How to Use Your Competitors’ Customer Feedback To Your Advantage

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Reviews can make or break a business’s success or failure.

In fact, brands’ reviews are such important barometers of trustworthiness and success that nine out of ten customers consult online reviews when looking for a local business.

So it’s clear that customers put a lot of faith and confidence in the opinions of their peers when it comes to making buying decisions. 

The beautiful thing about reviews is that they often reflect the customer’s honest opinion about what works or doesn’t work about a product or service.

And that’s exactly why reviews are valuable tools for businesses to learn from each other’s mistakes! 

Tracking your competitors’ customer feedback can help you gain insights into how you can improve your own business to better serve your target market.

Keep scrolling to learn more about why going through your competition’s reviews can be a fruitful endeavor, as well as tactics to apply to your own business.

Two coworkers looking at competitor's customer feedback

Why your competitors’ customer feedback is important for your business

At first listen, it can sound counterintuitive—spending your time combing through reviews that aren’t yours.

That said, because it can be hard to stand out from the crowd in any market—especially in more competitive industries—you shouldn’t overlook it.

While you should look at the feedback you receive from your customers to improve your products and services, keeping an eye out for what customers are saying about your competitors’ offerings can uncover key insights.

Here are some of them.

Avoid mistakes

Reviews allow you to learn from your competitors’ mistakes and avoid them in your own business. 

For example, this restaurant couldn’t serve its customers on time, resulting in the customer being disappointed and leaving a negative review. Other restaurants can have systems and processes that ensure each table is served within X minutes. This also leads to a faster turnaround on each table. After all, more customers = more revenue, right?

Review 1

Image via Google reviews

Identify strengths

Studying your competitors’ reviews can help you identify their strengths. You can then adapt these for your business. Tactics, tools, and strategies that work for your competitors can often be applied to your business. 

Redirect customers

Interacting with your competitors’ customers can help redirect them toward your business

Identify gaps

Competitor customer review analysis can help you identify gaps in their product or service offerings. If they also exist in your business, you can try to fill them better and faster than your competitors. 

For example, in this 1-star review for a clothing store, a customer complained about not being told about system glitches and the company not having a tracking system for online purchases. You should check to ensure both these things are working perfectly in your business, and if not, you should look at ways to fix them. This will ensure customers have a better experience with your business.

Review 2

Image via Google reviews

How can you use competitors’ customer feedback to your advantage?

From following their content on social media platforms to monitoring their customer reviews on Yelp, Bing, and Google, competitor feedback analysis is a great way to find out more about what customers want.

Here are some awesome ways you can make the most of it:  

1. Track their customer reviews.

Make sure you pay attention to reviews received by your competitors on social media platforms, online listing websites, and blogs.

Observing how they respond to positive and negative reviews can be useful in figuring out areas in which you can improve. Customer feedback on these channels will help you identify gaps in your competitors’ customer engagement strategy.

Their mistakes can be valuable lessons for you.

2. Identify their customer base.

Going through your competitors’ customer reviews will give you a good idea of who their target customers are.

That can help you identify segments or categories of customers you had never marketed your business to.

Once you’ve identified this new customer base, you can begin targeting them with social media and digital ads.

3. Engage with their customers.

Why? Because ultimately, they could be your customers.

This is the easiest way to win over a few of your competitors’ customers.

For example, a negative review on a social media platform is an excellent opportunity for you to swoop in and offer them better service. You can find negative reviews via (branded) hashtags on Instagram and Twitter, where customers often speak about their poor experiences.

If you prefer a more discreet approach, you can approach customers loyal to your competitors via direct messaging, inviting them to try your brand instead.

You can even become active on social media communities where your competitors’ customer base is active. Once you’ve developed a rapport with them, you can offer to help them with their problems.

4. Track their social media strategy.

Another great way to listen to what customers are saying about your competitors is to observe their social media accounts.

Customers will leave comments, share content, and like posts when they feel a particular brand is posting great content. Paying attention to your competitors’ marketing strategies and their followers’ responses can be a great way to pick up a trick or two to use for your own social media.

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to see how they are shaping their brand voice and how you differentiate yourself. 

5. Develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

Customer reviews help you gain a clear idea of what it is that your competitors are not able to offer potential customers.

They can identify how and where you can differentiate your business and fill one or more gaps.

By finding and filling these gaps in the market, you can step in and offer customers exactly what they need.

Competitor feedback analysis can lead to USPs or social media strategies that engage your customers.

In the long run, this can help you get ahead of the curve and position yourself as a market leader with a unique selling point. 

How can you apply these insights to your business?

When monitoring your competitors’ customer feedback, make sure you gather information about several aspects of their business.

This will help you make changes to your own business across operations, product offerings, and marketing.

Here’s what you can do with your research and analysis to improve your online reputation

  • Make sure you respond to every review you receive across different channels. Whether positive or negative, responding to all reviews shows customers that you are open to listening to feedback. 
  • Work on improving your products and services based on customer feedback. 

At the end of the day, monitoring what customers say about your competitors will help you understand what’s working for them and what isn’t.

Using this information well can help you emerge as a stronger brand that is more aware of what customers want.

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Written by Akshat Biyani

Akshat is a graduate from Warwick and UCL and now lives in London, UK. He is a content contributor to NiceJob, a reputation management company.

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