Online reviews can make or break a company or product.
A 2011 study on the effects of negative reviews was conducted by Phillip Wu, and Hans van der Heijden of the The Surrey Business School at the University of Surrey, and Nikolaos Th. Korfiatis of the Institute for Computer Science at the University of Frankfurt. The study was conducted to determine the effects of positive and negative reviews and which hold more merit. The interesting thing that they found was that a negative review may be attention getting and hold some weight, but most people don’t take it straight to heart if the information isn’t there. Overall, with positive and negative reviews, both will be taken in by a potential consumer, but most people will look at the content of the review, and not just at the negativity of it. Many people who are unhappy are just writing to vent their frustration, thus the content isn’t as well thought out and planned, as opposed to someone who is happy with the product or service.
What does this mean as a potential business owner? It means that reviews can really help you out. I know that this is obvious overall, but think of it this way, how many times have you gotten a receipt from a restaurant or a store and been asked to fill out a brief survey online? How many times have you actually gone and filled it out? The answer to this question most of the time is rarely. Many people, when they have had a normal experience, don’t feel the need to fill out a survey or review. It’s time consuming and feel unneeded. As opposed to someone who had a bad experience. They feel the need to tell the world about it. The moral of this is that you must remind those that you serve that a review can be a huge help. Just give them a friendly reminder that you would really appreciate it if they gave you a review on your Google page, Facebook, Yelp, etc.
Keep in mind that if you do convince someone to write a review, that “the more the merrier” is a good way of thinking when writing it. More information in the review will convince other consumers of what the review is trying to state. I personally know that when I get on Amazon to look at a product that I’m not entirely convinced about, I look at the reviews. If the reviews are generally positive, I try to look for someone who has written up a pros and cons list. That usually helps me decide.
Overall, just give your customers a friendly reminder that a review online helps more than they know and that they will be doing a great service for you if they actually write one.