And Things Your Competitors’
Reviews Can Teach You
We’re going to share a secret with you and it may come as a surprise. Your competitors play a key role in the success and growth of your business. And we don’t mean that in a negative way. Far from it. Believe it or not, your competitors have a lot to teach you.
Have you Googled them lately? Do you know what people are actually saying about them? If the answer is no, it’s time to catch up on their reviews. This is prime reading material filled with some very valuable lessons. We know what you’re thinking. “Why are their reviews so important?” It goes beyond their online footprint.
Reputation monitoring is an assessment of the public’s perception of your competitors. To truly understand your company’s position in the marketplace, you need to understand your competition. Their reviews can be one of your strongest assets. Think of your competitors’ reviews as free, insightful market research. Their success can be your success. Their failures can be your opportunities.
In business, reputation is everything. Consumer confidence can have a direct impact on your bottom line. In other words, a good reputation is essential for survival. A bad reputation will kill a company. Not only is it important to manage your own reputation, but it’s also critical to analyze the public’s perception of your competitors. Reputation monitoring allows you to capitalize on your competitors’ missteps and learn from their success.
Get a feel for their reputation by looking at the facts. Start with their customer reviews. Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews give easy insight into how the public perceives them. Read into what people are saying about their products or services. Is the feedback positive or negative?
Keep in mind that it’s not just about the star rating. Actually, read what are people saying about them online. Think of reviews as effortless market research and step-one in reputation monitoring. What do customers like or dislike about them? What are they doing right? What do they need to work on? The reviews will make it clear.
There is a ton of valuable information within the depths of review sites. And competitors’ feedback can be truly eye-opening. Reputation monitoring allows you to get a peek inside their business without actually going to their office or storefront. You can get a glimpse into their operations, how they handle customers, and even get familiar with their level of professionalism.
You may find some surprising details in the feedback. Customers tend to share the nitty-gritty about their experiences. All of this information is incredibly beneficial to your own business strategy. For example:
- How much they paid and if they thought the price was fair
- What they were expecting from the product or service
- What type of interactions they had with the staff
- If they received a discount or promotion
- How long the product lasted or how long the service took to complete
Don’t just read their newest reviews. Dig a little deeper. Compare their old reviews to their new feedback. Has their company changed for the better or for the worse? What about their overall reputation? Does your business need to make any changes to keep up? Scope out their reviews and compare them to your own.
How do your competitors interact with their customers online? What type of responses do they have to customers? Take a look at how they reply to social media reviews and comments, both good and bad. This is the real of reputation monitoring. The way they talk to customers online is a pretty solid indication of how they speak over the phone or in-person.
These reviews can teach you a lot, especially if you’re looking to improve your business. Look at what they’re doing right and implement their success into your own strategy. Discover why their customers keep coming back. Why did they enjoy working with the company? What made their product special? How were they treated in the store? There are definitely some valuable lessons to be learned here.
Like we said earlier, customers won’t hold back. We have a “buyer-beware” culture. They want to share their opinions and make other consumers aware that they’ve unsatisfied. If your competitors have gotten negative reviews, it’s time to look inward at your own business. Is your company guilty of the same mistakes? If so, it’s time the clean up your act before you receive a similar review.
Criticism can bring out the worst in people. If your competitor gets negative feedback, how do they respond? Are they owning up to their mistakes and offering solutions? Maybe they’re silent and haven’t acknowledged the review. Even worse, are they being defensive and returning the negativity?
Their response can tell you a lot about their company as a whole.
- If they’re understanding and helpful, they have a pretty solid customer service plan intact. These companies genuinely want the customer to be satisfied. Take notes. You may be able to find some beneficial prompts and replies in their responses.
- Being silent speaks volumes. If they choose not to respond to criticism, they’re essentially saying, “We don’t really care about this problem and we don’t know how to fix it.”
- Any backlash or rude responses to a customer is a MAJOR red flag. This type of behavior is unacceptable. They certainly don’t have a good grasp of public relations. They’re in desperate need of some customer service training or a PR firm.