Because I am in the online review business, I read as much as I can about reviews, how consumers read and use reviews, and how much reviews help businesses online. Personally, I find the whole thing fascinating and so many times when I’m reading about consumer behaviour I find myself quietly agreeing.
An article from six years ago that I read recently reminded me of the things I look for when I’m assessing businesses and products and affirmed that an informed choice is not all about positive glowing reviews. The odd negative review can tell you a lot too and is part and parcel of an overall assessment of a business and its products and services.
“Today, 97% of consumers read product reviews before making a purchase decision. 89% of them consider online reviews to be an essential resource in the process.
“On the flip side, 85% of consumers look for negative reviews in order to make informed purchase decisions. And this number skyrockets to 91% among consumers from the ages of 18-29.
“Why? Because bad reviews give customers a sense of the worst-case scenario. They want to know what can go wrong to understand just how much it will matter to them. Too many positive reviews can seem fake to some shoppers, so you have to watch out.” (Source: “Your business needs more negative reviews. Here’s why,” Neil Patel, 2017, www.neilpatel.com).
A balanced review profile
A balanced review profile takes away those creeping thoughts that everything is not as it appears. It gives a firmer sense of legitimacy and trust. I’ve seen so many fake reviews on terrible businesses’ Google profile and it just reeks of scam. Nobody wants to be scammed or taken advantage of, so looking for authenticated reviews and then reading a good number of them gives you a solid appreciation of a business’ worth.
Another thing to note – good businesses respond to their bad feedback. Bad businesses do not – unless it’s to launch a tirade against the poster. I have used businesses that have a few bad reviews and never been disappointed. Why? Because the business owner’s response was so well-thought out, apologetic and honest that there was no mistaking the value they placed in their customers’ feedback and a willingness to correct any mistakes.
So, if you’re like me, you will appreciate the worth of an honest and transparent review profile – it allays doubts and gives me all the information I’m looking for before I purchase or hire.