From brutally honest to ragingly hilarious, customer reviews are without a doubt a great source to get consumer opinions about a product or service prior to committing to a purchase. Research has found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. In fact, 68% of consumers will form an opinion about a product or service after reading between one and six online reviews.

With a dizzying array of reviews on social media and the Internet, coupled with a high level of consumer trust in them, reviews are crucial for brands to not just monitor their brand perception and reputation, but also to improve customer service, prevent crises, and inform business strategies.

Here are five ways you can capitalize on user reviews to optimize your marketing strategies, customer experience, and business strategies:

1. Track Brand Sentiment and Brand Perception

Reviews on websites, blogs and social media can reveal a great deal about brand sentiment and perception. Analyzing the occurrence of positive and negative words such as ‘love’, ‘hate’, ‘best’, and ‘worst’ can help you to determine customer sentiment towards your brand. Furthermore you can gain important qualitative insights on how consumers perceive your brand by looking at commonly used keywords associated with your brand.

Oreo Trends on Social Media - Digimind
A data visualization displaying key trends in online conversations around Oreo. Image from Digimind Social.

Monitoring trends in reviews over time will also enable you to keep track of whether your brand is improving in these areas, understand consumer wants, detect a looming crisis, and pick up on any potential business opportunities in the forecast.

2. Improve Customer Service

Bill Gates once said ‘Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning’, and he sure was right. In the age of customer experience, customer service plays a major factor in achieving brand loyalty. Thus by actively monitoring and responding to negative reviews, you could demonstrate commitment to helping solve customer problems, and would at the same time be able to identify areas of improvements to elevate customer service levels.

Bonus: Learn how NH Hotel improved quality standards by monitoring customer reviews

3. Identify Product Development Opportunities

Reviews allow you to understand common user experience and product issues easily. Having a rooted understanding of these issues will allow your product development and management team to prioritize updates to ensure a customer-centric product offering and a great customer experience.

4. Benchmark Against Competitors

It’s easy enough to monitor reviews on your own pages on sites like TripAdvisor, Google, Amazon, or Facebook pages. However often when people review products, they compare to similar products they already know. By keeping track of what people are saying about your main competitors, you’ll be able to easily understand what consumers like and dislike, and benchmark yourself against competitors on aspects like product offering and brand sentiment.

5. Recognize Unmet Consumer Needs

When analyzing reviews, look out for statements such as ‘I wish…’ or ‘the only thing…’ to highlight areas of improvements in yours or your competitor’s offerings. By identifying trends in such mentions, you’ll be able to inform your product development team on desired specifications. At the same time you can also optimize your marketing and content strategy by playing up features you already offer, that consumers are looking for, to increase your customer pool.

 

There’s lots to be learnt from online reviews. However oftentimes keeping track of and analyzing reviews can be a laborious and time-consuming task. Either you get too much information, or you’re wearing so many hats in the office that you don’t find time to put on your ‘Review Analyst’ hat.

Tools such as Google Alerts can help to highlight new reviews on websites and blogs. However more detailed review monitoring via a social listening platform, will prove to be more effective with expert tools with the capabilities to analyze data as well.

 

Discover how Digimind Social can help you to easily monitor and analyze reviews and online conversations about your brand so you can keep up with consumer trends and optimize business strategies.

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