Customer reviews are essential for businesses of all sizes, both online and offline. Research has shown that 91% of people trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends and family members, and that 93% of online shoppers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by reading reviews beforehand.
By gathering customer reviews, not only can you identify the strengths of your brand, customer experience and product or service, but they’ll also highlight opportunities for improvements across your business. Need a hand where to start? Try an online review collector like Feefo’s review platform. Below, we look at some of the things you can learn from your customer reviews.
1. Customer Service Insights
One of the main things customer reviews tend to mention is their customer service experience. Not only do these often mention individual team members who you can reward and acknowledge, but these reviews often highlight issues and preferences with particular customer service channels.
For example, your reviews may say that no one ever answers the phone, or that the live chat is slow. Although hearing this can be painful, they are important issues to address not only to keep your customers happy, but also to improve the overall customer experience.
2. Shipping, Delivery And Packaging Issues
Something that online retailers may lose sight of is issues with shipping or delivery. Many e-commerce stores and online businesses now use dropshipping, private-labelling or Amazon FBA. These business models are usually picked due to their convenience and lack of requirement for stock storage space, but they do mean that business owners don’t always have the quality-control measures that they usually would when packing and shipping.
Reviews and customer feedback will often highlight this to you, and it’s an important issue to address particularly if there are reoccurring issues or frequent significant delays in delivery.
For those businesses who ship and package their products themselves, fragile products and generally most FCMG products may break or get damaged during the shipping process – while this is not always your fault, it’s important to create a relationship with a courier company you can trust to handle your products with care.
Bare in mind here that research has shown that only 1 in 25 customers will actually complain when they have an issue, so a couple of one-off negative reviews may actually reflect a much broader range of unhappy customers, and people who are likely to churn and tell others (up to 16, in fact) about their poor experience with your brand.
3. Issues With The Product
Similarly to the above, product issues can be highlighted with customer reviews. More often than not, you’d hope that customers would get in touch to allow you to rectify the situation first, but sometimes they can leave a hasty review before that point, especially if they’ve received an untimely email reminder to give you their feedback.
Again, a few reviews may reflect a wider problem with the packaging of the product itself, or the packaging that the product is shipped in. Be sure to investigate any poor product feedback, and work with your suppliers to rectify for future batches wherever possible.
Some product issues may only be discovered upon regular use, which can’t always be tested ahead of time, so be sure to take customer feedback seriously particularly from anyone who has regularly used your product(s) for a while. These reviews and insights can help you to prioritise and quality assure your products going forward, and even to innovate to make them more long-lasting or convenient.
4. Customer Use Cases
One of the more interesting insights that can be gained from customer reviews are additional product use cases. Often, particularly in e-commerce, products are purchased for one use, but thrifty consumers find additional uses for them and may share these with your brand such as using coconut oil (designed for cooking) as a hair conditioner, for oil pulling or even for relief from eczema. These insights can help you to identify additional opportunities and new target markets for your products.
Groundbreaking historical cases of this include Listerine: a mouthwash that was previously used as a surgical antiseptic, and since rebranded as a cure for bad breath – the company that owned it went from $115,000 in revenue to $8,000,000 in the seven years since. Or Play-Doh, which was initially created as a wallpaper cleaner, and then repurposed and successfully relaunched as modelling clay!
Reading your reviews isn’t always easy, but by using reviews as an opportunity to identify issues with the customer experience and journey, you can learn and innovate, creating an even better experience for your customers.