In the digital, instantaneous world we live in, customers have a voice – a very, very loud one at that.
Customer review sites offer many opportunities for companies. In a previous blog, we focused on how customer reviews can influence consumer buying decisions.
Customer reviews can benefit your business in other ways including:
- free marketing
- brand discovery
- research and development and
- by improving customer retention.
In January 2016, Phocas received the highest satisfaction rating on the review site, G2Crowd. Since then, we have been reviewed on CrowdReviews.com and most recently the B2B review site, Finances Online. Appearing on review sites such as these have numerous benefits including:
1. Free marketing
On CrowdReviews.com, Phocas has just been ranked the #1 business intelligence software vendor (see the press release on MarketWired). Due to the reviews on the site, Phocas was promoted to a global audience and has the opportunity to capture new customers. We’ve effectively hired a no cost marketing assistant!
2. Brand discovery
In the digital era, it is easier to start a business but reaching your target market can still be expensive. Take a small mobile locksmith with limited turnover based in New York City.
If the locksmith wants to draw attention to his or her business, one option is to bid for a paid placement via Google AdWords. Bidding on a phrase such as ‘emergency locksmith NYC’ through AdWords can cost upwards of USD $40 per click and the cost per sale can be much higher. Newspaper advertisements will be similarly expensive.
A far better strategy may be for the locksmith to create and manage presences on review sites such as Yelp, Google Plus and City Search. Businesses can encourage customers to leave reviews by handing out collateral with the review site’s details at the end of each job.
The more reviews the business picks up, the higher their search position will be. The higher their search position, the greater likelihood of free or inexpensive promotion.
These New York City locksmiths are being exposed to potential customers for free due to their reviews on Google.
3. Research and development (R&D)
In house R&D is a valuable strategic asset for many businesses. What has changed in recent years is that many business are embracing ‘open innovation’. Open innovation draws on the knowledge of people outside of the firm to create actionable insights. It follows the principle of ‘if we make the best use of internal and external ideas, we will win’.
This is where review sites can shine. On many review sites, customers of your product will reveal what they like and dislike about your offering. Many customers will also tell you the features they’d like your product or service to have.
These insights are at no significant cost to your organization and come from users that know your product well. You can guarantee that if one customer is asking for a feature, another customer will likely benefit from that too.
4. Improve customer retention
Harvard Business Review states acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Review channels give you opportunities to prevent unhappy customers from leaving if you are active and address their concerns. In fact, if a customer is satisfied with how you solved their problem, it can even lead to higher rates of customer loyalty. This is known as the 'service recovery paradox'.
Customer review sites play an important role in brand discovery, research and development and if you listen to your customers, they can improve customer retention.
Phocas helps businesses around the world improve their relationships with customers.
To see how, click here or the image below to book a free 20 minute online data analytics consultation. We will show you how you can better service your customers through your data.