Most prospective customers read reviews about products or services before making a purchase, which is why many small business owners live in fear of public customer complaints. But, the latest research shows that negative reviews may not hurt your business as much as you might think. In fact, negative reviews can be useful for business – if the reviewer is polite.
Since word of mouth can be one of the best ways to attract new customers, online reviews can make a big difference to any small business. The internet offers customers a variety of ways to provide reports.
Facebook and the likes are just a few of the methods through which customers can leave feedback. Of course, social media is another channel through which customers create buzz about your products and services.
Customer complaints that are worded politely may enhance the possibility that a customer will purchase from you, according to new research findings in the Journal of Consumer Research which is the first study to evaluate how “politeness” in a negative review impacts consumer point of views.
Researchers examined the influence that phrases like, “I don’t want to be mean, but…” and, “I’ll be honest…” had on the reader’s perception of a product. Any time reviewers used warnings to soften bad news or contrary information, the negative review didn’t harm sales.
In fact, the study found that formal but negative reviews could improve the way a customer views your products and services. When research participants saw a report of a wristwatch that read, “I don’t want to be mean, but the band pinches a bit,” they were willing to pay up to $100 for the watch. When the proper part of the review was removed, participants said they’d only pay $75 for the same wristwatch.
Here are some methods that may be able to increase the likelihood that your reviewers will behave politely:
- Don’t be scared of negative reviews: Be willing to allow customers reviews on your site and your social page accounts. Don’t delete reviews because they are harmful. Instead, know that a few negative reviews can as well make your business look better as time pass by.
- Return to reviews in a polite manner: Always keep a polite and respectful tone when replying reviews. Engage with customers courtesy and try to resolve any issue whenever you can. Respond openly when possible to show everyone that you are putting so much effort to keep your customers satisfied. Future reviewers may be more likely to behave politely when they’re assured that you read and respond to reviews.
- Make your business appear real: Connect with customers social platforms and don’t be afraid to show that you are you also have some feelings, not just an imaginary business. Show images of the office staff or give people behind-the-scenes insight into what it’s like to work for your company. When people are reminded that they’re dealing with real human beings, they may be more likely to leave excellent feedback, even when it’s a negative review.