Seriously, 10 things to gain from bad reviews? Perhaps that was your initial reaction. If so, you’re not alone. I did the same when the idea first hit before I researched and made the following findings.
According to US Government Accountability Office (GAO) the federal government spent about $1 billion a year during the fiscal years 2006-2015 on advertising and PR contracts.
Similarly, in spite of rising alternative communication channels like social media, The Holmes Report reports that Global PR industry hit $14b in 2016; the primary goal of PR being portrayal of positive corporate image.
Source: The Holmes Report
Ideally, nobody wants bad reviews, not with Yelp or social media listening. But what if you were wrong all along about bad reviews? What if something good can actually come out of bad reviews? Below are 10 good reasons why a few or one bad review at least is good, but before that
What is a review?
A Short Review of Reviews
A product/service review is mostly a customer’s narration of their experience with a product or service, which could be positive, negative or anywhere in between. It is usually star rated with 5 stars being the highest and 1 star lowest negative rating.
Most businesses include product review features on their sites. Reviews are mostly written or in video format.
Expectedly all businesses including online retailers tend towards the right of the illustration below, the further, the better.
Which brings us to:
Dropshipping and Product Reviews
Dropshipping is an ecommerce model that allows you start a retail business without having to buy stock or keep inventory. You simply advertise and market a supplier or manufacturer’s products at a mark up and make profit on sales.
The best part; the supplier or manufacturer delivers the products directly to customers.
Sometimes however, poor quality products may be sent to your customers since the products don’t pass through you.
To avoid this many online shoppers read product reviews before shopping online, and now you have none on your dropshipping site.
If they bounce to another online store, and see product reviews there, they’re likely to buy there, price and other factors being equal.
That’s why dropshippers need product reviews on their websites.
Let’s go on.
Below are some sources of good and bad reviews
Sources Of Good Reviews
- Happy customers
- Happy former employees
- Dishonest businesses who “buy” reviews
Sources Of Bad Reviews
- Dissatisfied customers
- Disgruntled former employees
- Nasty competitors posting bad or fake reviews
Striking a Balance
Whereas I advocate for a few bad reviews, it is important to strike a critical balance by maintaining a good positive to negative reviews mix. Customers may suspect some bad reviews to be malicious and check the next three to four to be sure. However, clusters of negative reviews send bad signals to customers.
Why Bad Reviews Get Bad Reviews
Bad reviews are dreaded for good reason. The following data come from an infographic by Chatterbox, it explains exactly why no one wants to touch bad reviews with a good ten feet pole.
- 58% more people are likely to share their customer experience than 5 years ago
- 95% of the above share bad customer experiences
- 45% share their bad experiences on social media, 35% on review sites
- After reading 2 bad reviews 24% change their minds about buying 1 negative tweet can cost you , 30 customers.
- and a host of other not-so-good stats
Is It All Bad News With Bad Reviews?
In case you’re still wondering why on earth a business would want negative reviews, below are some benefits of bad reviews.
Inspires Buyer Confidence
According to the report on Chatterbox, buyers actually expect to see a mix of good and bad reviews, they become suspicious if they don’t. Its basic human psychology; too many good reviews may be too good to be true; they’ll think you’re buying reviews. Balanced reviews inspire buyer confidence.
95% of customers suspect censorship or faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores
Deleting unfavorable feedback, makes customers suspicious, especially if customers mention that you’re deleting their comments. In the end you lose. For very sensitive issues you can go private. Customers will trust you more if you allow bad reviews remain on your personal business site.
Gives Valuable Insight
Bad reviews tend to be very in-depth, which can provide valuable insights into product/service loopholes, information which properly harnessed can lead to product/process improvement and increased revenue. Sympathetic 5 star ratings from friends and family may lack sincerity. Customers have nothing to lose; they tell it as it is, giving you valuable feedback.
Increased Search Traffic
Bad news sells. Customers in buy mode often search for “bad XYZ” for instance to be sure they’re buying the right stuff. Being a bad example is bad, but you can turn it around to a closed deal. Reevoo reports 5% more engagement on pages with bad reviews. New leads can be acquired when they see that issues are successfully resolved.
Shows you’re Responsive
Take advantage of the bad publicity to project your business as customer-centric by thoroughly resolving customer complaint in public in real time. Turn it to a Customer Experience reality show. Other review seeking customers would take note of the happy ending, a big plus for you.
Customers can become powerful promoters after you successfully resolve their complaints. They’ll gush about how awesome your customer service is. Word of mouth like this is magnetic; it can win you new customers. Encourage them to drop a kind word after their issues are resolved.
Boosts your Customer Service Standing
You can make reference to how you effectively handle customer complaints citing instances where customers eventually ended up happy and have come back to do several repeat business with you. You can turn bad reviews to constructive criticism.
If a business resolves its issues quickly and efficiently, 95% of unhappy customers return back to your business
Insight for Customer Service Appraisal
Bad reviews can give you insight into how well your customer care reps are performing; are they doing their job or doing it well enough, are the guys in charge of emails/feedback on top of it? Too many bad customer experience reviews mean you need to retrain, rearrange or fire your CS team.
Great Tool for Market Research
A business or company intending to sell a particular product may research and find too many bad reviews. This valuable information will save them their reputation and resources.
Smart entrepreneurs can take advantage of their competitor’s product/service flaws to market their products or services without demarketing the former. Sometimes the reviewers themselves mention you as a better alternative, that’s free publicity and traffic. One man’s meat is another man’s poison.
So there you have it, 10 benefits of bad reviews. Perhaps you should start developing a positive attitude towards negative reviews because of they
- Inspire buyer confidence
- Increase credibility
- Give valuable insight
- Increase search traffic
- Show you’re responsive
- Increase conversion
- Boost your customer service portfolio
- Provide insight for CS appraisal
- Help with market/product research
- Increase referrals
What are your thoughts?