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How can online reviews boost customer retention?

20th Sep 2022
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It is far more expensive to find a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. Harvard Business Review determined that better customer retention rates can increase profits by up to 95% – and that’s as simple as making customers happy.

So how do you go about retaining customers? There are many different customer retention strategies that span the range of customer experiences. There is, of course, a foundation of satisfactory products or services. If you give your customers junk, they won’t stick around.

Assuming your business model and products are sound, how do you keep customers coming back for more? One of the means how to boost customer retention is by addressing negative reviews. Increasing customer retention might be as simple as following what they are saying online and trying your best to resolve the complaints. 

Leverage Technology to Track Customer Interactions

You can’t improve your client retention until you know how many customers are sticking around. There are excellent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software programs out there to help to determine your churn rate, or how many customers are coming and going over time. 

Once you understand the underlying customer service experiences your business creates, you are better prepared to address any concerns or complaints. After all, you need to know the data – both good and bad – if you want returning customers. 

Monitor Online Reviews

Once you’ve determined the best way to gather data about what’s happening in your business, turn your attention to what’s happening online. Online reviews are constantly popping up. Review websites like PissedConsumer.com have millions of reviews from customers about their experiences – most of them unaddressed by the business. 

Social media hosts millions more customer reviews, so there is more data to collect that might be missed by your CRM software, but more importantly, there are customers to interact with.

Create a Positive Public Interaction

You already know that most customers hesitate to buy from a company that has a negative feedback on a review website. That’s why many business leaders worry about negative reviews and do their best to cultivate as many positive reviews as possible. 

While every positive review definitely helps build trust with consumers, how you handle the occasional negative review matters just as much. By the time a customer is frustrated enough to post on a review site like PissedConsumer, they likely have nothing good to say. 

It is your job, as the business leader, to find these negative reviews as quickly as possible and publicly address the concern in a positive way. Then you’ll be able to resolve the issue so that the global audience, who you know is watching to see how your business handles itself, can understand you are a company that stands by its customers and wants to do well. 

Respond to Positive Reviews

If a customer takes the time to leave you a positive review online, drop a quick word of thanks. You can automate this with a quick note as simple as “Thank you for the feedback! We look forward to working with you again in the future.” 

Address Questions or Concerns 

Treat questions or concerns about your company as neutral inquiries. They can go either way and hopefully, you’re going to create a positive experience for your customers and provide valuable information for other customers to benefit from as well.

When questions arise, typically through social media platforms but potentially on review sites, have a cheerful, prompt response posted as a reply as quickly as possible to engage the customer in a meaningful dialogue. 

Work With Negative Reviews

If a question or concern goes south, it can become a negative review quickly. When you find negative reviews, social media posts, or a customer accelerates a question into a negative space, it’s important to have a plan in place for the best way to put these negative reviews to work and retain customers.

Online reviews, even negative ones, can be powerful for businesses. Customers want a personalized experience with businesses they know care about their loyalty, and online reviews or posts on social media are the perfect vehicles to showcase your devotion to your customers. 

Show customers that they are interacting with a person who cares and wants them to be satisfied with their purchase and company experience. And they will reward you with their continued patronage.

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