Brand Owners: Here’s Why You’d Better Be Tracking Your Product Reviews
When a customer looks at your product online, there is a strong chance she is also going to read customer reviews about that product, and those reviews are going to influence her decision about whether or not to buy.
According to research cited in Entrepreneur Magazine, 78 percent of US consumers read product reviews before making a purchase decision. In fact, research also shows consumers trust online product reviews almost as much as they trust a recommendation (or a warning) from friends and family.
Product review tracking is particularly important if you sell through a network of retail partners because negative reviews often have nothing to do with the products themselves but are instead about a customer’s disappointing experience dealing with a retailer.
Negative reviews can turn shoppers away from your products and, over time, they can damage your brand’s reputation. So if you are selling online, here are a few reasons you really have no choice but to constantly monitor the Internet for reviews about your products.
3 Reasons You Should Always Be Tracking Your Product Reviews
#1: You can quickly discover if there’s a problem
Let’s say you ship a new product that has a defect. Or one of your wholesalers uses a shipping company that regularly mishandles your products and delivers them to customers’ doorsteps either damaged or broken. It might take your company a long time (and many lost customers) to discover any of these issues—but a single negative review online could give you a clue that you need to investigate.
One reason product review tracking can be so valuable to a brand is that it’s often the best way to learn about problems with your product, your resale partners, your supply chain, or any part of your customer experience.
Plus, review tracking software now exists that can automatically scan the entire Internet at all times, gathering and analyzing customer reviews of your products and sending you alerts about key issues—such as words like “broken,” “damaged,” or “counterfeit”—so you can take quick action.
#2: You can learn which retailers are giving great (or lousy) service
Remember, negative product reviews are often not about your product itself but about how your customers felt about the buying experience. If you sell your products through a network of retailers, this is also extremely valuable information.
If you can track all of your product reviews, across all retailers’ ecommerce sites and all online marketplaces, you can get a good understanding of which resellers are positively reflecting your brand and which retailers might actually be harming your brand’s reputation.
To put this another way, without a system in place to track all of your product reviews at all times, you might never discover which retailers are doing your company a disservice and really have no business representing your brand.
#3: You can use review tracking to strengthen your brand
If you’re constantly monitoring your reviews across all ecommerce sites and online marketplaces, your company will be in a much better position to quickly respond by both investigating the issues raised in any negative review and contacting the customer directly to make things right.
You’ll often find that if your team reaches out to a customer who has just left a negative product review and helps correct the issue, that customer will be willing to edit their original review. In most cases, people just want to feel heard and understood, so just listening and showing empathy can improve the person’s view of the entire experience.
But even if your team is unable to persuade a customer to amend a negative review, the fact that you were tracking these reviews online in the first place, and were able to contact the customer directly, means your company will likely learn valuable information that can help you improve your product or your process—and protect your brand from the damage that could be caused by further negative reviews.
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