Customer reviews are signposts that point exactly what needs to change in your business. If someone is disgruntled, or even just slightly disappointed, their review is a clue that there’s room for improvement. Negative feedback isn’t the only catalyst for change. Positive feedback can also inspire new ideas and innovation that moves the whole business in a better direction.
Businesses that actively ask for and collect customer feedback have access to a significant source of valuable information they can use to analyze and improve the customer experience. When you can deliver a truly great experience at any point in the buying journey and during every interaction, customers will pay as much as 16% more for a product or service. They’re also more willing to try additional products or services — giving another potential boost to your revenue.
Here are four ways to use customer reviews to improve and optimize your customer experience, and a brief discussion of how you can get the insights you need from your reviews.
1. Introduce a coveted new product or service
Let’s say you have a dental practice, and you get a customer review like this: “I booked the whitening treatment and really liked it. It would be great if you could sell an at-home treatment so I don’t have to come into the clinic every time.”
Maybe you’ve never considered a product like this before. Or maybe this is the fifth time in a month someone has made the suggestion. Learning from your reviews and offering the products and services your customers desire can give you a competitive advantage. Your customers will appreciate that you listened to them, they’ll be happy to spend more to get what they’ve been asking for, and they’ll have fewer reasons to hop over to your competitor.
2. Create more relevant messages and content
Customer reviews reveal a lot about the type of content your customers want to see. What keywords are they using? What are they routinely mentioning in their reviews or survey responses? What are their questions or concerns? What advice or industry knowledge are they seeking? In short, what can you give them that they’ll want to open and read?
Based on what you’re seeing in the feedback, you can segment your customers into different groups with different interests or needs, and then create and send targeted, personalized messages, posts, or other communications — using email, SMS (text) marketing, blog posts, social media, newsletters, or other channels. Your customers will want to engage with the content, which can increase sales and customer retention as a result.
3. Reward your top customers
When a repeat customer who is also a power user of your products or services posts a review, it tends to be detailed and include a depth of knowledge that can help convince others to do business with you. They end up being a valuable marketing tool in their own right.
You can identify and reward your top customers by giving them a stake in the game that makes them feel like an insider. Maybe it’s a loyalty card or premium level of customer service at no charge. You could invite them to be beta users of a new product or service you’re developing, or ask for their ideas about features they want to see. Your top customers won’t just feel like customers, they’ll feel like partners in the success and future direction of your business — and best of all, they’ll keep referring new customers.
4. Provide better customer support
Let’s say you have a dog grooming business, and you get a customer review like this: “I had to reschedule a grooming so I called and left a message because there’s no way to reschedule online. I didn’t get a call back until two days later.”
Customer reviews get really specific about what’s frustrating. In this case, there are two issues: the lack of a prompt response, and no way to easily reschedule online. Now you have a roadmap for how to provide better support to your customers. For example, you can add the Bookings feature on your Google Business Profile so customers can book directly from there. Or maybe you can add staff to your front desk to handle calls more efficiently. Your customers will tell you what’s not working, and when you make an effort to change, you can make customers for life.
Gaining the Right Insights
Gathering customer feedback is essential, but to make sense of it and use it effectively, you need the right tools that can help you uncover the most relevant insights.
One way to do this is with the power of AI. If you’re using a customer feedback and review management system, consider one with an integrated, AI-based capability that can analyze and summarize all the feedback and reviews that come in and turn them into an easily digestible report that identifies key insights (hint: GatherUp does this).
Any business can benefit from it, but it’s especially helpful for multi-location or franchise businesses that want to get insights across all locations to inform business-wide optimizations, but don’t have the time or resources to do it manually.
With the insights clearly laid out, you can make decisions about how to move forward to change, improve, and optimize your customer experience. As a result, you can earn more sales, communicate in a more personalized way, retain more customers, and support them more effectively.
To learn how GatherUp’s customer feedback and review management platform with AI capabilities can help your business, schedule a demo.