Thursday, August 27, 2009

Negative Reviews about your Business are Positive

It may sound illogical and absurd but analysts and businesses alike have found that inviting negative criticism can be used to your advantage.

While negative criticism of a service or product is hardly a novel concept, providing a forum for, and encouraging, this type of feedback has only recently come into vogue. Online businesses, which have highly accessible conduits of information, have learned that negative reviews by customers need not be damaging. In most instances, the customer has a legitimate concern. Listening and responding to the customer may be in the best interest of the business. For example, a customer who has used a product may be able to suggest a subtle improvement that will seriously enhance the product. If several customers make the same or similar suggestion, the prudent business owner may be wise to employ this suggestion. Similarly, the average consumer is aware that opinions are as different as people. However, being able to express that opinion, and knowing that it is being listened to, is extremely important.

While many websites print customer reviews, the savvy buyer knows that only glowing reviews of a product or service are hardly unlikely. Studies have shown that less than 25 per cent of only shoppers will not consider shopping on a site that contains some negative reviews. On the other hand, similar studies have shown that customers are most likely to shift their loyalty to sites that have responded to complaints or criticism, offering either compensation or replacement. The finest product has no value without purchasing customers. Listening and responding to customers is an ideal way to secure their loyalty. Another study recently concluded that customers want to know if a product has any weaknesses. It helps set realistic expectations of a product. In an imperfect world, we all learn to cope with reality. Online shopping is a major part of our world and business owners should not forget that real people are shopping in their virtual stores.

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