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Posted by Jessica Render on Apr 27, 2016
Jessica Render

Many brands visiting our site may wonder why so many of our unaccredited brands have such uniformly bad reviews, and it’s a fair question. Even with more than 500 unaccredited brands listed on ConsumerAffairs.com rated at 3.5 stars or higher, many brands are still plagued with imbalanced feedback. Put simply, it’s often a matter of friction — the amount of effort it takes to leave feedback in a particular channel.

Verified review sites like ConsumerAffairs.com are one of the highest-friction channels in which consumers can leave feedback organically. Users have to create an account, verify their identity, write their review and then wait for it to clear our verification process before it posts to the site. All this to say the people who actually make it to this channel are highly motivated, and typically not by satisfaction with your products or services.

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Say I buy an expensive vacuum cleaner. It arrives at my door a few days after I click the checkout button in beautiful packaging, comes with myriad attachments, is intuitive to assemble and operate and, true to its advertising, never loses suction. My house has never felt cleaner. But even though this marvel of modern cleaning technology has more than exceeded my expectations, when I pay for a product or service, I expect my experience to be effortless and rewarding. In these cases, the most feedback I’m likely to muster is an encouraging tweet, or maybe telling a friend which vacuum I purchased when a crowdsourcing post asking for vacuum recommendations is shared on Facebook.

But what if the shipping had been slow, or the vacuum had arrived damaged? Suddenly I’m feeling more motivated to share my experience with the manufacturer and roughly 80% of potential customers who consult online reviews before making a purchase decision. In fact, a recent survey showed that while 75% of the general population said they would share a negative experience with friends and family members (or, in terms of today’s consumer, thousands of people on social media or third-party review sites), only 42% said they would recommend a product or service they particularly like, a phenomenon that leaves many brands’ ConsumerAffairs profiles perilously lopsided.

The difference in a negative profile and a balanced, authentic profile? A proactive strategy.

No brand has a completely flawless customer service record, and we understand there is more to a brand’s story than the voices of their least satisfied customers. That’s why ConsumerAffairs offers effective tools to help paint a more complete picture of the customer experience, resolve customer issues quickly, and build trust. A broken customer relationship doesn’t have to stay broken — many customers are more than willing to return to a business after having an issue resolved. With customer reviews crossing the paths of more than just the individuals sharing their stories, a proactive approach could be the difference between earning or losing hundreds and even thousands of potential customers researching businesses online.

Our free starter account gives brands the opportunity to provide information about their products and services on their brand’s page and to privately respond to dissatisfied customers to resolve their issues and ask them to update their star rating when a resolution is reached. All brands should be able to resolve customer issues regardless of whether they choose to partner with ConsumerAffairs to access our additional tools and services.

But what about tapping into the hundreds of satisfied customers that most brands have for every 10 unhappy customers? When brands choose to partner with ConsumerAffairs, we work with them to help remove some of the friction from the reviews process to gather feedback from a broader spectrum of customers. From telephone review collection to email campaigns and social media apps, we offer customers the opportunity to share their own story, whether it is good, bad, or ugly. Our partnered brands agree to follow the ConsumerAffairs Code of Good Business Practices and understand why collecting authentic, balanced feedback helps their teams make smart decisions. The impact is clear: the customer experiences match the promises made by our accredited brands, resolutions result in happy outcomes for customers, and more potential customers seek out brands demonstrating customer engagement and transparency on our site.

It’s true: the services and platform features offered with a ConsumerAffairs for Brands partnership are not free at the accreditation level. With a large number of team members assisting brand representatives and ensuring best practices to generate ROI from the partnership, it’s impossible to provide these offerings free and keep the doors open so we can serve our customers and help improve customer experience for millions of consumers. However, when brands partner with ConsumerAffairs, the results speak for themselves: customers report an increase in revenue, trust, and customer resolutions time and time again.

Ready to remove some of the friction from your review collection? Click here to contact the ConsumerAffairs team to find out if a ConsumerAffairs for Brands partnership is right for your business.

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