Consumers use forums and online platforms to leave comments about a specific product or service they have purchased, creating in this way customer reviews. Ultimately, this feedback becomes the first impression about the product or service on potential customers.
The majority of customers tend to check customer reviews rather than make purchase decisions blindly. This is because modern-day consumers don’t trust brands to publish reviews about their own products and services. The personal experiences expressed in reviews make more sense to potential customers because they are objective. Customers crave for hands-on experiences. So the vast majority of shoppers read online reviews to evaluate products and services and make informed purchase decisions. In fact, customers read at least three online reviews before trusting a brand.
Customer reviews indicate a shared trust (or distrust) for a business in the digital space. Remember that more online reviews lead to more customer engagement. The key is to build positive relationships through consistent engagement.
Online customer reviews can help you understand your customers and drive growth
Customer reviews fall under the umbrella of feedback and include how customers think and feel about your products and services. Customers share the features they believe are more successful, which procedures are problematic, the experience from interacting with customer service, delivery failures, defective products, things they would like to change and many more.
Customer reviews are associated with happy and disgruntled customers. Businesses can measure feedback in terms of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction. More customer satisfaction can eventually lead to customer loyalty. Satisfaction or dissatisfaction may determine the financial performance of the business in the next quarter or year.
It is no wonder that more and more businesses have started to view customer reviews as business opportunities to drive more sales. When positive customer reviews outweigh the negative ones, businesses can generate more revenue and drive more growth. Positive customer reviews can become the selling point for businesses. But negative customer reviews can tarnish the reputation of the business and attract market backlash.
Online customer reviews paint a clear picture of customer expectations and allow businesses to readjust both their product offering and their current marketing strategy. Through analyzing reviews, businesses can predict the future satisfaction level of customers and roll out more effective products or services.
The objective of your business should be to collect key metrics and analyze whether or not your product or service is good enough for target customers to translate into a recommendation. Businesses can learn from positive customer reviews as well as from negative reviews. Reviews can lay the foundation for relevant changes businesses need to make to win over unhappy customers.
Customer reviews and developing customer empathy: Connect the Dots
Businesses don’t have control over how customers behave on various review sites. Companies from e-stores to others selling physically should develop and follow a plan of action to analyze and respond to reviews. In the retail sector, businesses dig through a long list of reviews and send useful replies to maintain a positive image.
- Conflict Resolution
Businesses can develop customer empathy to stand out from the competition. Research shows that empathic customer responses can resolve conflicts and create a positive discourse. For instance, it can lead to a Twitter thread about your product or service that will draw more market attraction.
- Intense Responses
It is crucial to note that people don’t judge a specific product or service in technical terms. A review highlights a lived experience with defined and memorable parameters. An intense response towards a product or service can render a positive or negative reaction.
However, it creates a response that allows businesses more opportunities to develop empathy around their brand. For starters, your business can maintain an efficient and friendly tone to communicate to create a genuine source of empathy.
- Close Interactions
In close interactions, make sure to offer a personal touch to make customers feel special about their choices. If you can maintain a balanced and objective understanding towards your customers, then there is a good chance you will be able to end up the conversation on a high note and draw more empathy.
- Form Genuine Connections
You don’t always have to read between the lines in customer reviews to make genuine connections with customers. Focus on what matters to customers and then leave replies to their comments. Also, prioritize differentiator responses that can develop more empathy and help you learn more about customers.
Usually, you will notice these elements at either extremely negative or positive customer reviews. You can align these factors to find out what makes loyal customers tick and gain a competitive edge over time. The more feedback you collect, the more opinions you can value and answer to. It is a simple formula that allows businesses to voice their position and answer customer questions.
- Positive Reinforcement
You should also make sure your positive reinforcement tactics are subtle and indirect. Otherwise, your responses will come across as robotic and without human touch. If you operate in the service industry, your focus should be to solve customers’ problems rather than taking any responsibility.
- Present Your Central Business Position
Once you fulfill the basic needs of customers, you will also get the chance to present the central position of your business. Always view customer reviews as feedback to create optimal customer experiences. If your industry is heavily saturated with a similar product or service line, create unique touchpoints for customers.
- Immediate Responses Matter
It is vital to understand that most consumers now expect brands to leave an immediate response to their queries or comments. And developing empathy in customer reviews creates an open line to engage and communicate with customers. Customer reviews show previous customer experiences that create a level of trust. With continuous interactions, businesses can turn negative into positive online reviews.
Businesses can develop empathy from customer reviews by listening to their customers. It may sound straightforward, but balanced communication with the customers improves engagement levels and makes a good impression. Companies that demonstrate customer empathy increase the chances to draw the attention of more customers.
Despite the nature of the scenario, an empathetic response serves as a positive gesture. Customer empathy allows businesses to attain and retain loyal customers for a long time. The same empathetic drive allows customers to understand the position of your business.
Through online reviews, customers have more power to influence the future decision-making of businesses. But the power also lies with businesses to leverage online reviews to stand out in the market. Customer reviews are a two-way street that allows businesses to dissuade or win over customers.