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Customers define the businesses they buy from, whether their comments come through social media, forums or online reviews.

It is no longer sufficient or effective to stone wall a customer by rejecting a complaint as a dissatisfied customer can damage a business’ reputation by posting negative reviews. Businesses which offer ADR are likely to be more successful than those that don’t because they demonstrate that they are reasonable and willing to listen to customer feedback and make changes where appropriate, even if this means going beyond their strict legal liabilities.

Engaging with this conversation is key. The more you engage, the more you can perfect your customer experience.

That can lead to higher retention rates.   Joining your customers and clients conversations could be setting you apart from other businesses today. This is why we recommend providing customers with information about a certified ADR Provider like ProMediate, which is a legal obligation anyway, and then engaging in the process. This does involve opening up to an independent third party, but that in itself can transform the relationship. A customer is more likely to compromise when a third party is involved, particularly where trust has evaporated.

They are less likely to leave a negative review if they feel that their concerns have been addressed. This is why Ebay has a system of redress when a negative review is posted. Customers can complain to the Resolution Centre and buyers on eBay often check the feedback before buying from a seller.

This also applies to business to business disputes.  Behind every B2B purchase is a human being, considering what’s best for them as a consumer, not as a business. The distinction between business and consumer transactions is often academic.

In both B2C and B2B, customers are looking for the businesses they can trust.  One way to build real trust is for the business to offer an effective ADR redress journey. This is why lawyers are obliged to set out in their engagement letters what happens if there is a complaint. Recently, the Legal Ombudsman highlighted a problem of lawyers not providing clear information to clients about their rights to complain, including ADR. Review sites are springing up, helping customers to choose a Solicitor or barrister, like

Avoiding negative reviews can be achieved through ADR – a third party neutral speaking to the parties separately or online, to try to help each see the other’s point of view and to see if there is a solution that satisfies the customer and protects the business’ reputation. Why is it important to avoid a negative review? According to Trust Pilot:

– 63% of buyers read reviews to help them create a shortlist.

– 97% of B2B buyers say customer feedback is more credible than other types of content.

-Since 2014, there’s been a 70% increasein the number of 18-34yr olds who make the B2B purchase decisions.  They are looking for immediate confidence in a business. People do not anticipate problems, but bad reviews caused by poor customer service can be a key differentiator.

– 70% of buyers are likely to select a supplier with clear differentiators.

– 45% of buyers say decision making has become more complex due to greater choice.

– Reviews and recommendations from peers are the preferred source of information before buying.

– 70% per-cent of companies with the best customer experience use customer feedback.

– By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator for B2B.

– According to research from B2B International customers which are lost are 20x more expensive to attract than retain existing ones.

We therefore recommend businesses include ProMediate as their ADR Provider in the event of a customer complaint and avoid negative reviews and loss of business.