Placing prominent ads highlighting specials comes with challenges: the demand for products should increase, but then so should the companyís capacity for providing excellent customer service.
Four ways marketers can get the most out of customer reviews
By Adrienne Weissman, chief marketing officer at G2 Crowd
Customer reviews can be a great source for insights about a product or service. But with so many different online channels for feedback available, its difficult for marketers to determine which insights to pay attention to.
While marketers typically monitor customer reviews and conversations for the features they like the most, this isnt where the focus should be placed. Rather, marketers should be more concerned about what customers want to accomplish with a product or service. If marketers learn what customers are trying to accomplish, feel, and experience, its easier to discern what products or services can satisfy those needs.
Here are four ways marketers can leverage customer reviews to better understand the people and uses behind their product:
1. Pay attention to all reviewsgood, bad and in-between. Customer input of any sentiment is an incredibly valuable tool for marketers. While glowing reviews help marketers understand whats working for their product, negative reviews are often overlooked. Harsh criticism can sometimes be difficult for marketers to accept, but it can also provide the honest feedback product developers need to correct issues. Marketers need to break down communication barriers between developers and end users to wholly understand all customer opinions, both good and bad.
2. Use positive reviews as competitive intelligence. As earned media, good reviews are one of the most valuable resources for marketers. Because end users often trust their peers, marketers should make sure they are taking full advantage of positive feedback. For example, these reviews can be included on the company website as marketing collateral. Companies can also redirect prospects to their review profile on sites like G2 Crowd, a peer-to-peer business software review platform. These references will speak for themselves as more product developments are released and real-time feedback is provided for new features. Unused positive reviews are a waste of competitive intelligence, so marketers need to make sure they are getting the most out of positive feedback.
3. Develop a consistent review strategy to understand what customers really want. Oftentimes, marketers only turn to online reviews when customer satisfaction hits either an all-time low or an all-time high. Because of these extremes, its difficult to get a well-rounded understanding of how customers feel about the product on any given day. Marketers can address this issue by developing an ongoing review strategy. Consistently monitoring reviews will help marketers better gauge customers needs at any time, rather than when things are going very well or poorly. Monitoring reviews on a rolling basis will paint a more holistic picture of user feedback, highlighting the most common customer concerns and needs, rather than one-time anomalies.
4. Translate feedback to improve the customer experience. Customer opinions are clearly helpful on the surface, but arguably more important is the underlying reviewer data behind them. With advanced analytics technologies, marketers can zoom in on specific customer demographics such as company size, employee position and product use. With this information in mind, marketers can cross-correlate reviewer sentiment with various factors to better understand which markets may be underserved. On the flip side, marketers can develop plans to upsell over served markets that provide a wealth of positive feedback.
In all, marketers should not only listen to user reviews, but understand the reviewers writing them. This way, they are able to act on user feedback to drive their product forward.
Adam Beeson, Communications Director at G2 Crowd
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