Many years ago an old manager had a saying – “If a customer has a good experience they will tell one or two people, if they have a bad one they will tell 10 or 20!” – and there is a lot to be said for this, more so with internet review sites such as TrustPilot and Google Reviews. It would be easy to place the sole blame of a bad review onto the customer, and some replies that can be seen on TrustPilot from companies suggest that a lack of understanding from the customer of the service provided can be attributed to the review, but equally a lack of understanding from the business both before the review and in the handling of the review are clear in most cases. Reviews are an important factor when it comes to any business but more so for online businesses – as the client or customer does not have the face to face experience of your business, only what they read online or in communications from yourself, so reviews of your business or service are becoming more and more vital.
Customer reviews in numbers
Figures branded about in expert articles tell us that 68% of people advise that they are more likely to use a business if it has positive reviews, with 58% of consumers basing this on the overall star rating, 24% of people advise that a negative review would deter them from buying from the business under any circumstances and 70% of consumers advise they would leave a review if asked to do so by the business. Phew now the figures are out of the way in one foul swoop I can tell you why all this is important and why both negative and positive reviews are both a good thing.
Now before you think I am barking mad, why would I say that receiving a bad review is a good thing? For a few reasons but firstly – for a start you are aware of how the customer is feeling! In most cases an upset customer will not let you know directly how they feel but instead will tell everyone about their bad experience, so that leads into the second point – you are able to act upon it. Knowing why and how a customer has had a bad experience with your business allows you to try and turn it around, for instance say a customer ordered from your website and found your site hard to navigate and clunky, if that customer did not pass on their feedback you would never be aware, and that customer might never shop with you again. Now say 100s of customers had this experience and never told you? Soon you would have no customers at all! Keeping an eye on complaint trends and review trends allows you to get ahead of issues, acknowledge the negative review in a positive manner, learn from it and grow as a business.
In most cases a negative review can be made into a good review if it is handled right, for instance if a customer left a negative review as an item delivered damaged, dealing with the review in a positive manner and offering to rectify the situation will often lead to an updated review from the customer, and also builds a stronger relationship with that customer.
There is nothing better than positive feedback from a customer, it lets you know you did a good thing and that your service was exactly what they needed. The big question is what can you learn from a good review? Should you just take it and leave it there? In my experience continuing to interact with a good review can yield even more brand presence and relationships between you and customers, platforms where reviews are left often allow the business to reply to the review, a few words from you showing appreciation for the kind review and for the customer taking the time out of their day to leave you a review can speak volumes!
There are lots of ways to collect customer reviews such as Facebook Recommendations, TrustPilot, Google and others, platforms such as TrustPilot can even integrate into your website so that review requests are automatically sent to customers asking them to leave reviews! Nearly all the platforms offer the ability to deal with rogue reviews from trolls – and TrustPilot even has a “verified order” on reviews that have been left from invitations meaning people can clearly see that they are a genuine customer. Collecting reviews from customers overall is a good thing, you can learn from them, develop and grow as a business from them and they also create brand presence and in some cases help with SEO, obvious pitfalls or downsides can be lots of negative reviews – but handled right they can be turned into good ones.