Today, overlooking customer service simply isn’t an option anymore. In the current competitive landscape, companies have to work harder than ever before to stand out from the competition. While discounts and low prices can help you acquire new customers, they certainly won’t help you retain them.
As customers become more and more empowered, the need for customer-centric companies who care about customer experience is rapidly growing.
Trustpilot review data shows that one-star and 5-star reviews most commonly mention ‘customer service’. Yet, whilst most companies like to say they are “customer-first”, too many of them either don’t listen to customers or don’t have ways to make it actionable.
According to a 2019 HubSpot research study, 88% of people agree that customers have higher expectations than in the past, and 89% agree that customers are more likely than ever to share positive or negative experiences.
It’s time to take action.
In this article, we will show you how to up your customer service game, and why you should consider doing it with reviews.
Why reviews will boost your customer service standards
1. Let your customers do the talking
Today, buyers are on the hunt for social proof. According to HubSpot, reviews, ratings and testimonials rank second highest of everything people search for when doing online research.
69.5% of companies also admit that review sites, social media and word-of-mouth directly drive leads for their business.
If you’re not asking your customers to share their opinion, you might be missing out! "Today’s buyers trust customers, not companies. When marketers harness this social proof, it can drive leads and generate revenue, but very few are doing so. There is still an advantage for marketers who can build the voice of the customer into their marketing efforts, but they need to act quickly," said Michael Redbord, GM Service Hub, HubSpot.
We all know it’s getting easier for consumers to compare companies online. This only makes it harder for businesses to stand out from the competition, and retain customers over time. In 2019, 95% of consumers do online research as part of their buying journey, which often involves looking for social proof.
Delivering a great experience and even better customer service helps boost confidence and improves loyalty in the long run. That’s why companies providing excellent service often put customers at the heart of everything they do.
Did you know that, according to HubSpot Research, almost half of businesses who say they are “customer-centric” don’t actually do anything about it? Today, 42% of companies don’t survey or collect customer feedback, and only 19% of brands have a customer advocacy program. Collecting reviews, and showcasing feedback throughout all channels provides extra information about your company, your products, and your customer service. This significantly boosts customer confidence.
Believe it or not, leveraging reviews is a great way to improve your user experience, and answer some of your customers’ questions.
Trustpilot tip: Reading customer reviews can help you identify recurring questions. Why not use this to update your FAQ page and boost your customer service standards?
Customers are always going to conduct their own research — by giving them the information up front, they won’t have a reason to leave your site.
2. Use online reviews to identify trends
Earlier, we asked how excellent customer service is defined. Providing great customer service means understanding your customers and your audience, their needs, and their wants.
Great customer service also means meeting and exceeding expectations, every single time. No, that doesn’t mean getting it right every day — after all, we’re only human. However, you should be trying your best, and putting the customer at the heart of everything you do. Doing so will result in great communication and resolution skills, and therefore, a better brand reputation.
According to HubSpot, 74% of companies say they are measured on customer satisfaction, yet only 58% of companies survey customers.
How is customer satisfaction being measured without feedback from customers? How is great customer service being achieved without insights from customer feedback?
Reviews helps you collect fresh consumer insights which highlight the areas of development, and the opportunities to improve your service and grow your business.
Today, only 54% of customer service teams report to a customer success department. Trustpilot’s new Review Insights tool is powered by Artificial Intelligence technology. It allows you to detect trends, identify customer sentiment, and work towards a better customer experience and customer service. If you haven’t got a customer success department yet, it might be time to consider creating one!
Asking for reviews shows how much you care about customer satisfaction, and how hard you are working towards improving your customer experience and your customer service.
3. Start acting on consumer insights
You’ve started collecting reviews, and you’re slowly receiving more and more consumer insights.
Embrace the feedback, good and bad, and start taking action. According to HubSpot, only 12% of consumers believe a company when they say they ‘solve for the customer’.
Prove those consumers wrong. Collecting consumer insights is great, but it doesn’t stop there. Customer service professionals who report into a Marketing department agree that reviews and social proof drive leads at the highest rate. Once you have the data, start thinking about which departments, processes and initiatives might be involved. Then, put of a plan of action together.
When you have an overview of where you’re doing well, and areas that need more attention, you’ll spend your time solving customer issues rather than finding them. Soon enough, your customer service standards will increase, and your customers’ expectations will be met and exceeded, every single time.
In a recent Trustpilot survey, over 5,900 consumers expressed a unique trust value in Trustpilot ratings (called TrustScore). 92% of customers said they would not consider buying from 1 or 2-star rated brand. Another reason to start working on your brand reputation by improving your customer service with online reviews!
Thank you to HubSpot for letting us use data from their 'State of Customer Service in 2019' report in this article.