Kayla Cobb

Live from IRCE 2015: The importance of handling customer reviews

June 3rd, 2015

In the often-flooded marketplace of ecommerce, customer reviews can make or break companies. At the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE 2015, Daniel Burstein, Director of Editorial Content, MarketingSherpa, sat down with Joseph Jaconi, General Manager, Tech Armor, to discuss how Tech Armor’s focus on customer reviews helped transform this small ecommerce company into a major competitor.

Tech Armor, a screen protector e-retailer for mobile devices, started out selling on Amazon a little more than three years ago. The company now sells on major marketplaces across the U.S., including Walmart.com and eBay. This quick expansion can largely be accredited to the company’s focus on maintaining good customer reviews.

“We really built our brand around service and support,” Joseph said. “We’re a small company, but over 60% of our human resources is dedicated to customer service and support … that’s including sales, marketing and everything we’re doing.”

Joseph shared the following tips on how to handle customer reviews.

Watch the whole interview here:

Treat responses to customer reviews as an extension of your brand’s voice

Amidst the day-to-day challenges of marketing, it’s easy to let an anonymous online commenter’s complaint get lost in the mix. However, that kind of mentality can hurt an ecommerce company.

According to Joseph, don’t simply think of your interactions with customers as dealing with their problems. You’re representing your company’s brand.

“So, when we look at responding to a review, whether it be on Amazon or on eBay or even on our own site, that’s our voice,” Joseph said. “How we answer and how we direct that customer and solve their problem reflects on us.”

In the case of Tech Armor, this extension of the brand voice went into making sure customers felt that they were being protected.

Joseph explained the company’s voice, saying, “We look at Tech Armor and say ‘What is your brand? What is your story?’ And we like to say we’ve got your back.”


Add quality and value to the customer’s life

No matter your industry or product, it’s important to keep the customer’s needs in the front of your mind.

For Joseph and Tech Armor, this means making sure the customer receives a quality product that adds value.

“Every product we build we stand behind with a lifetime replacement warranty,” Joseph said.

This lifetime warranty ties back to Tech Armor’s story — and in many ways its value proposition — of always having the customer’s back. This focus on quality is further underlined by the company’s dedication to adding value to the customer’s experience.

According to Joseph, “We feel that through ecommerce — throughout our own platform and the different marketplaces — that we can deliver a product at a better value or price than you could with the typical brick-and-mortar retail options.”

This value and differentiation from other e-retailers and brick-and-mortar stores is backed up by Tech Armor’s heavy support system.

“Like I said, again, it’s 60% of our spend on human resources, but we look at it as advertising too,” Joseph said.


Respond to negative reviews — no matter who they’re from

A single one-star review can raise enough of a red flag to discourage other consumers from buying. To keep providing support to their customers and help maintain the company brand image, Joseph and his team are sure to jump onto any negative reviews as soon as they see them.

Joseph explained, “If you look at the negative ones, we’ve responded to all of them. We’ve taken the time — any one-star or two-star review — we’re responding to that customer and trying to address that issue.”

On the same token, don’t dismiss a comment just because a commenter’s name doesn’t look real. According to Joseph, Tech Armor has responded to users named Bacon, Captain Marvel and “lots of other people that might use a pen name rather than their real name when they’re writing a review,” Joseph said.

Regarding customer reviews, Joseph had this final bit of advice for his marketing peers: “Be real, be helpful and, at the end of the day, we try to be a company that we’d want to buy from ourselves. So put yourself in your customer’s shoes. ”


Learn more form the MarketingSherpa Media Center at IRCE 2015.


You can follow Kayla Cobb, Reporter, MECLABS Institute, on Twitter at @itskaylacobb.


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