At least 60% of technology software shoppers turn to product reviews for information during their buying process, which is why peer-based product reviews are so essential to a company’s success. What many marketing managers don’t realize is:
It’s not just the positive reviews that are yielding good results; negative reviews can boost your ROI, too.
In a recent study by the Journal of Consumer Research, negative feedback that is correctly-worded leads to increased higher conversion rates. One site noted that companies who had 10-30% negative reviews received 10% more leads than companies with solid, 5-star reviews.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should start scrambling for angry customers and poor reviews. As you can imagine – it’s not as simple as that!
So, how can you leverage negative user reviews into ROI?
Here are 3 lessons for enterprise level technology marketers to leverage negative reviews not only for boosting their customer feedback, but also for increasing conversions.
Lesson #1: Learn from the Best: Your Users
While nobody enjoys criticism, intelligent companies view criticism at face value: an honest and authentic appraisal of how their product is performing and received by users. Negative reviews give your marketing team invaluable insight into what you are doing right and into what you’re doing wrong — from the most influential and pertinent source of all: your users.
Business in today’s tech industry need to utilize agile marketing techniques for constant improvement of their products. In the technology sector, if you aren’t advancing, you are undergoing a speedy demise of outdatedness.
Because negative reviews are specifically generated by your niche audience, these reviews not only help your company by highlighting the areas that need improvement, they provide the most relevant and useful form of feedback.
Utilizing these insights will help you to:
- Tailor your product to the changing demands of the public
- Hone in on the shortcomings
- Craft an applicable plan for improvement.
Lesson #2: Seize the Opportunity for Communication
Any comment made by a customer, even if it’s negative, opens a line of communication between your audience and your company. This is a golden opportunity for you to obtain brand awareness, positive PR, and product insight.
By responding directly to negative feedback, your company shows customers that they are being listened to. Contrarily, ignoring feedback of any sort can portray your business as one that that doesn’t value its customers.
Market research has shown that customers who were responded to ‘correctly’ after a negative experience were much more likely to recommend that business to friends later on.
‘Correct’ Responses to Negative Feedback include:
- Validating the complaint
- Asking questions for clarification
- Apologizing (but without giving excuses or being defensive)
- Offering solutions
- (Always) thanking the customer for their time
An interaction that follows the above guidelines will generate positive feelings on the part of the customer as well as create a great image for potential customers in the future.
Lesson #3: Foster Authenticity
When looking to authenticate a brand, consumers look out for the negative comments that supplement the positive ones. When a potential buyer sees a company that boasts hundreds of positive reviews without a single negative comment, they automatically assume the feedback is fictitious. Why? Because no one product offering is flawless, and negative feedback indicates that companies are sincere in their efforts to honor their users’ perspective and improve their product offering.
Furthermore, seeing negative feedback on a website gives customers the impression that your company is an honest one. After all, you have the ability to reject or delete negative comments. By leaving up these less-than-flattering reviews, you show your potential buyers that you are prepared to deal honestly, even if there is a little discomfort on your part in doing so.
With a community of more than 190,000 reviewers, triple-validation for all user reviews, and multiple avenues for gathering feedback, ITCS provides the highest standard for enterprise technology reviews