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Customer service reviews vs customer product reviews: which one do you need?

Published on 22 July, 2021

Not all customer reviews are created equal. There are various types of reviews that businesses can collect, and each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Whether you are running a local beauty salon, a national estate agency or an eCommerce website, it is crucial that you understand the different review options available. Customer service reviews vs customer product reviews is an important consideration for any business.

When you are looking at your online reputation management strategies, you need to understand which types of review are going to add the highest value to your business. For most companies, both customer product reviews and customer service reviews will deliver value, each in their own individual ways. It is essential that you understand customer reviews and which options to focus your time and money on.

Many businesses assume that customer feedback can be broken down into just positive reviews and negative reviews. In actual fact, there is a lot more involved in online reputation management than this. Customer feedback is critical for business success as it helps potential new customers make their buying decisions. It also assists with honing your business strategies, by highlighting what is working well and where you could improve.

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Studies show that 90% of consumers are influenced by customer reviews when purchasing a product, so getting your feedback processes right is incredibly valuable. Once you understand the difference between customer service reviews and product reviews you will be better equipped to set up strategies for handling both of these feedback options.

In this guide, we are looking at customer service reviews vs customer product reviews, explaining what they are, what the key differences are, and which reviews are going to be more important to your business.

What is customer service feedback?

Customer service feedback is exactly what the name suggests; it’s feedback about your customer service. Many business owners believe that this means solely the service your team are providing to customers. The truth is, customer service feedback encompasses many different parts of the customer experience.

Feedback of this type is an overall critique of every aspect of your business by your clients, excluding your specific products. It will include reviews and opinions about the order experience, including how easy it was for customers to purchase from you. This could be the online order process or, if you have a brick-and-mortar location, it could be in-store experiences. Customer service feedback will often give you details on what your clients thought about purchasing from you and any areas that could be improved. From your sales staff in-store to your online checkout process, customer feedback includes it all.

Product delivery is also a crucial part of customer service feedback. Particularly for eCommerce businesses who depend solely on online sales and their web stores. If a customer is satisfied with your delivery process, including time scales, packaging and communication, then they are likely to include these in their customer service feedback. On the other hand, if your deliveries are delayed or products arrive damaged, customers are likely to leave you negative feedback about their experience.

Another important aspect of customer service feedback is the overall service that customers receive from your business. This is usually the case if a client has had to contact your team for some reason, either with an enquiry or an issue. It can include the service received over the phone, email, social media, or in person. If a customer has to wait a long time to receive a reply to a message or has a complaint about the way a staff member handled a query, it will come up in your customer service feedback.

There are various types of customer service feedback that you can consider in your strategy. The most common option is post-purchase feedback, where you ask clients for a review after they have made a purchase from your business. Some companies also choose to ask for feedback during the buying journey. This can be in the form of on-site surveys which sit on your website and ask customers for feedback while they are on a specific page. They are effective for monitoring your customer journey and picking up on any points of friction in your purchasing process.

When it comes to receiving customer service feedback, it can be collected in various different ways. We have already discussed on-site surveys, but other feedback collection methods can also be used. The most popular option is post-purchase surveys, which are automatically sent to customers, usually via email, after they have purchased from you. The way you collect feedback will depend on your business model, for example, online stores can easily send emails to buyers, but service companies might prefer a more personal approach. For small companies with a few important clients, you can obtain feedback through follow-up calls or even face-to-face meetings.

What is a product review?

A product review is a feedback on an individual product or item that your business sells. They provide valuable information about your products which is useful to both your business and other customers. Unlike customer service feedback, product reviews don’t include any information about the buying process, delivery or company communication. They focus solely on the item in question.

When a customer leaves a product review, they will generally include information about the product’s fit, size, description, quality, longevity, ease of use or suitability. Product reviews can vary greatly depending on the type of business you have and the products you sell. For example, if you are a clothing brand, then your product reviews are likely to be about whether your products are true to size and the quality of the materials used. If you sell furniture, then product reviews might include dimensions, longevity and durability.

