Reviews, online or otherwise, can be a source of stress and frustration for some businesses. While many customers write good reviews, studies suggest consumers may be slightly more likely to dwell on negative experiences, and review likewise. The anonymity of the Internet allows customers to discuss experiences candidly and harshly, and reviews are not always pleasant to read. However, customer feedback, both positive and negative, provides valuable information and insight into a business.
Here are some reasons why customer feedback is powerful tool when managing any business:
Feedback can lead to improvements in products or services: If a company is unaware of customer experiences, attitudes, and opinions, they are less likely to fix potential problems. By writing reviews, customers can discuss topics that can sometimes be difficult for a company to hear. While a poor review may seem simply negative, it actually gives insight into what needs improvement and, by fixing it, the company can move forward in a positive direction.
Reviews measure customer satisfaction in the form of tangible data: Numbers and statistics say a lot about what is happening within a company during a given time period and can be used to make informed decisions. For example, reviews can confirm whether improvements to a product were successful or if new concerns have arisen. Based on customer feedback, the company can then decide the best course of action.
More specific data can also lead to a better understanding of customer satisfaction. If patterns among positive and negative reviews are found, they can be broken down and utilized in effective ways. For example, if customers between 18-24 are more likely to write a negative review, measures can be taken to figure out why.
Listening to customers makes them more likely to return: Satisfaction builds reputation and brings in new and returning customers. However, if a customer has a problem, he or she will not return unless it is fixed. Direct communication with unhappy customers helps them feel important, and that their concerns are valid and will be addressed. Though one experience may have been bad, simply listening to and helping a customer can change an overall opinion.
Customer feedback programs come in all shapes and sizes. They can be structured, like surveys, or less formal, like online reviews or through social media. They can also focus on specific concerns or address the company as a whole. Any method can be helpful, but every business is unique and benefits most from using the best-suited program. If you need help finding the best way to collect customer feedback, contact BPM. We are happy to help.
Blog post by: Kimberly Schwarzenbart