Customer Experience

Why customer reviews are the heart of a first rate CX strategy: An excerpt from Experience.com’s new white paper

A successful customer experience strategy hinges on the ability to collect and monitor authentic, high-quality customer reviews.

In Experience.com’s recently published white paper, “The Future of CX: The 5 Key Steps to Take Your Customer Experience Strategy to the Next Level,” we demonstrate how customers reviews are the heart of a first rate CX strategy and the driving force behind measurable business outcomes. You can read an excerpt of the white paper now, or download the full white paper to find out how Airbnb built an entire business on exceptional CX strategies. 

An excerpt from Chapter Three of “The Future of CX: Five Key Steps to Take Your Customer Experience Strategy to the Next Level.”

According to Gartner, 25% of organizations will consolidate their marketing, sales and customer experiences into a single function by 2023. In fact, the research organization has listed the integration of CX-related functions as one of its three key marketing predictions for 2021. 

“Organizations that combine their customer-focused functions will be better able to identify, support and nurture customers throughout their journey and brand experience,” writes Gartner in its December, 2020 report, “United functions would also have revenue-generating accountability and shared responsibilities for customer journeys and outcomes.” 

Why is Gartner putting so much emphasis on CX? Because it knows how significant the customer experience is when it comes to business outcomes. CX is the fabric that connects your entire business. It shapes your marketing and sales strategy. It drives your customer success and customer service initiatives. It impacts revenue, brand reputation and your ability to recruit top talent. 

And at the heart of a truly exceptional customer experience strategy: Customer reviews. 

How customer reviews drive business outcomes

“Online reviews are transforming the way consumers choose products and services,” reports The Harvard Business Review, “Managed well, a review system creates value for buyers and sellers alike. Trustworthy systems can give consumers the confidence they need to buy a relatively unknown product.” 

The authors of The Harvard Business Review’s report found that higher Yelp ratings led to higher sales — the effect was even greater for independently-owned businesses without the brand recognition of a larger enterprise. These findings are supported by a report from the Spiegel Research Center, a research division of Northwestern University. In their quest to determine if online reviews affect sales, Spiegel’s research team found, “Online reviews have a significant and quantifiable impact on purchase decisions.” 

Their data showed companies that made online reviews public saw conversions increase by as much as 270%

The impact of customer reviews is not isolated to sales and revenue. Customer reviews — and your organization’s ability to monitor and respond to reviews — can also impact your SEO efforts. According to the Google My Business Help Page, high-quality, positive customer reviews can improve your business visibility. Google My Business users are instructed to manage and respond to reviews: “When you reply to reviews, it shows that you value your customers and their feedback.”

Employee reviews are just as important. Forbes reports 57% of job candidates avoid companies with negative online reviews. Enterprise organizations know their ability to remain competitive relies on whether or not they can recruit top talent. Employee reviews are key to securing a favorable reputation across industries, opening the doors to more successful hiring practices.

Airbnb: A business built on exceptional customer experiences

Airbnb’s CX strategy is first-class. The online vacation rental marketplace has put customer experience at the core of its business model, so much so that it has “Experiences” listed as the second option on the main navigation bar at the top of its homepage. 

The idea of creating an exceptional customer experience is threaded throughout the company’s offerings — in the service it provides, the way it engages with customers and how it manages the hosts who list properties on the site. 

To find out how Airbnb designed their entire business around exceptional customer experiences download our “Future of CX” white paper now. 

Because Airbnb hosts know that customer reviews will directly impact their success on the site, they pay extra attention to the review process — making sure a renter’s needs are met throughout their stay and that any discrepancies are addressed before the review request is sent. Airbnb has even added a “Superhost” designation for hosts whose ratings exceed expectations, securing their status as top performers

Connecting customer reviews to outcomes across business units

Airbnb’s five-star CX strategy enables the company to drive multiple outcomes across various business units. This is what a strong CX strategy can do: It serves as the perfect intersection across all business functions. 

“The right strategy has the power to connect the departments through constant WOW moments and documented wins,” writes Scott in his book on CX, “Many of the minefields they each navigate daily can be cleared with the right strategy.” 

Every business is different — how a CX strategy will reach across business units depends on an organization’s business model, offerings and target market. Based on our research working with companies to establish elevated customer experience programs, Experience.com has been able to identify common business outcomes that can be improved via successful customer review systems for the following five specific business areas: HR, marketing, sales, service and compliance. 

Download our “Future of CX” white paper now to see the full list of common business outcomes impacted by your customer experience strategy. 

With the right CX strategy in place, an organization not only delivers exceptional customer experiences — it can drive measurable outcomes across all of its business units, powering victories across the entire company. 

This blog post is an excerpt from Experience.com’s recently published white paper: “The Future of CX: The 5 Key Steps to Take Your Customer Experience Strategy to the Next Level” — a phenomenal resource for marketing leaders and customer experience teams covering every aspect of exceptional CX, from identifying your organization’s most important touchpoints to the automation tactics that can help move the needle. 

Download the full white paper now: The Future of CX: The 5 Key Steps to Take Your Customer Experience Strategy to the Next Level

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