Do you keep stumbling at the same hurdles? Or are you stuck in a innovation rut? Let your customers guide you and use their valuable feedback to make sure you don't make the same mistakes twice.

Groundhog Day

It's that time of year again, when February beckons and we all hope the cold weather is behind us, but secretly we know that despite Groundhog Day tradition, we have another 6 more weeks of bitterly cold temperatures ahead of us.

Some take Groundhog Day as gospel, and others simply enjoy the festivites surrounding the event, but what stikes a chord with all is the notion that we look to something, or someone, for advice in uncertain times.

No matter what season we're in, if you're uncertain on how to improve your own business' service, boost revenue, or keep falling into the same trap each year whatever the nature, then now is the time to take action and positively adopt new strategies to avoid your own Bill Murray-esque Groundhog Day.

Listening to your customers

Picking yourself up may seem like a struggle, but you'll soon get there in no time if you encompass an asset that openly supplies advice and feedback: Your own customers.

The individuals that help build your business trial and test your products and service, therefore offer a wealth of untapped feedback. Customer-generated reviews sing your praises, but also point a spotlight on any areas that need improvement.

Oliver Bonas responding to and taking action from a customer complaint

Reviews enable you to rectify problems and issues and avoid unecessary complaints or hiccups, because if you're not listening to the people that actively use what you're selling, then you're effectively burying your head in the sand.

Improving service

You may believe that your current feedback methods are effective enough without reviews. But are they all-encompassing? It's only a very small minority that are compelled to leave a complaint when they are disgrunteled, whereas 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain. What's more shocking is that 91% of those individuals will simply decide not to use your services anymore, and never come back.

How do you feel about the insight to your services now?

Actively inviting customers to share their experience by writing a review offers them an anonymous voice to air their thoughts both good and bad. With a little prompt, your business can amplify the range and diversity of your customer voices, and get a much broader scope into your service.

Reviews therefore deliver a pool of information to start building a list of areas your customers aren't happy with, ranging from delivery or product quality, though to the time it takes for queries to be resolved - if resolved at all.

Reviews.io offer in-depth reporting tools for you to easily build a picture of your strengths and weaknesses. With Merchant Metrics you can pull out essential company information, such as the accuracy of your delivery time-frames and enquiry response windows, collated from the real people who use your service.

Merchant Metrics in action

Sentiment Analysis gives you an at-a-glace overview of the above services, with a graded rating from A to F alongside a satisfaction rating from Excellent to Poor, or Fast to Slow. More importantly there is a selection of your latest reviews with the highlighted sentiments, allowing you to see why you have recieved the following rating.

Sentiment Analysis displaying various delivery grades

Lastly, Competitor Analysis gives you a window to not only your service, but your competitors'. Information created from real-time review data enables you to benchmark your business to determine whether you're ahead, on par, or falling behind, for you to reinforce your service and please your customers at every touch point.

Competitor Analysis displaying review ratings and totals for Argos, Wilko and B&M

With the feature sets available, there's really no excuse not to understand what you customers want from you, and the steps you need to take to improve your service.

Boosting revenue

Reviews not only improve your business and build customer satisfaction, but your user feedback generates you more money. If you're revenue has plateaued, collect and display user reviews to inject new life into your website, evolve your service and product, and re-spark interest in your brand.

Reviews boost your revenue in a variety of ways. By collecting reviews with a Google Licensed review partner, such as Reviews.io, all your actively collected company reviews are aggregated and displayed as Seller Ratings in your paid Google Ads.

Seller Ratings in a BUILT/ ad

Seller Ratings in your ads help your business stand out against competitors, as stars attract the eye and then the click. Seller Ratings increase CTRs up to 22%, and with more people clicking your ads, you'll generally save up to 17% on PPC spend. You can also display your product ratings in your Google Shopping campaigns and see an uplift in AOV!

Reviews arent just confined to stars in your ads though.

Publishing reviews on certain pages of your website is one of the best ways to get your shoppers to convert. With information-rich peer-generated content at their fingertips, they'll be able to get all the information they need about your business or products in a heartbeat. Evergreen content such as reviews (which dynamically populate in your review widgets) keep the content on your site fresh. Google loves fresh and relevant content, therefore reviews are your SEO friend to help your business rank in the listings.

Review publishing example widget

Reviews.io have numerous badges and widgets to give you instant review coverage on your website, in just a few clicks. And with the Reviews.io API, fully-customise how you display reviews to seamlessly match your website and branding.

Yappy add dog icons along with pet names to their on-site product reviews

88% of individuals are influenced by online customer service reviews when making buying decisions, and shoppers who interact with reviews have been found to spend 11% more than those who don't, so how's your strategy looking so far?

You can drive traffic and conversion further by getting your service and product stars alongside any relevant organic listings. Organic stars such as these highlight your business in a sea of listings, encouraging clicks - because if individuals can see your lawnmowers are rated 4.5 stars with over 45 reviews - trust is established as well as social proof that other shoppers have used - and more importantly liked - what you have to offer.

Getting your stars into organic listings is really simple, and requires the addition to Rich Results (formerly called Rich Snippets) on certain pages of your site on which you have reviews published. Reviews.io make Rich Snippet implmentation a breeze, with all our widgets Rich Results-friendly. You can check out our Rich Results guide here to get you started, and soon see your fantastic review stars alongside your lsitings.

Organic review stars for Justmylook.com

Avoiding other pitfalls

Reviews - as demonstrated in this post - can be a shining light for your business. But they can also wreck your reputation when published across an array of review sites online which you have little to no control over.

The beauty of reviews is that pretty much anyone, anywhere, at anytime, can leave one for a service they have used. You may have even left a review yourself. I for one have written at least one review, unprompted, and the last one I wrote was on Google for my local supermarket.

I wasn't happy. They never have any baskets. Or trollies. Ever. I see people round the store with baskets and trollies - maybe they have a limited supply - but then after they're done, the baskets seem to fall into an abyss. One redeaming feature is the staff - they're awesome and always really helpful.

I mentioned both aspects in my review and will happily change the part about the baskets and trollies when I see a change. However, not all reviews left online are fair like mine. You'll get individuals leaving reviews who just don't like your business, whether they've used your service or not; You'll get people mistaking you for another company; And you'll get individuals who no matter how hard you've tried to please, will not edit their review and want the world to know their passionate hate.

But that's the internet, and that's life.

Reviews such as this have a deterimental effect on your business, and with so many local review sites across the web, it's really hard to keep tabs. We're here to make things a little easier, and a lot brighter.

With our Local Reviews solution you can direct a percentage of your customers to local sites of your choosing, such as Google Local, Facebook, Tripadvisor, Yelp - basically any local site that's important to your business - and start to build your reviews there.

Local review collection in effect populates those local sites will all your genuine customer feedback, which will be visible within your Timeline, so reviews on those sites never go under your radar. As you grow your reviews, your rating and review total will increase, bolsetering your credibility wherever your shoppers look, putting you back in control of your brand reputation.

Blog summary

Don't leave money on the table and your reputation on the rocks - take control and stop repeating the same silly mistakes.

Reviews offer you a wealth of information to improve your service and go from strength to strength: and your shoppers a wealth of information to encourage them to buy or not. It's up to you whether you use this to your advantage to bolster your service and leave your customers raving about you in their reviews.

Our advice? Your customer voices are unappreciated assets, but when utilised with Reviews.io will become your brand advocates, pushing your business to do better, be better, and stay ahead of your game.

For more information on how you can start collecting, publishing and managing your reviews, head to our homepage, or alternatively sign up using the button at the top of this page and see for yourself - it's quick and simple to get started.