It’s great to have your business and / or products listed in directories across the internet. It gives you increased online exposure and the ability to be seen as a solution for an individual looking for a type of product you sell.
But with a negative user review right next to your listing, it could spell disaster… kind of like seeing that top layer of your Momma’s lasagna burnt a little. You look at it, get a little queezy, and think twice about whether or not you truly want to eat it (or just stick with the salad & breadsticks).
Negative user reviews work the same way. And it looks like this is having a greater impact on user opinion, according to the latest eMarketer report. Ben wrote about this topic last year, but more about how positive reviews impact increased online sales. While positive reviews definitely help, I think negative reviews have more persuasive power for individuals.
Now, my Mom always told me not to trust strangers… but individuals are trusting these user reviews anyway! And, before I thought about it that way, I was doing the same. The statistics from this report are pretty interesting, particularly this one: “nearly nine out of 10 US online buyers surveyed in February 2008 read customer reviews at least “some of the time” before making a purchase.” Imagine if you had a slew of negative reviews associated with your product – that could mean lost sales & revenue.
A user review is probably one of the last things you look at when you’ve identified a product or service you want to buy. I mean, you first make sure that this product (I’m using products & services as an example here but this could go for anything: restaurants, bar reviews, etc.) is a solution to your problem. Then, you look at your budget and see if the price-point is right. THEN you look at user reviews and see what other people have to say. It’s like lasagna – you first make sure you like all of the ingredients in there, then you give yourself a health proportion (how hungry ARE you) and the last thing you do is visually survey it and make sure it looks edible. With some nasty burn marks on the top, it could make the difference between eating it or perhaps passing on it.
How do you not get a negative user review? Well, genuinely good products & services are the best way 🙂