Google your ISP: Why you should care about online reviews

Written by Erin Penney

No successful business was ever built in a silo. Every brand needs to answer a direct need that consumers have—and the second that business stops listening to the needs of those consumers, it stops being relevant. By listening to feedback, businesses can grow and flourish—they can build on strengths and address weaknesses.

Because home internet is so decidedly a consumer-first industry, this is especially true. As soon as a subscriber feels their needs aren’t being met, you risk losing them to a competitor. But how do you discover what it is subscribers feel they need?

 

Your ISP’s online reviews are a fantastic source of this information.

Rare is the subscriber who feels the need to pull their punches when writing an online review. They’ll share everything—the good, the bad, the ugly. By keeping up with your online reviews, you can discover what subscribers feel your ISP is doing well—as well as what they feel could use improvement.

Then, you can use this information to inform your overall strategies, address the pain points your subscribers are experiencing, and build an ISP that consumers will happily recommend to their peers.

For example, let’s say your ISP sees a review like this on Google:

“I signed up for the gigabit plan on the weekend, and got my new internet installed yesterday. Not even a day later and I don’t have internet ANYWHERE in my house. Couldn’t even get through to have someone come look at it. Shouldn’t have switched…”

A review like this tells you three things:

 

That the subscriber had problems with their WiFi right after they signed up.

First-day issues for ISP subscribers are among the most problematic because they typically mean something went wrong in the installation process, and a technician needs to go out to fix the issue. They’re also less than ideal because it means the subscriber has gotten a poor impression right off the bat, and that impression will stick through their entire relationship with your business.

When this happens, it means something needs to change in installation processes. This could mean switching from self-installation to sending field technicians, or improving options for self-support.

That they struggled to connect with your support team, and are frustrated by the experience.

Did you know? Last year, more than one in four subscribers reported having an issue with their WiFi, but they didn’t call their ISP for support because of the time and effort involved.

When so many subscribers think it’s less painful to deal with WiFi issues than it is to call your support team, it means that something needs to be done about your support processes—whether it means you look into methods for improving your call and wait times, or you look into self-service support options that subscribers can use whenever is convenient for them.

That they’re likely to churn because you haven’t made a great impression.

Here’s another dangerous fact for you. Last year, almost 50% of subscribers said they’d considered switching providers to a competitor because they’d had a poor WiFi experience. This means that for every two reviews like the one above, one of them will leave—and that’s not even considering the ones who churn without saying a word.

 

How to make your ISP’s Google reviews your secret to success

By using online reviews to see what your subscribers are saying, you can identify where your ISP is doing well and where you could improve. Then, by building a strategy that addresses and improves on your existing service, you stand to keep more of your subscribers on board.

This translates into higher revenue year over year, and can even mean you keep more of your budget. After all, a significant portion of your ISP’s yearly budget gets taken up by the costs of acquiring new subscribers to replace the ones who churn.

Additionally, studies have shown that 58% of consumers would pay more for an internet plan if it meant they got a better WiFi experience. This means that just by improving the experience your subscribers receive, you can both maintain a larger subscriber base, and increase your ISP’s revenue from that base.

And for an ISP’s bottom line, that’s nothing if not good news.