It's not uncommon for your customers to leave online reviews about their experience with your B2B eCommerce company. These reviews can be good, bad, and everything in between. While B2B businesses used to rely on a human-centric customer service approach, the current business landscape demands more data-driven insights to handle critically important customer feedback. Many are now turning to automated solutions to carry out damage control.
There is also an increasing realization that despite the less than desirable associations with negative reviews, all is not lost, and that these ‘lemons’ are actually powerful assets to have in your corner.
Is there a way to take the negative and make it positive? You bet! In this post, we'll explore some ways that eCommerce retailers can convert negative B2B eCommerce reviews into opportunities.
The Impact of B2B eCommerce Online Reviews
As Chris Anderson, the current head of TED, puts it, “Your brand isn’t what you say it is—it’s what Google says it is.”
Online reviews can be the difference between a purchase and a bounce. Positive reviews can drive revenue, build trust and create a base of loyal clients. And you would think that negative reviews have the opposite effect, right? Wrong! As the figures show, this is clearly not the case. Negative reviews can carry as much weight as positive ones, with one study finding that 82% of those who read online reviews specifically seek out negative ones.
Alarming as that sounds, what this stat underlines is that negative reviews aren’t going unnoticed. But wait, there's more… there are even some benefits! Research indicates that users spend five times as long on sites when interacting with negative reviews, with an 85% increase in conversion rate! This is what we call doing “due diligence” during the “information gathering” part of the B2B sales cycle.
Understanding the importance of reviews—and how to leverage them correctly—is critical for success in today's competitive eCommerce landscape. So, let’s unpack some of the benefits of B2B eCommerce reviews along with more compelling statistics to back them up.
Reviews Build Business Credibility
Customer feedback allows leads to determine whether you are a trustworthy company and builds your credibility as a business. In fact, even when you receive negative reviews, you can still gain loyal clients. A 2021 G2 Crowd survey revealed that three out of four B2B buyers believe negative reviews can help them make informed purchasing decisions. The same study further showed that 39.5% of business owners find that negative reviews actually build credibility for particular products and services.
Reviews Build Brand Awareness
Reviews across many sites can do the heavy lifting for you, expanding your digital footprint. For example, strong reviews on Yelp! can ensure your brand comes up at the top of the list when customers are searching for companies similar to yours.
Reviews Boost SEO
Reviews can help you increase your site’s organic traffic. User-generated content such as product reviews can actually make your eCommerce site appear active in the eyes of search engines. Consequently, your website is more visible and searchable to potential clients. Reviews on social media and third-party review sites can help drive referral traffic to your official page.
Reviews Increase Conversions
As reviews increase your visibility and credibility, they eventually contribute to your bottom line. Reviews, particularly positive ones, can be a huge deciding factor for prospective clients. In fact, research has found that products with five or more reviews were 270% more likely to register purchases than those without any feedback.
How to Maximize B2B eCommerce Online Reviews
Online reviews are an invaluable tool for businesses, allowing customers to provide insights that prospects might find useful when making a purchasing decision. Utilized efficiently, these reviews are a powerful way to boost brand identity and reinforce your marketing efforts.
- Use positive reviews for your B2B marketing material. If you gained some stellar reviews from clients, why not show them off on your website or your ads? This allows you to let your customers talk up your brand. After all, 65% of consumers tend to trust companies that show user-generated reviews on their site.
- Assess reviews for potential keywords for your business. While you may have certain keywords that you want to associate with your brand, there’s a good chance your clients will use other phrases to define your company. You can use this to inform and reinforce future SEO and marketing campaigns.
- Leverage reviews to gauge customer wants and expectations. In today’s increasingly customer-centric economy, B2B companies need to keep up with client demands. Reviews can give you invaluable insight into your target market’s wants and expectations. It can even help you identify purchasing patterns or trends in consumer behavior.
If done manually, these functions can be challenging. To render the process more effective, consider implementing a review plug-in for your eCommerce platform. HCL and Salesforce have built-in plug-ins you can leverage to get product reviews on your site. However, should you opt for these types of integrations, be sure to ask if the plugin is compatible with the eCommerce tools you are using. Determine the types of reviews can it collect. Will it provide you with real-time notifications on new feedback? Better yet, can it be programmed to identify negative feedback and mark it as urgent?
With the number of affordable and easy-to-use integrations on the market, you are sure to find one suited for your needs. It just takes a little digging. If this is not your thing, enlisting the support of Zobrist—a leading provider of B2B eCommerce development and consulting solutions—will help you to bring your brand to life with a modern eCommerce user experience.
What to Do When You Get Bad B2B Reviews
Whatever your response—whether it’s an initial acknowledgment, offering restitution, or a simple apology—make sure you respond quickly! If not managed properly, complaints left unchecked can quickly escalate into scathing critiques or even worse, allegations of fraud.
And then what? How do you stop the bleeding once poor reviews hit your site? How can you get these angry customers to spend their money on your business again?
Respond to Each Customer Review Promptly
Research shows that 53% of customers expect companies to respond to negative reviews within a week. If not attended to within this timeframe, it might lead to perceptions that your business does not value its customers. Consequently, an already frustrated customer might continue to post negative reviews about your company and encourage prospective leads to look elsewhere.
Engage the Customer One-on-One
Post a quick response to acknowledge the criticism and that you are ready to remedy the situation. It’s important to move the conversation to a private communication channel, such as email, to avoid having a less than pleasant conversation on a public platform. Be sure not to make excuses but instead thank them for taking the time to offer constructive criticism and work towards resolving their issue.
Offer Compensation to Dissatisfied B2B Customers
Not all bad customer experiences will merit compensation but it may be necessary in some cases. This shows that you value their business and remain committed to making extra effort to retain them as your customers.
Follow Up With Customers After Resolving Their Concerns
Dealing with a bad review should not end with resolving the customer’s concern. Once your client is satisfied, follow up and ask if they can either take down the negative review or update it to reflect more positive sentiments. This not only helps you build relationships with clients but also allows you to control negative feedback about your company online.
Use Bad Reviews to Your Advantage With Help from B2B eCommerce Experts
Don’t let bad reviews negatively affect your B2B eCommerce business. If neglected or ignored, they can damage your reputation, drive traffic away from your site, and cause you to lose potential customers. That said—as the data shows—bad reviews can also present huge opportunities to build new partnerships, drive sales, and boost revenue.
Managing B2B eCommerce reviews, especially the not-so-nice ones, is not easy. Apart from the time (and angst) of having customer service personnel respond to reviews, it takes patience, a certain level of creativity, patience, and a clear strategy before you can turn these bad reviews to your advantage. This is where Zobrist’s powerful B2B eCommerce solutions can make a significant difference to your operations.
From conversion and abandonment rates to profit margins, Zobrist offers customized solutions designed specifically to boost your eCommerce platform by leveraging customer feedback data. Our integrated solutions will enable your company to develop and grow your digital commerce presence, compete for market share at a global level, increase revenue while delivering unique shopping experiences for your B2B customers.
Get in touch with our team today, and learn more about how Zobrist can help you proactively monitor and handle B2B reviews across all customer touchpoints. This way, you can make the most out of every online review.