Why negative customer reviews are good for business

When UK online shoppers discover a product, service or brand without negative reviews, more than a third (34%) would delay their purchase while one in five (22%) would feel suspicious whether they could trust one of the reviews. they see, a study shows.

New search by consumer opinion platform Feefo sheds light on how buyers perceive customer reviews and how businesses respond to negative reviews. The survey of 2,000 consumers reveals that when brands show that they value and are willing to respond to customer feedback, they gain a significant advantage over their competition.

Negative reviews lead to smarter buying decisions

As more businesses increase their interactions online and stop hiding or ignoring negative reviews, research suggests that these reviews present a golden opportunity. In fact, over a quarter (26%) of buyers say they actively seek negative reviews first. Another 69% say they will continue with their purchase if they see that the review has been recognized and responded to effectively by the business.

Research has found that customer reviews have a huge influence on people’s buying decisions. A remarkable 97% of consumers said they chose to read reviews before buying because they are more likely to believe what a customer says (in a review) than the business itself.

Buyers refer to reviews to verify that a business is genuine and trustworthy, and to determine the worst-case scenario when making a purchase. Consumers today understand that not all products or services are suitable for all customers. Positive and negative reviews help buyers decide which products and services are best for them and which to avoid.

Turn reviewers into brand champions

Most brands go to great lengths to ensure that every review is a five-star positive review. But research shows that only positive reviews make the company less credible. The positive impact of a few negative reviews can be significant.

David Hart, Head of Customer Experience at Kia, said: “All reviews, good and bad, give us the information we need to be able to prioritize changes and create a better customer experience. They give us a true understanding of what our customers want and that influences all aspects of manufacturing, comfort, running costs, design and style, in-vehicle technology and safety.. “

The power of a quick and efficient response is demonstrated by 44% of customers who say that if they’re happy with the way a business responds to a negative review, they’ll buy from them again. Meanwhile, 40% said they would recommend the company on social media, with a quarter happy to champion the brand, product or service to friends and family.

However, in contrast, 58% of consumers who were unhappy with their response to their review would no longer buy from the company. An additional 26% said they would use social media to publicly criticize the company, and 15% would even consider sharing their experience with the news media.

Transparency is crucial

With more and more clients focusing on conscious consumerism, businesses face increasing pressure to be as trustworthy and transparent as possible, especially when dealing with issues.

The survey found that 72% of those surveyed are concerned about fake reviews online, especially if they can’t find negative reviews of a specific brand, product or service. Customers appreciate that companies don’t always do things right, so expect to find negative reviews and take comfort in doing so.

Psychologist Wendy Dignan added: “False, overly positive, or suspicious reviews get a lot of attention in the media, and it’s fascinating that people are now actively looking for negative reviews for reassurance. People know businesses can’t do it right every time – what they’re looking for is proof that all issues are being addressed effectively. “

Up to 82% of respondents expect a business to explain a problem or issue in a clear and honest manner. Additionally, 35% say they would become a brand advocate if they felt a company was open with them about the issue and what caused it.

The importance of apologizing

While customers value transparency and understand that some issues are beyond the company’s control, 36% are disappointed if they don’t receive an apology.

Responding to a complaint with authenticity and honesty becomes the ideal way to embody the values ​​that conscious consumerism conveys. Most likely, we are entering a world where negative comments become the perfect opportunity for businesses to show they are who they say they are.“Said Wendy Dignan in psychology.

Interestingly, the report points out that customers are more interested in seeing a company provide effective solutions to a problem (45%) than in offering financial compensation (38%).

Other interesting research highlights include:

  • 44% who left negative bought comments from the company after receiving an appropriate response
  • 40% posted a positive comment on social media about a brand that addressed their issue effectively
  • 35% followed up with a positive review after their complaint was dealt with satisfactorily
  • 44% refused to buy from a business if they didn’t respond to their negative review
  • 37% would urge others not to buy from the company if they didn’t get a satisfactory response
  • 24% would criticize the company on social media and 15% would pass their story on to the media

Joseph P. Harris