Online Consumer Reviews: Ask and You Shall Receive
Most businesses understand the importance of online reviews at a time when the majority of consumers are making their buying decisions based on information taken from the Internet. But unfortunately, many business leaders leave it at that, expecting the battle between positive and negative online review content concerning their company to solve itself. In effect, they ask for reviews and they get them: mostly negative ones which show up on high ranking sites such as Google or Yelp. It not only puts an enterprise's reputation at risk, it diminishes an entrepreneur’s confidence as a product or service provider.
Little do these business leaders know that additional outside factors influence the ratio of negative-to-positive reviews online, and that it doesn't require making consumers get paid to take surveys or other dishonest tactics to set the record straight.
The simple fact of the matter is that unhappy consumers are much more likely to take the time to write unfavorable online content about your company than those who are satisfied. That's because satisfaction is an expectation, not an anomaly (at least it shouldn't be). Good service is the bare minimum required when it's paid for, so unless you go the extra few miles it takes to leave people genuinely impressed, people aren't likely to take the time to publicly praise you. Reversely, negative experiences leave consumers worked up and looking for satisfaction. They want to make sure it doesn't happen again, so they decide to warn people to stay away.
But, as it turns out, there's an easy way that companies can reduce negative reviews even if they can't eliminate the inevitable instance of negative service or sale.
Surveys show that consumers like being asked by a company to write a review for them online, and not only that, the consumers are more likely to write them and the reviews are much more likely to be positive than negative. The reasoning behind this lies in the core of the post-purchase psychology of a consumer who writes a negative review: they want their voice to be heard. Negative reviews are a result of a consumer feeling as though they have no other power other than to warn others to avoid the same experience as their own. If companies involve themselves proactively with the online review system, they demonstrate that they take these reviews into consideration.Continued on the next page