Your business is probably utilizing online reviews in some capacity: it could be basic, like having a review widget on your website and asking students to leave feedback through that, or more complicated, such as signing up for an online reputation management service that takes care of everything.
If you utilize student reviews in some way, whether it’s asking for them or managing them after the fact, how do you know if these efforts are actually making an impact? The truth is, there’s no way of knowing exactly what kind of impact they may have. However, we can look at data from different sources to see what kinds of trends emerge and use this information to influence our decisions on whether particular efforts are worthwhile and which areas we should continue focusing on (and which ones we should not).
Customer feedback is a huge part of customer service. If students know that their feedback will be heard and acted upon, they’re more likely to continue using your services. Once customer feedback has been received, it should be sifted through carefully. It’s important to remember the distinction between customer complaints and customer compliments. While customer complaints should also be listened to carefully, customer compliments can help you find out what people enjoy about your business and improve your customer relations.
Here are 5 customer review statistics that can help you understand the current customer feedback landscape and what, if anything, it means for your business.
1. Check your stats to identify trends in positive feedback
If you’ve opted for the simpler approach with a single review widget on your website, this is pretty straightforward: just log into whichever service you’re using, be it Yotpo or Sitejabber or another one, and look at your stats to see how many people have submitted reviews over time.
A simple graph will show you patterns in customer sentiment over time, which can help indicate what kind of impact these efforts may be having on your business. For example, if you notice that there’s suddenly an uptick in visitors reviewing their orders or signing up for your email list, you can infer that your efforts are starting to pay off in positive ways.
2. Check where you’re getting the most comments
If you’ve gone with an online reputation management service, they’ll be able to provide you with much more detailed information about how people are responding to your brand based on their review sources. You can ask them for a list of websites where customer feedback originates from and comb through it initially yourself if you find statistics intimidating (or just don’t have the time).
This will give you another clear idea of what areas you should continue focusing on because there’s so much positive feedback being spilled right now — or which areas aren’t getting any attention at all, meaning perhaps it’s time to cut back on certain efforts. Either way, this is a very useful way to figure out where you can devote more time and resources in order to get the most out of reviews.
3. Use review stats in conjunction with other data
If you regularly use Google Analytics in tandem with your reputation management service, this is also an excellent opportunity to see which areas are providing the most assistance so far when it comes to SEO efforts. Check back with your specific keywords or search terms regularly, especially after having made changes or improvements, so that you have a clear picture of how these reviews are affecting your business. This will allow you to keep everything balanced for maximum impact.
In addition to being aware of which keywords are receiving the most interest, you should also pay careful attention to the individual reviews that have been posted. Look for trends or patterns within a single review that would indicate strong SEO potential. For example, if certain key terms appear frequently in a large number of comments it is an indication that these words may provide you with some rather solid opportunities when it comes to your website’s search ranking. Again, balance is important; if all of your comments contain exactly what customers want, then Google will recognize this as well and won’t be impressed.
4. Listen closely for trends over time
As always, pay close attention during conversations with customers, whether in person or over the phone. Note any customer feedback — positive or negative — and see how it compares to online reviews in order to get a full picture of what these efforts may mean for your brand in the long run.
Maybe there’s something that’s showing up quite frequently in your interactions with customers but isn’t coming through very much in reviews (or vice versa). Taking all this data into consideration will help you make better decisions when it comes to future efforts; after all, if you’re not hearing about something often enough from different sources, perhaps it’s time to allocate more resources elsewhere.
5. Keep making an effort with these areas
Having said all this, don’t be discouraged by the fact that a few of these efforts might not be as successful as you’d hoped. Don’t give up! Review platforms will continue to change and evolve, and you’ll likely have a different experience with them several months from now.
Instead, learn what works and pay attention to which areas are getting the most positive feedback overall, then use that knowledge to help guide decision-making when you’re working on future efforts. Keep trying new things out, whether it’s something like adding another widget or building another review page, because this information will only get more detailed over time and may even expand beyond your control (in which case you can always abandon ship if necessary).
Notes: People are taking the time to leave reviews, so make sure you pay attention to them. Paying close attention to both online and offline conversations about your brand leads you to get a better understanding of what efforts are working out for you.