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Negative reviews can play a positive role in shoppers’ buying decisions

A rave review can be the difference between a customer placing an order and abandoning their shopping basket. Some retailers believe that bad feedback can have… View Article

RETAIL SOLUTIONS

Negative reviews can play a positive role in shoppers’ buying decisions

A rave review can be the difference between a customer placing an order and abandoning their shopping basket. Some retailers believe that bad feedback can have the opposite effect – seriously damaging their reputation and costing them sales. But new research from Feefo shows that negative reviews are just as vital as positive ones.

A rave review can be the difference between a customer placing an order and abandoning their shopping basket. Some retailers believe that bad feedback can have the opposite effect – seriously damaging their reputation and costing them sales. But new research from Feefo shows that negative reviews are just as vital as positive ones.

Fake feedback fear

Consumers aren’t as trusting as they used to be, and that comes as no surprise – we live in the post-truth age, where fake news makes headlines, and trust doesn’t always come as standard. That includes fake reviews: In Feefo’s latest consumer research – ‘The Consumers’ Perspective’, three-quarters of consumers revealed they were concerned about fake reviews to at least some extent.

More than eight out of ten shoppers (81%) actively seek out negative reviews to get a balanced view of products and services, while 54% said an absence of bad reviews would lead them to suspect foul-play.

Simply ensuring that negative reviews aren’t censored can go a huge way to building consumer trust, as they can clearly see your business is open to receiving criticisms as well as praise. But how do you stop customers from being put off by negative reviews?

It’s all in the response

Replying to every single complaint is a good start, but with potential buyers reading negative reviews, and evaluating how you respond, you must ensure that anyone who reads your answers has their concerns alleviated.

Ignoring negative reviews is a big no-no. Customers who read negative reviews are also judging how you respond to the complaint. If you’ve chosen to ignore it altogether, they are likely to assume your customer service team doesn’t care. In reality, you’ve probably solved the problem offline by contacting the customer personally, but this won’t be made clear to other customers unless you reply to the review explaining the situation has been rectified. The vast majority (95%) of unhappy customers will return to a business if their issue is resolved quickly and efficiently.

Above all, it’s important to take every complaint seriously, even if you disagree with the customer; remember, your customer service is on show.

Insight and improve

Negative reviews aren’t just helpful for consumers; businesses can benefit from them, too. Any comments, good or bad, can be used to make improvements, reward or train members of staff and identify any pain points in the customer journey. Without genuine reviews, some issues with your website, service, products or staff may never come to light. By listening to the voice of the customer and making the appropriate changes, shoppers’ experiences will improve, and they’ll be more likely to use your business again.

Wrapping up

There’s a lot of positives in negative reviews; from demonstrating you’re a trustworthy and credible business, to harnessing feedback to make tangible business improvements. Listening to what customers have to say – whether good or bad – is critical in today’s post-truth age.

When fake news and rogue reviews are misleading customers and damaging reputations, be the brand that customers can trust to always provide an authentic experience.

Final takeaways

  • 81% of consumers read negatives reviews and 54% become suspicious if they cannot find any
  • 75% are worried about fake reviews – the presence of negative reviews can help alleviate their fears
  • Responding to reviews, especially the negative ones, is important to build consumer trust and drive sales
  • All complaints must be taken seriously, even if you disagree with the customer’s opinion
  • Both negative and positive reviews can help you improve your business in many ways

Download the whitepaper

Not confident tackling negative reviews? Fear not! Feefo helps thousands of businesses turn negatives into positives, across the globe. Download their free guide: How to Deal with Negative Feedback  today or just give them a call to see how they can help.

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