As a business owner you may have created a gloomy vibe around the term “negative review” in your head, without knowing how it could be a gold mine.
What exactly are negative reviews? Customers who purchase commodities online or from retailers write about their experience of using a product on the web, which businesses can then look at and classify as good or bad reviews.
Research conducted in the US by J.Clement in 2018, published on statista.com, shows that 36% of consumers aged between 25 and 34 rely on online reviews for product research. The generally understood equation is that more positive reviews equal greater consumer trust. But negative reviews should hold a special status in your business review and expansion model. Here’s why.
Consumer intelligence cannot be taken as lightly as it once was when digital and focused marketing were first introduced. Buyers are very efficient when it comes to reading between the lines and assessing the credibility of reviews online. In 2017, Amazon came under fire for fake reviews from people who were likely paid to do the task and improve positive outreach, which ended up having a major adverse impact on consumer confidence.
Negative reviews can bring to light the human elements of choice, preferences and unfortunate incidences, which help potential customers gauge the possible worst-case scenarios they can encounter. As a business it becomes your responsibility to give them confidence, and continue to thank them for voicing their valued concerns.
Being surrounded by five-star reviews all around is great for the ego, but not so much for the product. More than any quality control checks and auditors, customers can act as your best source of constructive criticism through negative reviews.
If you continually monitor your feedback requests online and manage a database of free advice, your product can become a favorite for an entirely new set of users. On every quarter/biannual decision-making meeting, these reviews can be set as an agenda and the feasibility of building on them can be discussed. Depending on which complaints occur the most frequently and what is within the financial and official jurisdiction of the business at the moment, you can attempt to work and improve your product/service.
Reaching the ideal average
Research on GetApp concluded that products with an average rating of 4.2 to 4.5 have a higher likelihood of being purchased than those with outright five-star reviews. One reason is that consistent five stars make a product too good to be true for the purchasing masses, given that they know the trend of fake reviews in online marketing today.
Your business can even opt for hiring services that test your product and write online critical reviews to establish rapport with the web community that engages frequently in reading these reviews. Getting close to or within the ideal range may help your brand slide into the good books of potential buyers. Marketing something as perfect, on the other hand, can trigger skepticism in people and repel them from your goods. Optimizing your rating to smoothly appear in the higher end of the rate filter should be a business priority.
Improved customer engagement
There is a two-tier model that your business can follow to ensure that customer engagement is maximized.
The first step is to respond tactfully and as fast as possible, highlighted by ReviewTracker’s survey findings in 2017 stating that 51.7% of reviewers online expect a response within seven days. A quick response gives the sense that you are interested in how your valued customer found your product/service to be. Tactfully, however, does not mean being overly polite or offering refunds without assessments; the aim should be to defend the interests of the business while catering to complains from the purchasers.
The second step of taking correction measures, though rarely pursued by businesses and often unfeasible, can help you obtain customer loyalty because implementing changes that they recommend will make them feel welcome and special. Such constructive negative reviews, therefore, create a strong bond between you and the buyer.
Improved business discipline
Yasser Ahmad, a renowned marketing strategy consultant in the Middle East, writes about how people in the region struggle to give completely honest reviews. Getting overly defensive about your services for reviews that are not properly thought out is not a smart move to make.
When your product comes under fire from genuine and damaging negative reviews, your team learns how to respond patiently and diplomatically. In turn, the collective effort can assist your team members in becoming more compassionate towards each other, and united for the cause of the business.