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.
5 thoughts on “Your Business Needs More Negative Reviews”
First off – Alex, I’m here commenting before you! Yaayyy.
That Dominos video gave me the feels really good stuff! You are absolutely right Terv! The first time I signed up to Capterra to leave a review, it was a negative review. I just couldn’t allow other people make the same mistake I had made with a certain product. I also look out for negative reviews first to be sure I have a balanced perspective before making a decision.
Thoughtful of you Terv! Reminding businesses they can not only improve customer satisfaction but improve retention and acquisition from making the best of negative feedback.
Ajoke Ajoke Ajoke..we’re learning about brand authenticity, a mix of first commenters would surely achieve this. Consider this my contribution to that mission. *wink*
Terver, awesome piece here. Given this, what’s your stance on the popular “no publicity is bad publicity” mentality?
Very lovely piece as always, human!
As an ardent consumer #OnlineShoppingIsKing I rely on bad reviews more than positives for some reasons:
1. Like you pointed out, it gives me “worst case” scenarios.
2. It informs my buying choice. For example, I needed a new travel mug in a fancy colour but the bad reviews told me those colours fade in a dish washer. So, I amended my choice of colour but still went with the same product. I am very happy with my purchase. If I hadn’t seen the reviews, I would have had the same problems others did then ended up hating the brand.
3. Bad reviews sometimes reveals more about the consumers than the product. It gives me a rounded idea of what I’m going for and also, some people might hate a certain aspect of a product and that aspect happens to be the exact reason I want to get it!
4. If the company is smart, they learn from it. I am an avid Google reviewer (well, when we used to have lives and go places) and I’ve had occasions where I pointed out a negative in a business and was impressed by their approach to said comments and was willing to work with them again. Based solely on their willingness to take on board the consumer’s opinion and I do the same for other brands that show such initiatives..