Reputation Is Everything — Eight Apps To Avoid Bad Customer Reviews
- Why do customers leave bad reviews?
- How technology can help improve every part of the customer experience
- Gather feedback from your customers and use it to create products and services they need and love
- Make yourself available to your customer
- Provide exceptional customer service
- Train your people to be exceptional
- Monitor your brand
When it comes to business, reputation is everything. Consumers have never had more choice — It’s essential to polish every part of your customer offerings to perfection — The product/service itself, your online presence, technical support — Everything matters.
Consumers have a huge amount of influence, especially when they write reviews and leave negative feedback — 80% of consumers say they’re influenced by reviews. As a business, you’re judged and measured on social media, through customer feedback, and via specialty review platforms.
Word of mouth travels faster than ever before. When you do things right, you create business advocates, positive reviews, and new customers. Mess up, and you could suffer from bad reviews and social media mentions that drive your business into the ground.
Why do customers leave bad reviews?
Most customers leave bad reviews when they feel hurt or betrayed by the business they entrusted their money to. Usually, if you make a real effort to address a customer’s needs and fail, you won’t get a bad review. In fact, even if the product is a mismatch with the customer, they might still give a positive review and feedback if your business was attentive to their needs, provided good support, and refunded their money.
When customers post a bad review it’s normally due to a sequence of disappointments.
It starts with the business or product failing to meet their basic expectations.
- The product doesn’t perform as advertised — They’ve paid good money and don’t have the solution they need.
- The product breaks — It’s very frustrating when a product isn’t reliable or doesn’t work.
It ends with the consumer feeling left out to dry.
- They’re ignored by customer service — They wait too long for a response or don’t get satisfactory updates.
- Customer service fails them — They get the brush-off from customer service agents or it’s very difficult to fix their issue.
One of the biggest problems with bad reviews is it’s very difficult to deal with them after you’ve received them. Instead of “damage control,” you need to make the customer experience as good as possible.
How technology can help improve every part of the customer experience
This is where technology steps in — There are hundreds of software solutions to help you:
- Gather feedback from your customers and use it to create products and services they need and love.
- Make yourself available to your customer.
- Provide excellent customer service.
- Build consumer confidence.
- Train your people.
- Monitor your brand.
When you get every part of the process right, you can expect repeat customers, glowing reviews, a thriving business, and a competitive advantage.
Let’s explore how apps can help shape your customer journey.
Gather feedback from your customers and use it to create products and services they need and love
The first step is creating amazing products and services with all the features your customers expect and need. If you’re able to deliver best-in-class offerings, you’ll go a long way to giving your customers a good experience. If they’re actively involved in providing feedback to guide future product development, it gives them a great sense of ownership.
“Build better products with intelligent product feedback.”
Uservoice lets you ask existing and future customers exactly what they want from your products. They have an easy way to share feedback, comments and ideas to guide your product development. Users can vote on their favorite ideas to give you clear direction on what you should be prioritizing.
“On-premises, realtime feedback. Rediscover your business and reach your full potential with feedback driven analytics.”
Humm Systems is a little different — It makes it easy to gather face-to-face feedback from customers. Using a tablet and a structured set of questions, you can quickly and easily find out what customers think of your services. It’s perfect for restaurants, retail shops, healthcare settings, or anywhere your staff interact with people face-to-face.
Benefits of gathering feedback from customers
- Gives you immediate, relevant, useful feedback to improve your product & business.
- Lets you find out if market segments and new product offerings are worth pursuing.
- Provides a structured, managed, analytical way to understand your customers and stakeholders.
- Allows you to make customer-focused business decisions.
- Helps your customers feel listened to — Their feedback counts.
Make yourself available to your customer
It’s inevitable that eventually a product will fail — When that happens, you need to make sure the customer service experience is as good as possible. That starts by ensuring you and your customers have excellent communications channels. When it comes to customer service, there’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing what’s going on, so providing easy ways to stay in touch is vital.
“Your customers are messaging. Are you?”
