing strategy.
Make a list of every platform where your customers could leave reviews for you such as Facebook, Google and third-party review platforms, as you’ll want to make sure you’re checking all of these regularly and keeping on top of both the positive and negative feedback.
Analyse The Reviews In-Depth
Firstly, take the time to read every review and highlight both the positive and negative points raised. By highlighting the key points of each you can better understand your customers’ needs. Gathering this type of information will allow you as a business to find out exactly what your customers want and expect from you. Detailed and honest reviews can help move your product or brand forward. They have the potential to unlock brilliant ideas that could set you apart from your competitors, all thanks to real-time customer feedback.
Set time aside regularly to respond to reviews. Be sure to set a realistic time frame for replying, ideally within a few days and, if it’s possible, you should aim to respond to every review. A study by Harvard Business Review found that replying to customer reviews results in better ratings, so taking the time to respond is vital. Even if a review is negative or is a criticism of a particular service, replying will help to retain existing customers and show any potential new ones that you are willing to rectify mistakes.
The Pay Off
Analysing reviews in-depth and considering possible changes or improvements to implement can help you find ‘quick wins’. These are things you can act upon quickly, without big financial implications.
For example, a small independent restaurant who usually only takes table bookings over the phone, might receive feedback that customers would prefer to book online. There’s plenty of cost-effective ways you could implement this change with relative ease and speed. Proving that you have listened to your customer feedback and have actively made changes will do wonders for your reputation, and will help to build trust and loyalty with consumers.
Customer reviews are a powerful and important tool for customer insight marketing. They give your business a unique perspective of the thoughts of the consumer and potential improvements you can make to your business. When managed properly, reviews can elevate your business and help to establish brilliant relationships with existing customers, as well as opening up the door to new business.