These kinds of reviews are very useful to potential customers who are considering purchasing your products. They provide crucial information from people who have first-hand experience with the item they are looking at. In fact, 87% of consumers trust product reviews as much as they trust word-of-mouth feedback, and customers are 110% more likely to purchase from online stores which feature product reviews and Q&As. 

Product reviews focus only on a specific item that your business sells. Because of this, product reviews can span across various different businesses who are all selling the same products. A manufacturer might collect product reviews from a range of their stockists, because they don’t include any feedback about the customer service, delivery or buying process.

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The way you collect product reviews will vary depending on your product range and business model. If customers purchase products online from your business, then collecting reviews is far easier. You can send an automated email requesting a product review a few days after they have made a purchase. Make sure you give them enough time to receive the item and use it before asking for their feedback. If you sell products in-store, requesting a review can be a bit more challenging as you might not be able to contact customers after they have made a purchase.

What is the difference between customer service reviews vs customer product reviews?

When you look at customer service reviews vs customer product reviews, it is clear to see the difference. Put simply, customer service reviews will focus on the service your business is providing, while product reviews look at individual items that you sell.

When a client reviews your customer service, they will be providing feedback on the parts of your business which are fairly easy for you to control. This includes the level of service you offer customers, your communication, your marketing messages, your buying process, delivery times and more. Feedback could include that a customer found your staff to be rude or they had to wait on hold for 30 minutes in order to speak with someone. All of these things are part of the service you offer to your clients and so they will be part of customer service feedback.

When a customer leaves a product review, they are providing feedback on the specific item they have purchased from you. It has nothing to do with how they purchased it or their experience with your business, but instead, it is all about what they think of the item itself. Issues and comments that arise in product reviews are often more challenging to take action on, because it means changing the physical product. This is even more prevalent if your business sells stock which it purchases from independent manufacturers and you have no control over the product itself. Obtaining product reviews can help you to make decisions about which items your business should invest in and which are not going to be worthwhile.

Understanding the differences in customer service reviews vs customer product reviews is critical for producing an effective feedback strategy. Both customer service feedback and product feedback need to be collected separately and can be used differently for marketing and business decisions. Showcasing product reviews directly on your product pages, or even in-store, can help boost conversions and drive more sales. On the other hand, sharing customer service feedback on your homepage, social media or other channels is a great way of showcasing all the great things about your company.

Both types of feedback are essential for success and can provide you with valuable insights into your business and product range. Customer service reviews could highlight areas where staff need further training or where your delivery partner isn’t performing as well as expected. If you manufacture your own products, then product reviews can help you hone in on the features that work well and those that need improvements. For businesses who stock and sell external items, product reviews can assist with choosing the products to continue investing in.

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Which one is more important?

Deciding which type of feedback to focus on can be confusing. Both customer service reviews and customer product reviews are important to your business. They each bring with them their own advantages and disadvantages, and some are better suited to different types of organisations. Looking at customer service reviews vs customer product reviews and choosing the most important will ultimately depend on your business model and goals.

Product reviews are extremely powerful for eCommerce companies and online stores. They work as part of a shop’s marketing and branding, as well as a useful business tool. Consumers are relying on product reviews more heavily than ever before and they can be the difference between a customer making a purchase or going elsewhere. Simply having customers' reviews on a product page, or at least a star rating, can encourage consumers to click the buy button.

In addition to this, product reviews can provide vital information about your items and how your customers are using them. If feedback reveals that clients do not like a certain feature on your product, such as a clothing material, you can take this into consideration for your future designs. This is so important for improving your offering and creating products that are exactly what consumers are after.

Customer service reviews are important because they can strengthen your brand’s credibility and influence a consumer buying decision. This type of feedback gives you in-depth insights into every area of your company and can help you to better understand your customers and what they expect from you. Collecting customer service reviews allows your clients to have a voice and feel valued by your company, which can help to build loyalty and repeat business. Taking this kind of feedback into account can assist with decisions about your brand, such as where you should be investing more time and attention.

