New research published by software comparison platform Capterra surveyed over 1,000 decision makers of British SMEs to understand the value they see in customer reviews and what are their efforts in increasing it.
The survey revealed that a big majority of companies (77%) have a dedicated person or a full team responsible for managing customer reviews. Also, a third of SMEs say they have been using a software solution to collect reviews.
Over 80% of decision makers believe the value of reviews is fully worth the additional investment in software purchase and hiring of additional team members. 29% identify this value as being directly related to sales and therefore revenue. The vast majority however think customer reviews primarily give the company the opportunity to make the customer service better (59%) and improve the product or business offering based on the received feedback (54%).
Companies with more reviews focus on customer experience
A clear distinction in the value of reviews can be seen between companies with a higher and lower number of reviews. SMEs with reviews over 50 mainly use them to improve customer service, those with over 500 see reviews as an opportunity to interact and engage with customers and help build a roadmap for future products, while companies with less than 50 focus mainly on direct monetary value that reviews can generate.
When it comes to managing reviews, only 7% of respondents were not satisfied with the way their company manages and collects the reviews, 45% of which would like to engage more with the consumer and reply to their feedback.
Sonia Navarrete, content analyst said, “Customer reviews can be crucial for small businesses. The vast majority of British SME owners and decision makers are happy with the way their company is handling reviews. The study shows that there is a direct relation in having specific resources destined to deal with customer reviews and an increase in sales and an improved customer service, as well as brand image.
Reviews also help companies to interact with customers and engage with them. This is particularly important at a time when there is social distance and remote working, and virtual socialising is the new norm – companies need to be seen as ‘social listeners’ and feel closer to customers than ever before.”