OwnerListens lets you directly interact with customers through SMS (text) messages. They can report issues, provide updates, request discounts and more. You can use OwnerListens to give them solutions, provide feedback, and respond to questions.
“Better customer service starts with better communication, Zendesk brings all your customer conversations into one place.”
Zendesk is a complete customer support solution. It lets customers report issues easily, find answers to their problems, and actively communicate with you across all channels. It lets your customer service agents deal with issues quickly, ensures they prioritize fixes correctly, and leads to better ongoing customer relationships.
Benefits of making yourself available
- Helps your customers feel listened to and informed.
- Avoids their frustration of not knowing what’s going on.
- Shows you value the relationship with your customer.
Provide exceptional customer service
Of course, exceptional customer service isn’t just about communications, it’s about getting your customer’s issues fixed, quickly and effectively. Whether it’s easy access to a help desk, self-service, support guides, or visual support, customer service really matters.
“TechSee’s augmented visual support solution enables technical support agents to see what their customer sees. Visual support lets technical teams visually interact with customers to remotely diagnose and fix simple and complex problems alike.”
TechSee allows a customer service agent to access a user’s smartphone camera, so they can see exactly what the user sees. It uses this visual information to learn and analyze the issue, feeding the information into a knowledge base. The system visually identifies common issues as well as successful paths to resolution and can help customer service agents make more informed decisions.
Benefits of providing exceptional customer service
- Gets you ahead of the competition.
- Puts customers in control of any issues and problems they have.
- Makes communication effortless — An informed customer is a happy customer.
- Gives customers the information they need — They can get up and running again quickly.
- Turns customer service into a more positive experience — Helps your CSAs do an awesome job.
Train your people to be exceptional
The experience of your customers largely relies on the skills, approach, and expertise of your people. That’s why it’s vital to invest in hiring good, customer focussed employees and to provide them with the training they need to do an exceptional job.
Lessonly — Customer Support Training
“Lessonly helps ensure your team knows what they need to do, how to do it, and why.”
Lessonly is an advanced online learning platform. They allow you to create customized online training for your employees and customer service agents. You can create the perfect customer support training course, refreshers, and best practice and distribute it to your employees quickly and easily. These courses can provide your CSAs with the right skills, approach, and attitude to provide excellent customer service.
Benefits of training your people to be exceptional
- Lets your business become a leader in providing exceptional customer services.
- Allows you to hire for attitude and talent, and train for the right customer support skills.
- Provides reliable, consistent, focused customer service training to the people who need it.
- Lets your CSAs learn in their own time, pace, and preferred learning style.
Monitor your brand
With millennials becoming a dominant consumer group you need to stay appraised of what people are saying about you online, either via social media channels or elsewhere. That way you can react quickly to any feedback, whether it’s positive or negative.
“Monitor the web for interesting new content (like mentions of your business or brand).”
Google Alerts is a system that tells you whenever new content is published on the web containing certain keywords. You can use it to monitor the internet for mentions of your business, brand, competitors, market segments, products, services, and more. You can monitor:
- Your business and brand to find out what people are saying and respond to it.
- Your products and services so you can see how people are reviewing your business offerings.
- Your competitors so you can keep an eye on them.
- Market segments, methodologies, industry news etc, so you can quickly react to what’s happening.
“Save Time Monitoring Social Media”
Sprout Social provides robust social media monitoring for your brand, products, and services across various social media channels. You can listen for business and brand mentions and hashtags, monitor brand sentiment over time, and drill-down into the details of how your business is perceived.
Benefits of monitoring your brand
- Lets you keep up with social media mentions in an efficient way.
- Detects if there are issues with bad reviews or chatter on social media channels so you can address them.
- Lets you find and deal with customer issues quickly.
All of these apps can help you significantly improve the way you develop products and services, provide fantastic customer support, and communicate in a way that matters to your users. Ultimately, it’s all built around one simple idea — Delight your customers, and they’ll reward you again and again with trust, great reviews, advocacy, and revenue.