The truth is, both customer service feedback and product reviews are important in their own ways. They each bring different benefits to a business, and whichever is most valuable to your company will be unique to you and your setup. Some businesses choose to focus solely on service feedback, others on just product reviews, while some will use a combination of the two.

Why should businesses collect and monitor customer service reviews and/or product reviews?

Deciding whether to invest time and money into collecting feedback can be a challenging choice. There are companies who simply set up feedback forms on their websites and leave customers to write reviews at their own leisure, while other organisations take a much more proactive approach. The truth is, there are many reasons why businesses should be collecting and monitoring customer feedback. For some companies, just service reviews are enough, while others might benefit from collecting both.

Whether you should collect and monitor customer service reviews or product reviews will depend on your business model. For example, an estate agent could benefit from only collecting customer service feedback because the products they are selling are properties which are completely out of their control. There would be no benefit for an estate agent to collect product reviews for every property they sell, as each one is unique and only likely to be sold once every few years. On the other hand, a builder or property developer might benefit from collecting product reviews because they have complete control over the end product.

Companies which have control over both their customer service and product range could find it worthwhile collecting and monitoring both types of feedback. This includes businesses such as retail stores, who can decide on the products they sell and also offer a customer-facing service. You need to look at your unique organisation in order to decide if you should be collecting and monitoring both customer service reviews and customer product reviews.

When it comes to customer service feedback, there is so much information that you could be collecting. This runs much deeper than just the level of service you offer to customers. Service feedback can include what customers think about your brand, how you are perceived in different territories or your position in the competitive market. Some feedback platforms will offer industry benchmarking features which provide insights into how your business is placed against your competitors.

Almost all businesses will benefit from collecting customer service feedback because most brands deal with customers in one way or another. This includes both B2C companies and B2B services who might have a smaller, more exclusive collection of customers. Because customer service feedback encompasses so many aspects of a business, it can work differently for every single organisation.

Platforms to consider for service reviews and product reviews

If you are ready to start collecting and monitoring customer service reviews and product reviews, then you might be wondering where to start. There are many different platforms available that help businesses to collect, monitor and analyse feedback. Most platforms offer features for both service reviews and product reviews and can help you to dig deep into this data.

Some feedback platforms are completely free to use and offer simple solutions for collecting reviews. There is also a selection of platforms that are specialised for managing feedback including service and product reviews. They offer additional features such as customer sentiments, insight analysis and performance profiling. This can help you to quickly and easily understand what your customers are trying to tell you in their feedback. You will be able to notice immediately if a large number of customers are saying the same things about your products or service, helping to highlight the areas that might need your attention.

The most popular feedback platforms for customer service reviews and customer product reviews include:

  • Feefo: Feefo is a powerful tool which can help provide you with a complete understanding of how your business and products are performing. The insight tagging capability can help you to track the themes which are most important to your brand and give you a deeper look into customer opinions. Feefo also has features to help you to showcase your reviews in order to drive more sales and increase conversions. The smart themes tool helps to showcase the right reviews at the right time in the customer journey. You can use Feefo to create a personalised shopping experience as well as collect and monitor your product and service reviews.

  • Google: There isn’t much that Google don’t offer these days, and a review platform is another tool they have under their belt. Within the Google My Business toolkit, you can collect and monitor your customer feedback easily. Google is a free platform for reviews and does offer limited capabilities. It is great for collecting and viewing reviews from customers, but you cannot separate reviews into product and service specific. Google also does not offer much by way of in-depth analysis of your feedback. If you want a tool that simply collects and displays customer feedback, then Google could be a solid option.

If you are serious about collecting and monitoring your customer feedback, it is critical that you choose a platform with all the features you need to get the most out of your reviews. Some platforms will take ownership of your reviews and do not allow you to transfer them to another tool if you change your mind in future. With Feefo, all reviews are kept by the business, ensuring total control over your feedback. Specialised features such as performance profiling and smart themes are what sets Feefo apart from the crowd. You can look at your sentiment scores, performance graphs and insight tags effortlessly, helping you get the most out of your customer feedback.

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