Online reviews have changed how businesses consider and connect with their customers. With platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and PissedConsumer.com gathering feedback from hundreds of thousands of consumers, no business can afford to neglect customer satisfaction.
Now online review impacts each far and wide, what can your business do to get up to speed? The first step is to listen. Pay attention and develop an awareness of online chatter about your business. This is the starting block from which your customer service teams can go on to use online reviews to develop actionable insights into the wants and needs of your market.
1. Reveal common issues
The real power of customer reviews collated in volume is that they enable you to spot patterns in customer feedback that a survey may not reveal, for example, complaints that identify bottlenecks or recurring pain points in the purchasing process.
Such as? Well, customer feedback can highlight staffing or prioritisation issues through long wait times, rude staff, or technical issues on your store website, which may be causing customers to abandon an intent to purchase.
Attentiveness to customer responses will also show you how well (or not) a recent marketing campaign or re-brand is performing.
An online review website hence provides a way for your business to analyse and strategize based on data from thousands of genuine consumer experiences.
2. Observe and optimize performance
Internal measures of performance are limited in what they can tell you about how well your CS team is doing. The real barometer of whether they are meeting their goals is customer satisfaction.
Customer service reviews will swiftly pick up any serious issues with your CS department. A sharp uptick in complaints in this area is a loud and clear signal to your business to intervene and straighten out any shortcomings right away.
Consistent review analysis using specialized tools will mitigate these impacts and enable your business to take action to improve customer service early before any real reputational damage is done.
3. Know your customers’ expectations
Attention to reviews will reward you with an eye on what your market wants from your business. Constructive feedback can be a great way of informing future strategy, whilst comparisons with your competitors can show you where you are falling short.
Aligning with customer expectations brings improved customer satisfaction and loyalty to your business. An attitude of evolving with the consumer, of continuous improvement, is key here, and staying up to date on customer sentiment is your number one asset in achieving this.
Remember that exceeding, not just meeting, expectations is how you improve your online reputation, customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and positive word of mouth.
4. How you stack up against the competition
Data gleaned from online reviews of your competitors can also be analysed to determine the playing field across various metrics.
Benchmark customer satisfaction through feedback on customer service response times, outcome satisfaction, etc. to see what others are doing better than you and also what makes your own business stand out from the rest.
5. Customer service agent empowerment
Applying customer feedback to customer service staff training will keep them tuned in to the customer’s perspective, and enable sincerity and empathy when dealing with customer concerns and frustrations.
With direct feedback from the end-user informing their approach and techniques, your customer support team gains agency to drive towards individual, team, and company-wide improvement.
CS agents will be better positioned to handle queries, gain confidence to apply tailored solutions and feel more positive overall through a boost to their ability to resolve customer problems.
Learn then take action
How valuable reviews prove to be for your business is reliant on how you apply the insight they give you. So, what are some best practices for customer service that can make reviews work for you?
- Actively monitor and learn from reviews to pinpoint recurring customer issues and plan out improvement actions.
- Further translate attentiveness into action by sharing insights from customer feedback analysis to refine how you train your CS agents.
- Encourage feedback from your customers through various prompts such as email thank-yous and incentives.
- Always engage with online reviews, positive and negative, with timeliness, courteousness, care and gratitude. Show your customers you value their time and input.
Why is a solid online review strategy necessary?
Is customer satisfaction important? How about continuous improvement? Online reputation?
All of these are boosted by online review engagement. Those that embrace this will enhance customer experience and gain an invaluable competitive advantage.