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The Impact of Customer Reviews on Your eCommerce Business You Can’t See Them – But You NEED To Hear Them!

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One of our 1SEO teammates recently shared a story with us regarding their ongoing experiences with the Customer Service “department” of an industry-leading eCommerce business. We won’t mention the company by name. We will only allude to their name by referencing the South American river they borrowed that name from, thereby adequately concealing their true identity from the world. The story goes as follows: 

Top 3 Ways to Get Reviews for The eCommerce Industry

Our co-worker has been a long-time user of this anonymous eCommerce business, and an equally-long paying member of their “premier” service. The membership does include access to a giant Movie, TV & Music library, and “preferred” shipping terms for purchased items amongst its benefits. However, it appears apparent that providing excellent customer service – or any customer service, for that matter – is not included with this annual membership fee. 
In late February, our teammate received an odd-looking & strange-reading email from this unnamed eCommerce company. The email claimed that their most recent order – some office organizational supplies they did not order – was on hold. This hold was due to a “decline” of the credit card on file. The email went on to state that unless & until the card information was updated, access to their account would be locked; it was peculiar, as the only way to update that card information they were aware of was by accessing their account! There was no phone contact information in the email, but there was an email address to reply to, so…
A few weeks later, they started receiving phone calls from foreign-accented gentlemen. They identified themselves as being from (this companies’) customer service department, following up on the email reply sent weeks before. Each time our co-worker explained their story & situation, the “rep” on the phone seemed to understand the snafu; except for one oddity: 
The reps kept insisting on being provided with a new credit card by which to process this purchase transaction. Each time our co-worker questioned these “company reps” regarding details about the alleged declined transaction, answers changed. The reps kept providing different order dates, and various purchase amounts, and referencing different credit cards (by the last four digits only) saved in the account’s “payment” section. Our teammate was sharp enough not to be lured into providing their payment information to any of these reps. Each time demanded direct access into their account, by which they could verify for themselves the actual transaction under dispute. Of course, this access was repeatedly denied, and would only be restored upon their providing new payment information. Thus a stalemate ensued, and neither side got what they were seeking. 
Our teammate, concerned over their credit accounts & potential damage to their credit rating, contacted each lender individually. Each time they were relieved to discover that no transactions had been declined, and no “questionable purchase transactions” had been flagged. When being told details of the story, one of the card issuers responded by saying, “no worries – we can contact (this company) directly, and get this squared away for you.” 
They did what they promised to do – opening a dialogue between our teammate & this company. After what felt like a productive phone conversation, our co-worker was told that an internal investigation was now underway. They should hear back from a customer service rep within 24-48 hours. However, like all dealings with the customer service division of this company, no callback or email was received. It placed our teammate in basically the same position they were in before all of this. It is now mid-August. Our teammate has yet to speak with or hear from anyone at this eCommerce business – and almost six months later, still can’t get into their account – or make new purchases!
If only this eCommerce business were affected by the negative reviews our teammate posted about them on multiple sites; or cared at all, it seems. We suppose this degree of customer service is acceptable to a company with literally half the entire planet’s population as its’ customer base. Therefore, statistically speaking, one bad review won’t affect them whatsoever. However, most eCommerce businesses do not have this deep ocean from which to lure new customers. As such, the impact of even a single negative review would be much more significant. 
Protecting a business from the effects of negative reviews, and maximizing the exposure given to positive reviews, is known as Reputation Management. While not every digital agency offers this service as part of its packages, the best digital marketing agencies – like 1SEO – find it to be one of the most requested eCommerce business client services.
Unfortunately, businesses in every vertical sector are missing the boat when it comes to maximizing the potential impact of customer reviews. Many eCommerce companies are not sure how to go about getting new reviews. We thought we’d lend a hand by offering our Top 3 Ways To Get Reviews for eCommerce Businesses.
If You Don’t Ask,…: Practically every customer who had a bad experience will post a negative review. However, very few customers will post positive reviews after a pleasant experience. The best way to get positive reviews? Ask the customer to take 3 minutes & provide one!
Incentivize the Reviewer: Many customers are hesitant to post reviews, either good or bad. However, if given an additional incentive to post a positive review, such as a discount or coupon, they can apply to their next purchase. Be cautious about the offer. Many sites like Google & Yelp have rules regarding what can be offered in exchange for a review. 
Use the Opportunity to Your Advantage: In addition to reviewing one specific transaction, smart eCommerce businesses are using this opportunity to gather information about how to meet customer needs better. Ask specific, open-ended questions about their post-purchase experience(s) with the product they bought. This will make the review they leave more detailed, and therefore more believable.
The future of most eCommerce businesses is bright. Still, they must not rest on their laurels and expect their current customers to stay forever. Reviews will stay forever, so make sure you’re getting as many as you can – and do whatever it takes to make sure those reviews are positive ones.
Need some professional assistance in managing your online reviews and reputation? Contact 1SEO’s experts for a free digital marketing assessment today!

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