The internet has given consumers a place to share their opinions about their favorite (and least favorite) products for others to use when making decisions about purchases. There was once a time when customers had to rely on their closest friends and family, or the brands themselves, but this is no longer the case.
Now, we listen to and trust strangers online for decisions about consumer goods, services, restaurants, travel, and more. Here is everything you need to know about succeeding with your customer reviews.
Why reviews matter
Today’s savvy consumers have access to a multitude of avenues to learn about others’ experiences, and the data below proves to us that companies need to pay attention too:
- 97% of people read reviews for local businesses.
- 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions.
- 3.3 is the minimum star rating of a business consumers would engage with.
- 68% of consumers will leave a review if asked.
Considering the amount of people who trust online reviews, and the high percentage of people who are willing to leave reviews, businesses should be utilizing reviews to their advantage.
Where are reviews the most important?
Customers can leave reviews all across the internet. Google is the most popular search engine and one of the easiest places for your customers to leave reviews about your business. Make sure to send your customers a direct link to your Google business page to make it easy for them to leave reviews.
Social media sites are important as well since over half of social media users utilize social media to research products and two-thirds of customers are sharing their opinions on social media. Facebook is the most widely-used social platform with 68% of US adults reporting that they are Facebook users.
Another place to list your reviews for your business is on your website. There are many different mechanisms for pulling reviews from verified sources to display on your website. By utilizing verified sources you can instill trust in your customers and increase your search ranking.
What is the cost of negative reviews?
Research tells us that – for better or worse – customer reviews have a big impact on our customer retention and loyalty, as well as gaining new customers. Unfortunately, negative reviews have reportedly become the #1 factor in customers forming a bad opinion about a product or service.
Next we’ll look at ways to bring in positive reviews, but first, how should you handle negative reviews? Here’s our recommendation:
- Listen – When a customer leaves a bad review, it’s important to first listen to the feedback and bring in the appropriate team members to formulate a plan.
- Respond – Responding in a positive way to customers’ complaints will help to diffuse the issue; there may be an opportunity to offer the customer a refund or exchange; at minimum, let your customer know that you received the message and you are working on providing the best solution.
- Adjust – While it’s not always possible to make changes, if the feedback is valid this may be a learning opportunity; in many cases, companies are able to grow because of their customers’ feedback.
Top ways to gain positive reviews
Promoting positive reviews for your brand is critical. How can you increase your chances of getting positive reviews?
- Ask – If you don’t ask your customers for reviews, you will have a hard time getting them
- Make it easy – Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews; add links to review sites on your website, emails, and receipts
- Use a variety of channels – Your customers use a multitude of channels, so make sure to give them options
- Go where your customers are going – Get to know your customers and where they interact the most online
- Offer samples – Offer your customers samples of products in exchange for reviewing those products
- Stay up to date – Make sure to keep your business listings up to date on sources such as Yelp, Google, and your own website
- Email – Email your customer list and ask your customers to review your products or services, possibly in exchange for coupons
- Follow the rules – Some aggregate review sites have regulations with regard to incentivizing, so make sure to read the rules so that you don’t get banned
- Get personal – If you interact with your customers in person, ask for the review in person; if not, find a more personal way to ask your customers for reviews
What are the most common complaints in consumer reviews?
The most common customer complaints vary by industry, but there are many common threads that we can all learn from. Customers across the board are complaining about:
- Waiting – Whether in person or digitally, our customers don’t want to wait. Make sure to set expectations and let your customers know if products are delayed.
- Getting Passed to Different Agents – Customers don’t like to be passed to different agents when they are experiencing a problem. Having one representative assigned to a customer can help lessen this complaint and make your customer feel taken care of.
- Product capabilities – When a customer is expecting a product to perform a certain way and it doesn’t, they will head to the reviews section and let you know; make sure to be clear about the capabilities and what’s included.
- Missing parts – If parts are missing, your customer is not going to be happy. Vision systems help companies to automate the process of inspecting packages before sending to customers.
- The competitor is better – A common theme in customer reviews is that a competitor product is better. Make sure to stay ahead and know what your competitors are doing. You can also offer price matching.
The role of packaging
Packaging is a common theme in customer reviews, whether positive or negative. Luckily when it comes to packaging complaints, our packaging experts have solved the most common problems to make sure your customers are satisfied. Package damage and product damage can be avoided with the use of the right protective packaging. Customers will complain if there is too much – or too little – void-fill to protect the products, so it’s critical to get the right balance.
Other problems, such as missing pieces and parts or incorrect products can be solved with packaging machinery such as vision systems. Packaging automation has also influenced areas that affect customer reviews. For instance, customers will often complain if the shipping and processing time is too long. By getting products out the door more quickly, you can improve your customer’s rating.
Product review videos that customers publish online capture the unboxing experience that your customer has when opening the package. These videos can be especially powerful when you design customized experiences. Learn more about how unboxing is affecting businesses.
Do you need help with improving your packaging to create positive reviews amongst your customers? Contact a Hughes packaging expert