Product review monitoring is, by definition, the continuous observation, checking and recording of customers’ feedback (aka reviews) after they have purchased and used products from one brand or another.
Any business that designs, manufacturers or sells physical products, either directly or through distributors, needs to discover, at some point, and understand how its customers have been experiencing its products and how they rank them compared to earlier versions of the same product or competitors’ similar ones.
But what are the challenges that consumer goods businesses are facing when they need to start monitoring their reviews? Here are 3 of them and how they can be overcome:
1. The Why and The What
Getting started with a review monitoring initiative is great but before anything else, it’s important to define what is the purpose behind. What are you trying to achieve by monitoring your reviews, why would you bring such a task on board and what kind of review data you need to look at for the sake of meeting your purpose. These are only a few of the questions that you need to respond to yourself.
Not having all the answers right from the beginning is fine, however, articulating some high-level ideas will help you define your requirements in the right direction at a later step. Here is some guidance that might help you on the way:
- you may want to take all the negative feedback and use it to improve the design of your products and manufacture better versions of them
- or simply make your presence felt in the e-stores among your customers and potential ones by replying to negative reviews, fixing the issues and ameliorating customer dissatisfaction
- or maybe understand what makes your products be appreciated and positively reviewed by customers and further explore how to make the good customer feedback advocate for you in the online space.
Bringing all reviews under one roof and starting monitoring them is not effective unless you know what to take out from this data and how to use it on a regular basis. You might find it useful to:
- measure the weight of your customer negative reviews in the overall feedback and understand how they impact the product’s average rating in each store
- compare how often your products get reviewed versus competitors’ across key marketplaces
- understand and measure the most frequently talked about product features and related services from packaging, shipping, delivery and post-purchase customer support.
Monitoring what your customers speak out for your brand and products is definitely not a few month task but a continuous process as customers are always at the center of one’s business.
2. The Where
Once the ideas about the why and the what have been shaped more clearly, the next challenge is to decide where to monitor customer reviews, which stores you should look at. This normally starts with the relevant key markets that generate most of the revenues of your business. However, this should not be limitative only to revenues and geography but consider also the future potential of your emerging markets. For example, a growing number of companies that are using FeedCheck have decided to consciously monitor their customer reviews in every single market where their products are sold through e-tail partners. That is simply because customer feedback is important not only when it comes from the US or UK consumers (referring at the English speaking countries here) but also Central & Eastern European and Asian markets too.
3. The How
Now that you have a good idea about your project scope you need to start looking for the right review monitoring and analysis tool that can help you with your customer feedback discovery journey on a long term. While in your searches you may apparently come across a significant offering of such tools, not all platforms available out there are suitable for monitoring product reviews in particular. The review monitoring solutions market covers 4 distinct segments:
1) business reviews solutions – dedicated to the hospitality and consumer services industry where reviews are most of the time linked to business locations and are left on social places such as Google, Facebook, and other similar ones
2) mobile app reviews – dedicated to mobile applications available in the only two app stores known, iTunes and Google Play
3) B2B SaaS app reviews – dedicated to software platforms for business processes
4) product reviews – dedicated to consumer goods industry where reviews are always linked to products in online stores and marketplaces
The latter one requires a specific solution structure that answers the needs of consumer goods enterprises. Being able to aggregate reviews across various stores regardless the geography and language, covering not only Amazon but other local marketplaces too, offering rich reporting capabilities to allow data analysis experiments until deciding on useful metrics – all these mean flexibility, time-saving and relevant results contributing to the final purpose of those products and brands who put customers at their heart.