On 12 April the 33rd ECC-FORUM took place in Cologne. As part of the start-up session, the audience selected gominga as the start-up with the greatest market opportunities. We then talked to Christian Driehaus, co-founder of gominga, about the relevance of interaction with the end customer through active review management.
Why shouldn’t manufacturers underestimate online product reviews?
By now, everyone should have dealt with catchwords such as “platform economy” and the “Amazonization of consumption”. The relevance of Amazon is also proven by the latest IFH study. And relevance here not only with regard to the Amazon sales channel, but to the purchasing decision of all consumers in general. Besides price, product evaluations are the second most important decision criterion. They influence the customer at many touch points along the Customer Journey: no matter whether in the product search, when comparing with alternative products or directly before the purchase. Product evaluations are therefore also important in a stationary context, since the consumer, for example, obtains information online and then completes the purchase offline. But always with a previous knowledge of the product, gained from the reviews of other end customers, among others. Therefore, evaluations play an essential role for every consumer and must not be underestimated by the manufacturer.
How should manufacturers ideally deal with negative product reviews?
From my experience it is important to take every customer seriously. Nowadays, this also applies to manufacturers, not just to retailers. A bad review does not only concern this one customer, but is seen on the Internet by thousands of other customers. And the product and the brand are always affected. The manufacturer should therefore – comparable to the social media sector – monitor all reviews on the relevant platforms and then also react to ratings. In the case of negative reviews, the customer complains about something: depending on the case, the manufacturer should comment, correct, explain, etc. or simply apologize to the customer. As soon as the brand responds to the customer and actively communicates with him, this is seen and appreciated by many customers. In addition, many customers improve their star rating when a manufacturer comments on a rating. This directly influences the conversion and also leads to a positive image of the brand.
What does efficient review management look like?
To manage this in a professional and scalable way, a software like the gominga Review Manager is a good choice. Again in comparison: You will not organize your company appearance on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. manually, but use modern tools. Manufacturers should do exactly the same for monitoring and interaction in review management. Efficient review management should therefore take place across all platforms and include both monitoring and analysis as well as interaction. What is of course just as important as product evaluations are product questions, which depending on the platform (e.g. Amazon) should be an integral part of the whole. Here it is almost even more important that the brand itself responds to the partly technical product questions and provides qualified answers.
What were your personal highlights of the ECC Forum?
My personal highlight was of course the start-up pitch in the afternoon and then winning the audience award as “best startup” at the ECC Forum. We are very pleased with the positive feedback and see ourselves on the right track. In addition, the evening event the day before was also very exciting for me, where you could exchange ideas with interesting people from industry and commerce in a relaxed atmosphere.