Negative reviews can help your business. It runs counter to every marketer’s instinct: you don’t want people saying bad things about your brand, your products or services, and you certainly don’t want to publish that negative feedback on your own site. But the surprising truth is that bad reviews and other negative feedback bring a host of benefits, from greater customer satisfaction to improved product development. Consumers spend four times as long on site when they interact with bad reviews, trust the reviews they see far more and convert nearly 70% more often.
Every business will receive some bad reviews: you simply can’t please everyone. How you choose to deal with them will determine whether they’re an asset or not.
Nurturing consumer trust
The success of social commerce is all down to trust. Consumers value reviews because they trust the unedited opinions of their peers far more than official information sources like advertising or sales assistants.
People are naturally sceptical of sites where every review gives full marks. We all know that no product or service pleases everyone all of the time. When all your reviews look like they’ve been hand-crafted by the marketing team, consumers distrust them. And when you lose consumer trust, you lose sales.
A few bad reviews give consumers a reason to believe all your good reviews.
68% trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores
95% suspect cencorship of faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores
Providing unbeatable business insight
It’s always hard to listen to criticism. However, the criticisms in bad reviews can be an incredibly valuable early warning system from your customers – if you’re listening to them.
When one of your products or services starts getting bad reviews, you can ignore the feedback and face increased returns, lower customer satisfaction and the damage to your brand that accompanies it.
Or you can pay close attention to the reviews and respond quickly, changing the aspects of your products or services that are attracting criticism before they start losing you money, and publicly notifying the reviewer/
Bad reviews provide the kind of highly detailed feedback you’d normally get from thousands of pounds worth of market research. Negative feedback helps you improve everything from marketing to customer service to product design, while giving you the opportunity to demonstrate how responsive you are to your customers.
Bad reviews help you improve your business, products and services.
How do consumers use bad reviews?
Hundreds of thousands of consumers seek out negative reviews online, by sorting reviews to show the lowest scores first or checking out the low-scoring reviews voted most helpful by other consumers.
1. Consumers want complete information
We all know that no product or service is completely perfect. Consumers want to know the few negatives so they can weigh them up against all the good points and make a fully informed decision.
2. Consumers don’t always agree on ‘bad’ points
A bad point to one purchaser is often irrelevant to another – and can even be an advantage.
One guest could hate a hotel because there were ‘too many’ children but, to someone planning a family holiday, that’s an advantage.
3. Consumers don’t look at reviews in isolation
The mere presence of bad reviews isn’t enough to put most consumers off: it’s the ratio of good to bad that matters. A few bad reviews carry much less weight with readers when they appear alongside dozens or hundreds of good reviews.
4. Consumers notice when there are no bad reviews
Shoppers are suspicious when the reviews don’t include any complaints. They won’t assume your product or service is just that good – they’ll assume it’s so bad you have to censor customer feedback.