The feedback you receive from the clients you serve will help you to more accurately pinpoint what works well (and what doesn’t) in your organization. It will also illuminate the path forward since you’ll better understand both your customers’ experience and their expectations. Equipped with this information, you will be in a position to devise targeted marketing strategies that truly get results.
The Importance of Reviews
No matter your product, service, or industry, business is never a one-way street. It’s a relationship and, like any relationship, it thrives on strong communication. After all, a company can neither win a customer’s loyalty nor serve them well if decision-makers don’t first understand what their customers want.
Customer reviews are the royal road to your target market’s heart. Reviews enable you to understand what customers need, expect, and require from your business, as well as to assess exactly how well your company is currently meeting the mark. This allows your company to focus its efforts on optimizing processes in meaningful ways — ways that truly matter to your target audience.
This might involve, for instance, revising product development processes or customer service strategies to better align with customer expectations. Marketers can then highlight these innovations to demonstrate the company’s commitment to customer care, its efforts to optimize the customer journey, and its determination to listen and respond to the voice of the customer.
Marketing Your Customer Reviews
In addition to using customer reviews as a key source of customer data, you can also repurpose your reviews for marketing purposes. This can offer multiple benefits for your business.
If, for example, you’re running a small startup, it can be difficult to know what departments you truly need. You may feel like a marketing department is too costly or complex to handle in the early phases of your business.
However, this is where customer reviews come in. They can act as collateral for your business, taking the legwork out of creating those materials yourself. Simply put, customer reviews can be a terrific platform for launching your new company’s marketing department while minimizing the financial outlay required to get the department off the ground.
Both fledgling and established marketing teams can harness the promotional power of customer reviews in myriad ways. For instance, reviews can be used to enhance your business’s online presence. Integrating reviews into your company website and social media pages is an ideal way to raise brand awareness and incite market interest.
You can also include relevant reviews to introduce or promote products via email or direct mail campaigns. This saves you time and money in creating your marketing collateral while at the same time leveraging the benefits of positive word of mouth.
Learning From Mistakes
There are lots of reasons why customers complain about their experiences with a company, but among the most common of these is a perceived misrepresentation of a company’s products. Customers expect to get what they pay for, at minimum, so when they feel that a business has failed even to meet that standard, their complaints are likely to be vociferous and voluminous.
The good news is that you can learn a lot about how to improve your marketing strategy by using customer reviews to identify where you’ve fallen short in the past. Complaints about product “misrepresentation” aren’t necessarily complaints about the product itself.
Customers may perceive the item to be adequate for the purposes for which it was designed, but not for the purposes for which it was marketed. When you spot these kinds of complaints in negative reviews, you will know immediately that you need to adjust not only your marketing strategy but also your target audience. This can be a laborious and frustrating process, but it’s a far better option than proceeding with a marketing campaign that continuously misses the mark.
Customer Reviews as a Path to Engagement
Another critical benefit of customer reviews is that they offer an invaluable opportunity to engage and interact with your customers. For example, encouraging customers to leave reviews and offering incentives — such as product discounts or promotional merchandise — when they do, will enable marketers to reap the benefits of the marketing insights reviews provide.
At the same time, demonstrating a sincere interest in customer feedback helps marketers cultivate a brand identity based on responsiveness, engagement, and service.
Marketing has always been a customer-first endeavor. However, marketers rarely recognize or leverage the tremendous power of customer reviews. Reviews offer invaluable insight not only into a customer’s experience with a company but also into the expectations, needs, and goals of the target market.
In addition, reviews can serve as highly effective marketing collateral in and of themselves. This is especially beneficial for small startups striving to get their marketing departments off the ground. Perhaps most importantly of all, customer reviews can help marketers identify where their strategies are falling short while at the same time enabling the company to cultivate a reputation for responsiveness to and engagement with their customers.