For years large firms have been using consumer product reviews to quickly uncover and address issues in their supply chains, product designs, and product directions. Firms like L.L. Bean Inc. and others have been going beyond offering an apologetic comment in reaction to unsatisfied customers, to provide a superior level of customer support.
Customer reviews are also of great importance in the service industry. Online reviews are a powerful marketing tool as well as a great real-time resource for creating a better quality control system. If you are a proactive company looking to improve your processes and grow your business, then start paying attention to your online customer reviews.
The truth of the matter is that most unhappy customers are still likely to spread negative word of mouth whether or not they have written your company a negative review. So, how can you use these critical reviews to benefit your business and clients?
When a past customer writes you a negative review the opportunity arises for your company to contact that client in an attempt to resolve their complaints. Chances are that a past customer that leaves a negative review will not use you again and will continue to spread negative word of mouth. By reaching out to the upset client you can guarantee a greater chance of repeat business and minimize negative word of mouth.
Also, negative reviews about your services point out crucial areas for improvement and can help drive developments in services you offer based on first-hand customer feedback. Besides helping you to uncover issues in your current service offerings, customers can also provide suggestions about better ways to do things, or new services that you could offer.
Lastly, by commenting on negative (and positive) reviews you can publicly address the concerns of your customers. This improves communication between you and your customers and demonstrates your commitment to engage with them even after service has been completed.
No one business is untouched or safe from negative reviews, including you. We can’t make everyone happy all the time. The key is to respond in a positive and proactive manner. If you put together a plan now, that next negative review you receive will be simple to deal with and beneficial for your business.