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Customer reviews are more essential than ever to pay attention to, says Ramin Vatanparast, chief product officer at Trustpilot.
From the company’s point of view, reviews help a business scale and grow, enabling it to listen directly to their customers via reviews and feedback. They offer a tremendous amount of insight into what areas can be improved, what the company can do differently, and how to scale and grow business based on the needs or the feedback received from customers.
On the consumer side, reviews help shoppers make decisions about what product or service they want to buy, and who they want to buy from. Reviews help them collect the information they need to make good choices, and impact the buying journey from start to finish: from the moment they become aware of a product or service, to searching and researching, then purchasing and providing feedback.
“The first, biggest mistake is to not listen to the customer’s voice,” Vantanparat says. “And not investing in ways to collect and analyze customer feedback.”
The importance of negative reviews
The other big mistake is only focusing on the positive reviews, which creates an entirely skewed perception of your own business practices. And allowing only positive reviews to stand on your feedback channels is suspicious to consumers. Consumers use negative reviews to make a more informed choice about the products they’re interested in buying, and feel more confident about their selection. It could be that a negative review addresses a feature immaterial to a consumer, yet seeing a negative review alongside more relevant positive ones builds trust, leading them to purchase.
“Negative reviews are important,” Vatanparast says. “It tells you what part of your business is possibly not functioning in the right way.”
Successful companies know that as soon as a negative review comes in, the most important thing is to see what you can do to possibly resolve that case. If that case cannot be resolved, you can look to your overall reputation and see how you can move in the right direction so similar cases will not become a pattern for the company. And as customer service agents engage with shoppers leaving their feedback and handle issues, you build strong relationships with your customers, increase your reputation, and positively impact your overall trust score — which impacts your revenue overall.
Changing the game with smart review platforms
That’s where a powerful review platform comes in, to surface themes in your reviews, based on your verticals, and help you track those sentiments carefully over time, and pivot as necessary as the reviews keep rolling in.
And if you’re getting a thousand reviews a month, there’s no way to keep on top of those manually, and stepping back to identify those essential patterns in the great wall of consumer sentiment requires artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning. NLP can quickly analyze reviews and find trends or patterns in their behavior, or even guide users in writing effective reviews.
Machine learning models capture data and create hypotheses about behaviors. As new data comes in, the models get smarter at analyzing and synthesizing the reviews and sentiments they capture and highlight the most important things that companies need to pay attention to.
A smart review platform can pick out the areas of positive sentiment, where you’re moving in the right direction, the tenor of negative sentiments and the areas that need to be addressed. And that’s essential especially if you don’t have the resources to tackle every minute area — a snapshot of those overall attitudes highlights the highest priority items, the places it’s most essential to tackle first. It guides you to the most important reviews to pay particular attention to as well, where you need to reply and engage with your customers quickly, and what you need to look at internally to address or stave off similar issues in the future.
The themes that emerge in your feedback also provide essential insight into your company’s strategy, for whatever stage of your business or industry you’re in. If you’re introducing a new product, for example, focusing on consumer response as you roll it out helps you make adjustments on the fly. If you’re in retail, it could be determining if the product is the right fit for your category, or how your size range is received. If it’s software or services, it’s whether your product has the features it offers on the box.
For more on how smart review platforms reduce huge workloads, help you go after positive and negative sentiment in real time, keep on top of themes with real-time reporting, but also to build an understanding about historical data, register now for this VB Live event.
Don’t miss out!
How to find themes in your customer reviews so that you can fix the real pain points instead of putting “band-aids” on each unhappy customer
Steps to guide your business decisions around what your customers say they want, not what you think they want
The importance of addressing your most common negative issues first to see an immediate change in your customer satisfaction level
The concept of always improving your customer experience — searching for trends in your good reviews to turn them into great reviews
Ramin Vatanparast, Chief Product Officer, Trustpilot