Most of the stuff you read about negative reviews tends to be advice from marketing agencies on how to listen, react and turn dissenters into 'brand advocates' blah blah.
But, social commerce specialist Reevoo recently looked at the real impact of negative reviews on business with the results presented via a white paper (available for download here).
- Consumers spend four times as long on a site when they interact with bad reviews, trust what they are reading more and are more likely to convert
- 68% say they trust good reviews more when they see a mixed bag of opinions and scores
- 95% suspect fake reviews or censorship when they don't see anything negative
The research also shows negative reviews are driving up engagement and have become one of the most popular features of websites with double the amount of people actively seeking them out as those looking for positive comments.
Those looking for negative reviews spend more than 17 minutes on a site compared with normal consumers, who spend just over three minutes, and they view almost four times as many pages.
And, the good news, when they do come across a product or service with a bad review, they tend to move on to the next one with less than 1% leaving the website.
The company says consumers are using bad reviews to get a full and balanced picture, see where others differ to them (single traveller hates noisy hotel versus family wanting lively property) and feel they can trust the product or service.
Reevoo concludes bad reviews are one of the most effective conversion tools with a 67% increase in conversion rates from those who have sought out negative feedback.
But, one final word on responding to unhappy customers, reports mentioned within the white paper demonstrate how they can become loyal customers if they get a response from the brand.
Data for the white paper is drawn from a survey of more than 1,000 UK consumers as well as online behaviour across the Reevoo customer network.