Bald is the new head, hairy is the new face, hand sanitiser is the new face of fear, veganism is the new “tastes like chicken,” texting is the new talking and embracing a mix of negative and positive reviews is the new face of business authenticity.
If you’re a business owner or brand custodian, you’ve probably been raised on the idea that positive 5-star reviews are all your business needs. It’s not hard to imagine why. Afterall, before you buy something online– whether it’s food at a restaurant, clothes or downloading a service application, you probably check the reviews to see if it’s worth the try.
So you should do everything in your power to try and get 5-star reviews across the board and prevent any negative reviews, right?
Recent research has shown that if you’ve been putting all of your focus on avoiding negative reviews, you’re going about reviews all wrong. Today, 85% of consumers look for negative reviews in order to make informed purchase decisions. This number skyrockets all the way to 91% among consumers from the ages of 18-29.
Why is this so?
Because consumers want to get a sense of the worst-case scenario. They want to understand what can go wrong to decide just how much it will matter to them. Too many positive reviews can seem too good to be true and ultimately fake to shoppers, so negative reviews can be beneficial for your business growth by helping build trust in your business more quickly. What’s more is that if you dig deeper into those reviews, you just may find actual business insights that could help you improve customer satisfaction and possibly even make conversions.
Want to kick things up a notch? Smart brands have shown that there is the opportunity to take advantage of the leverage that bad review might give you. Depending on the personality of your brand, you can choose to be edgy and sensational like Wendy’s (side bar: only use this approach if your products are really, really, really good and if/when you do, use humour as a tool), friendly and conversational like Dominos Pizza or more formal but tactful like Amazon and Apple. Whatever you decide, the key is to realize that these reviews present your brand a brilliant way to show that if something does go wrong, you have credibility in how you deal with the issue.
A shift in perspective to view negative reviews as free data sources that you can use to grow your business can make all the difference. Treat each one as the opportunity that it is.