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Optimising customer reviews

Customers are vital to the success of any business. Put simply, great customer reviews can boost sales, while bad ones can hurt them.

· Advice

Customers are vital to the success of any business. Put simply, great customer reviews can boost sales, while bad ones can hurt them. Case in point, dissatisfied customers usually tell 9-15 people about their dissatisfaction, while some tell 20 or more. Unfortunately, a customer with a negative experience is more likely to give a negative review as opposed to a customer with a positive experience. Problem is, it takes 40 positive reviews to undo the damaging effects of just 1 negative comment.

Needless to say, any organisation must aim to get good reviews — the more, the better. But that might prove challenging given how happy customers are not often inclined to share their experience. In this case, you’ll have to make the most out of those provided already. Here are some pointers to help you do just that:
Share reviews on social media and similar platforms
When you have good reviews, show them off and share them on the right platforms. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great for this, as they are the easiest places to leverage those reviews. In this way, you add legitimacy to your brand as these customers reviews won’t come across as biased, gimmicky, or as self-promotional content. You also share these reviews via email too, as emailing is useful for official communication related to anything that directly affects the company’s bottom line. However, rather than discussing your offering, let the reviews do the talking and make them the body of your emails.
Highlight the right reviews
Given how impactful customer reviews can be, it is vital that you show the right ones, but that doesn't mean showing just the positives. Instead, you must strike the right balance so that everything is looked at objectively. This applies for any product you can think of — be it kitchen appliances like microwaves or rice cookers or even everyday electronics like tablets or phones. Indeed, rice cookers are all reviewed highly and in-depth by users to help potential customers determine which ones are the best to buy, as they talk about factors like capacity, features, and functions all objectively and without bias. Likewise, smartphones reviewed in detail can steer possible buyers into buying the smartphone that best suits them, since they discuss features such as hardware, 5G compatibility, camera quality, and pricing. These are the ideal reviews you should be highlighting, as they provide customers with all the useful information they need to make their decision.
Respond to reviews quickly
Just as you can maximise positive reviews, you can also leverage the negative ones. By responding to every review, whether it's good or bad, you'll show that you care about your customers and their experience. In fact, an HBR study on hotel reviews found that replying to customer comments resulted to more reviews and better ratings. Crucially, responding to positive ones yielded the same benefits as responding to negative ones, which underscores the value of replying to every comment. Show gratitude for the positive ones, and publicly acknowledge negative ones with a humble apology and ask what can be done to rectify the problem.
Keep track of keywords
Another thing you must aim for is 'search-ability' on different search platforms such as Google and Bing. You can ensure this by keeping track of the common words customers use in their reviews, and then using them in product positioning, keyword targeting, tags, and content creation. In this way, you will be able to improve your brand's ranking in search platforms. That means your brand will appear near or at the top of search results, thereby increasing its visibility to potential clients. So, start tracking now and begin using those keywords.

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