Stoves Online is a family-run, UK supplier of wood burning stoves. With over 35 years of experience, they're experts in their field, not only providing stoves but installation advice and chimney design as standard.


Turning a bad customer experience into a brilliant one

No company is perfect, but Stoves Online certainly try to be. When customers leave negative feedback, they do all they can to resolve the problem and turn a bad experience into a brilliant one.

The challenge

A customer purchased a product with Stoves Online. When it arrived, it wasn't quite what she had expected.

While the product description referred to the newest model of the product, the images showed both an older and newer version of the product.

The customer was expecting to receive the older version, but of course, she got the latest model.

She complained about this, and was told she could return the product, but would need to pay for the return postage herself.

She wasn't happy about this and left a negative review.

The solution

With Reviews.io, it's easy to see every single one of your reviews coming in so that you never miss a thing. When Sune Nightingale, Director at Stoves Online, was alerted to the negative review, he immediately understood the customer's frustration.

I think they didn't take long enough to think (the return process) through to be honest. So I talked to the lady and agreed with her that I wasn't happy about that either. I refunded her the delivery cost and then the team met and we reviewed how we handle situations like that. Of course we also corrected the webpage.

Sune was extremely proactive in addressing the problem and admitting that Stoves Online could have done better on this occasion. But most importantly, he worked alongside the customer collaboratively to find a solution.

The results

It's easy to think that the customer's experience ends when the product is received. In this instance with Stoves Online, not only was an extra step added by collecting reviews, but responding to the negative review directly added even more steps to that journey. Even more steps mean even more opportunity to make a journey a great one.

Had Stoves Online not responded to the review, they wouldn't have been able to solve the customer's problem. By doing so, not only did they learn about an issue with their product page, but the customer decided to update her review accordingly.

The customer was very happy with this outcome and re-reviewed. I didn't even ask her to, that wasn't my plan - she came out and said she wanted to. I was very happy with this outcome because it helped us improve our service process and the way in which we deal with and think about certain types of returns.

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The whole review process resulted in both a happier customer and enabled Stoves Online to improve its offerings for future customers. When negative, Stoves Online do all they can to admit mistakes, solve problems and turn things around, and as a result, have a glowing reputation: 419 reviews with a 4.91 overall star rating!


The takeways

Stoves Online are a wonderful example of a company doing reviews right.

Collecting reviews is an excellent way of learning more about your products and services than you ever thought possible. After all, your customers are experiencing your business first-hand.

Even negative - and some would say especially negative - reviews can be really useful to you as a business. Go in with an open mind, be proactive, and they'll facilitate the continuous improvement of your offerings.

For a business much larger than our rather small one, the benefit of learning from these reviews would very much scale. I'd advise management to actually look over the reviews - they might see really useful ideas being suggested by customers too.