The positives of negative online customer reviews

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One thing I enjoy about the blogosphere is how a good post can be missed by most of us initially but, then get picked up later by someone and suddenly get the attention it deserves. Such was the case yesterday with a post made by Bronto’s Julie Waite regarding online customer reviews and how to leverage them in your eMail marketing. It seems this gem went unnoticed by most of us the first time around.

I’ve always believed that if you focus on building relationships with your customers, sales will come.  One way to build relationships with customers is to let them have their say on your site about the products or services they buy from you. Now, it’s natural for this suggestion to send a chill down your spine but, hear me out. This whole idea is based on the truth that communities drive the web and without them it’s one big strip mall with infinite (empty) parking. It’s also based on my observation that like water, communities find their own level. In other words, they self regulate themselves (to some degree) and balance out any extreme views or behaviour.

My experience has been that people tend to disregard the extremely positive comments and the extremely negative and average out their impression of the comments. People know when it’s too good to be true and they also know when someone just has an agenda or chip on their shoulder.  Sometimes people will even intervene to correct an inaccurate or very critical post but, most often they tend to gloss over the extreme – we all have enough negativity and conversely, sugar, in our day already.

Practical examples from buyers about what did and didn’t work well with a product carry the most weight while editorializing and opinion usually become more or less background noise. Again, we have enough negativity in our days already and most of us won’t spend too much time on someone else’s opinons if they are light on facts and heavy on emotion.

There’s a positive message from negative customer reviews, without them the positive comments lack credibility but, more importantly this offers you a golden opportunity to showcase how you respond to customers who may not be happy with your service or product. Do you pride yourself on how you service dissatisfied customers? If so, why aren’t you highlighting this?

Takeaway: People learn about your good when they see you deal with the bad and the ugly.

How do you deal with unhappy customers in your eMail campaigns and sites? Love to hear your thoughts.

Meet the author:

Jeff Ginsberg

Jeff Ginsberg

20+ year email marketing veteran who wants to help NewBees BEEcome eMail Marketing Ninjas. Want to contribute to our blog? We are always looking for eMail Marketing Ninjas to come share their knowledge and help NewBees create and send better eMail messages.

Connect with: Jeff Ginsberg

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  • Viola
    March 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Online Reputation Management is something all businesses should incorporate in their business.

    I just talked to a new customer (lawyer) who had only one review online – a really nasty one. He was completely unaware of it. Now if he is going to have some good reviews this bad one will not be so damaging and might actually help his credibility.

    So I can see how negative reviews can actually turn out positive.

    Viola

  • Viola
    March 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Online Reputation Management is something all businesses should incorporate in their business.

    I just talked to a new customer (lawyer) who had only one review online – a really nasty one. He was completely unaware of it. Now if he is going to have some good reviews this bad one will not be so damaging and might actually help his credibility.

    So I can see how negative reviews can actually turn out positive.

    Viola

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