This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Ben Roberts, writes about the link between customer service and online reviews. A negative review, like any complaint, is an opportunity to show how good you are. The difference is that review sites take that opportunity public, which can be good; very good! – Shep Hyken
I’m a huge believer in the power of online reviews. I see them as an incredible way of businesses proving their value. They are also a part of your business whether you’d choose to embrace them or not. I also think customer service is an integral aspect of any business, and that by improving service, you build customers for life.
Therefore, in this article, I am going to set out four very clear links between customer service and online reviews. These links will show you why you shouldn’t just try to improve customer service, or encourage online reviews, you should integrate both. Why? The answers are below . . .
1.Good customer service boosts positive reviews.
As a company if you provide good customer service, you are more likely to gain positive reviews. It’s really not rocket science. Whenever you look at online reviews, you are guaranteed to see reviews (positive and negative). After all if a business resolves an issue quickly and efficiently, 95% of unhappy customers return to the business.
- Reviews aid continuous improvement.
Reviews provide feedback, this feedback can be used then to predict issues and enable companies to take a proactive steps towards continually improving. Genuine online reviews by your customers are one of the single best methods of obtaining honest feedback, because people leave reviews to inform others. They want to be heard and they want to be useful to their peers, and whether they know it or not these reviews can and should be used by businesses. After all those who stand still, get left behind.
- Reviews themselves can sometimes need a customer service response.
Some reviews will require a customer service response. There are people which use reviews as a place to vent and rage, but there are also those that have genuine concerns, issues and grievances. If you aren’t paying attention to reviews then you aren’t paying attention to your customers.
If a customer goes out of their way to complain, it’s because they care, and believe a situation can at least be improved (if not solved). Reviews are a great avenue for being able to address issues publicly and after all, as Jay Baer says in his book Hug your Haters – “Customer service is a spectator sport. If you are showing that you are paying attention, and attempting to solve the issues, that’s half of the battle.”
- Reviews and customer service are important in the decision making process.
Price is no longer the determining factor when customers are deciding which goods and services to spend their hard earned salaries on. Yet, it’s still easy for companies to compete on price. That’s why companies still do it, and that’s why companies that pride themselves on customer service and it as a differentiator.
According to research done by Shopify in 2016: the mental gap between reading a review and making a decision to purchase from a business is ridiculously small, and typically results in a yes/no decision almost immediately.
By improving customer service, and by incorporating online reviews into your business strategy you are providing customers ample reasons to spend their time and money with you.
What I find so brilliant about this is that customer service and reviews can operate completely separately from each other. But, that is not how you get the best out of either. It’s a case of 1 + 1 = 3.
Remember, if you are going to offer amazing customer service, you should encourage your customers to shout about it, because after all people believe other people!
Ben Roberts heads up the marketing for Heinnie Haynes, which is one of the UK’s largest outdoor eCommerce websites. A big focus for Ben and the company is on customer service and experience. Ben actively encourages customers to leave ratings and reviews of the company both on the companies’ products, as well as on 3rd party review sites. These reviews are then used to help continually improve the business, build trust, and boost sales. He is firm believer in the power of online reviews and customer service as an influential marketing tool.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: Three Ways To Create An Engaging Customer Experience That Drives Sales