Whatever you do, don’t sleep on reviews!

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    January 21, 2020

Whatever you do, don’t sleep on reviews!


Picture this: Your company rolls out the newest model of a top-selling home appliance after extensive R&D and flawless user testing. Early sales look great. Then, one homeowner publishes a scathing review on a major retailer’s website:

Whatever you do, do not try this product!

The homeowner spares no details in describing what went wrong with the appliance or the manufacturer’s subsequent, shoddy customer service. The appliance’s average review tanks on the retailer website. Sales suffer.

Welcome to the powerful world of ratings and reviews. From five little stars (or fewer) to glowing (or disparaging) words, consumer reactions to products and services carry a lot of weight in the modern marketplace. With a hunger for honest feedback and an easy way to access it, savvy shoppers are more heavily influenced by their peers — other shoppers — than brands’ carefully crafted copy claiming product features and benefits. Is that sofa really easy to clean? Does that building product always stand up to moisture? Does that shirt run small, or is it true to size? Did the appliance repair person arrive on time, fix the problem and clean up their mess before leaving?

It’s easy to understand why many brands have a love-hate relationship with ratings and reviews — unfiltered, user-generated content that can make or break sales goals. But it’s just as important to recognize the potential for brands that not only accept but also encourage customer feedback in the public domain.

Consider five potential benefits of rankings and reviews:

  1. According to Bazaarvoice, a leader in the ratings and reviews world, even one review equals a 10% lift in orders. Furthermore, 50 reviews result in a 30% lift in orders … and it goes up from there.
  2. Fresh, product-specific review content, starting with as little as eight reviews, fuels search traffic and improves keyword rankings. Bazaarvoice indicates that online reviews account for 10% of how Google and other search engines rank results.
  3. Show that you care. Bazaarvoice research found that 89% of consumers read the company’s response to negative reviews. They want to see how quickly the company handled the issue and if the issue was resolved.
  4. Turn that disgruntled customer into a brand champion. If you respond to the review promptly and in a respectful manner, acknowledging their concern and providing a solution, they will likely remember that positive experience more than the problem that caused them to contact you.
  5. Learn from your customers. Users may uncover a flaw that did not surface during product testing. Your research and development team can use their feedback to improve the product and their future experience.

So, when you get a negative review (and you will), remember: The sky isn’t falling. Use it as a chance to help shape the conversation with your customers and potential customers. If you view these little bits of user-generated content as diamonds in the rough, you’ll open your brand and the products you sell to greater opportunities for sales success.

Want to enhance or streamline how you manage customer ratings and reviews? We can help. Send me a note to learn more about implementing a platform for feedback and managing customer responses long term.

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