Feefo fit tip #4: Use reviews as a gateway to better customer relationships

Last week we explored the impact integrating reviews can have on conversion rates; this week we’re delving into how reviews can help you build a better relationship with your customers.

To deliver the best service to your customers, you need to listen to them. Genuine reviews, from real customers, are an excellent way to gather honest feedback about your business. The comments you receive won’t always be positive, but we’ll show you how you can benefit from both good and bad reviews.

How to make the most of positive reviews

Our research found that 95% of consumers are influenced by reviews to at least some extent, so a collection of positive reviews can help shoppers to decide whether to make a purchase or not.

There are lots of great ways to utilise the positive reviews you receive; here’s our top tips:

Share your success on social media

Remind your social media followers that you are providing a service or selling products that people love, by posting your best reviews across your social media channels. You can share them directly from your reviews platform, or use the customer’s quote to create an eye-catching graphic that links back to your reviews page. Be sensible though; you could lose followers if your feed becomes a constant stream of self-promotional reviews.

Reward hardworking employees

Employees work harder when they feel appreciated – a recent study by Warwick University found happiness made people around 12% more productive. If one of your employees is named and praised in a review, make sure they are justly rewarded or recognised. This will help to motivate employees to continue delivering excellent service, which can result in even more positive feedback for your business, along with assisting with staff retention.

Put your best feedback on display

We don’t just mean on your website – why not use your top testimonials in other forms of marketing, such as TV ads, flyers, banners, etc.? Feefo’s clients find all sorts of interesting ways to make the most of their positive feedback; Rix Petroleum, for example, put their best testimonials in their 2017 calendar, and Monarch Airlines proudly display their Feefo ratings on advertisements across the London Underground and double-deckers.

The positives of negative reviews

No matter how excellent your products or customer service, you’re going to get negative reviews. Many businesses fear that these unhappy customers could tarnish their reputation but the truth is that negative reviews are crucial to understanding how your business can improve.

A whopping 81% of consumers read several negative reviews, alongside the positives, to judge the consistency of feedback. More than half (54%) of shoppers say they would be suspicious if they couldn’t see any negative feedback. The bottom line? Negative reviews help to build trust.

How to respond to negative reviews

Negative reviews offer the most benefit when they are replied to correctly. According to the National Association of Retail Marketing, 95% of unhappy customers will return to a business if their issue is solved quickly and efficiently. Follow our tips for responding to disappointing feedback:

Never ignore a bad review

If a customer has given you poor feedback, it’s usually for a good reason. They are unhappy with your service and want to see you make meaningful changes to fix an issue or simply ensure it doesn’t happen again. A polite, reasonable response could not only persuade that customer to shop with you in the future, it will also build trust with any potential customers reading your reviews.

Don’t take it personally

You’re unlikely to agree with every negative review you receive, but no matter how frustrated you feel with feedback, you should never take customers’ opinions personally. Too often we see news articles about small businesses who’ve flown off the handle at customers they disagree with, but even huge brands fall fowl of such behaviour.

Protein World are a good example of this – thousands of people complained about their ‘Beach body ready’ advert in 2015. Instead of respectfully disagreeing with these consumers’ complaints or offering to remove the advert, Protein World’s social media team fought back against negative comments using the hashtag #getagrip, making the situation worse.

Try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and understand how they feel. This will help stop you taking any comments to heart.

Resolve every situation

In most cases, customers are leaving a negative review because they are unhappy with your service and have an issue that needs to be fixed. Therefore, you should seek an agreeable solution as swiftly as possible. If the issue cannot be resolved, make sure your customer service team is aware of the feedback and on hand to repair the relationship with the customer.

Improve your customer relationships today

Both positive and negative reviews are invaluable for building better relationships with your customers and learning more about your business, so make sure you use them to your advantage.

Still not confident enough to tackle negative feedback? Our guide to dealing with negative feedback will demonstrate the best ways to utilise and respond to unhappy customers.

Remember to check back for next week’s tip: Eliminate fake feedback to improve business insights.

Net Promoter® and NPS® are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.