The greatest invention since the wheel has got to be the internet. With the internet, we are given unprecedented access to so much information. Not only that, but we are also able to share information with people who we would never even personally meet.
Along the lines of sharing information, users are now able to provide public feedback on various goods and services that they recently availed. These reviews can either make or break a business.
Now it may seem obvious that businesses that receive positive reviews are naturally recommended to the public and that businesses that have mostly negative reviews are avoided by the general public. What isn’t obvious is how these reviews are psychologically affecting the purchasing decisions of users.
According to this article, about 70% of Americans check product reviews and reviews on Yelp before making a purchase or visiting an establishment. The concept of “social proof” states that prospective clients want to see that not only are lots of people buying the product of interest but also that these people are happy with this product.
The same also goes for your online business, whether you’re a freelancer or an independent business owner. Public feedback will be key to growing your business, especially if you’re starting out.
Now you’ll be surprised that too much positive feedback can actually yield skepticism from your prospective clients.
“Is there truly nothing wrong with this product/business?”
“This just seems too good to be true.”
“Maybe these reviews have been rigged.”
And as a result, online shoppers will tend to ignore “just 5-star ratings”. The true types of feedback that you should strive for are those that are extensively written. Feedback with comments is much more reliable than just a few stars.
Now, going along with this line of thought, businesses also actually need negative reviews. Not only does this make your feedback section more believable, but it also provides prospective clients with a clear idea of what your limitations and areas for improvement are.
This allows them to gauge whether they really want to transact with you or not. Sometimes, the limitations of business are acceptable, and that makes the client want to transact with you even more.
Another article mentions that “transparency is king in the shopper’s eyes.”
One aspect that is almost as important as the review itself is how you, as a business, react to negative feedback.
People are more forgiving than you might think. The modern shopper would rather have a clear assessment than one that’s sugar-coated. They understand that businesses grow and that they have the capacity for improvement. And how you react to feedback will determine whether they’d want to give your business another shot.
A dynamic, self-aware business is much more preferable to a rigid one. Trends come and go, after all.
We understand that there’s so much more to managing a business than simply replying to user feedback. As your business grows, this task can easily become a Herculean feat to handle alone. That’s exactly why you need a proper online review management system to handle this task for you so that you can focus solely on growing your business. Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.