Customer ratings directly influence business growth.
The good news is that you can influence whether this rating is positive or negative.
The first step is understanding what we mean when we talk about customer ratings.
As these ratings are generally public and visible to everyone, prospective customers use them to decide whether they want to buy your product or not.
This makes it crucial to keep both a) track of your ratings, and b) work to make them better.
Fortunately, there are a number of specific steps you can take to improve and increase these ratings. Let's get into them now - feel free to click through.
You can positively influence your reviews through a number of different approaches - here are 11 specific steps you can take to improve your customer ratings:
You should never ignore bad reviews.
If you do, your reviews could spiral out of control and damage your brand's reputation faster than you can fix it.
Responding to negative feedback can give you some control and influence over what your customers say and think about you.
It also allows you to offer solutions to your customers that improve their overall experience, and hopefully retain their business.
As an added benefit beyond providing solutions to existing customers, potential customers can also be influenced by the responses you give to your reviews.
Research from Podium found that 56% of consumers actually changed their perspective after reading responses to reviews.
When you respond to reviews it shows them that you're trying to solve your customers' issues.
It also assures your customers that if things go wrong while doing business with them, the issue will be sorted out quickly - this builds confidence in your brand overall.
While responding to the negative reviews is the clear first step, don't forget about your customers that leave you positive reviews.
You should always reach out to positive reviewers and thank them for leaving a rating.
It's also a good idea to tailor your response to what the customer has told you.
An example of this can be seen in the below, where a Hilton representative responded to a review referencing the sunrise views that the reviewer enjoyed.
Responding to positive reviews makes your customers feel valued, engaged, and listened to.
When you respond to positive reviews, you also signal to potential customers that you care about your customers' opinions.
These factors contribute to overall loyalty and will ultimately lead to lower levels of customer churn.
Asking open-ended questions is a great way to get to know what your customers expect from your products and of your organization as a whole.
The open-ended data these conversations provide can help you develop and adapt your products and customer experience into something your customer is likely to need or want to buy.
Essentially, entering into dialog with your customers shows them that you care about their opinions and experience. This in turn fosters loyalty.
The data backs this up. One study from Wunderman found that 79% of consumers chose to purchase with brands that demonstrate they understand and care about them.
When you tailor your message to your customers, they're more likely to pay attention.
Demonstrating that you understand their needs, and are going out of your way to build a custom solution to match their needs, will set you apart from the competition.
Using their names when you speak with customers and asking them specific questions can make a big difference.
Furthermore, when you respond to their feedback in detail, or reference their remarks, they know you have actually read and appreciated what they are saying.
Personalizing the experience you provide and not just providing stock responses also helps to engender loyalty
If it's difficult for your customers to leave you a rating, they won't. It's as simple as that.
Incentives can be a great way to get people to leave reviews. Even something small and symbolic can entice people to leave a review when they wouldn't normally.
An experiment conducted by HBR showed that customers who were offered an incentive wrote reviews with 40% more positive language, as opposed to the group who were not offered any incentive.
Alternatives to monetary rewards include points in a loyalty program, free premium services, or product samples.
Having a substantial amount of reviews breeds more business and more reviews.
Therefore, if you have customers willing to share their positive experiences, you can make the most of this by posting their reviews to your website or your social media channels.
Here's an example of how one law firm adds testimonials to their site:
Through prominently displayed testimonials like these, you can show prospective customers your best side, as you have more control over what gets published on your own channels.
While not always easy, especially if you're dealing with tens of thousands of customers, encouraging interaction between your brand and your base can go a long way to increasing strong customer ratings.
A great example of this can be seen with Chewy, a dog food company whose recent customer interaction made international headlines.
A Chewy customer contacted them asking to return unused dog food after her dog died. The customer service representative she spoke to encouraged her to donate the food to a shelter. They then gave her a full refund and sent flowers with a personalized note signed by the same Chewy representative.
It's this sort of kindness and personal touch from brands that lead to excellent ratings, customers for life, and the organic attraction of new customers.
It's impossible to read through tens of thousands of customer reviews. But it is essential to effectively analyze all of those reviews.
To get this done, you'll need the help of automation.
Tools like MonkeyLearn's industry leading AI automatically analyze your ratings for you using machine learning powered text analysis techniques.
MonkeyLearn in particular offers a no-code solution that can deliver deep and actionable insights from your ratings data, no matter the size or complexity, in a matter of seconds.
Just listening to your reviews doesn't count for much if you don't act on the feedback they contain.
Once you have analyzed your ratings you'll see where changes need to be made. Next, you'll need to actually make these changes.
Here's an example of Elon Musk taking action based on feedback he received on Twitter:
Once again, keep in mind that negative reviews aren't the only place where you'll find changes that need to be made.
While they may be easier to spot there, positive reviews can also show you what you should do more of and how you can extend this to more customers.
When you make changes based on your customer feedback, you're more likely to offer your customer something they're likely to buy.
This will also mean more positive ratings and repeat business.
Once you've made changes based on your customers feedback, it's highly beneficial to let your customers know that you've acted.
Don't take it for granted that customers have noticed - go ahead and tell them exactly what you've changed and that you changed it because of their feedback.
You can post this in the form of an update blog, a review response, a tweet response, or even an individual email for that extra personal touch
When you do this, your customers will feel more heard and be more likely to continue sharing their experiences in the future.
The ratings your customers leave you are crucial to the continued success of your business.
But, just because they come from your customers doesn't mean you are powerless to over what they are saying.
There are a number of steps you can take to improve your ratings, including simple things like responding to reviews and making it easier for customers to rate your business.
Ultimately though, the most important things you can do are listen, analyze, and take action.
August 15th, 2022