Online reviews are very powerful; it’s not really an exaggeration to say that they can decide the fate of a business.
Naturally, this means that, when sorting through things like King Kong advertising reviews, businesses want the best scores and the most glowing reviews, but the fact of the matter is, negative reviews are unavoidable.
They’re also not entirely a bad thing.
Negative reviews don’t necessarily come from angry customers
Negative reviews can hurt a business, especially smaller ones, so a business owner might see one and think it’s an attack on their business. But this is not generally the case, and it’s paranoid to think so.
Data from a 2008 study from the Texas A&M University, acquired from a survey of around 1,500 TripAdvisor users, noted that there are two primary reasons that drive people to leave a review:
- Inform other travellers
- Help the business improve
This isn’t limited to travel reviews, however, as the reasoning for reviews tends to be fairly universal across industries.
What this means is that reviews are a chance for businesses to see what customers say about them to other customers, and what customers think of their business; what’s good, and what needs to be worked on.
People are different
There isn’t just one kind of customer; every person has different needs, and it’s foolish to think that one single brand or product, or service can provide for everyone.
Brands simply have to accept that what they offer just doesn’t fit some people, and that those people might write online reviews about them.
People take online reviews very seriously: too seriously, sometimes. Some people consider themselves experts, and might even be referred to as such on review sites.
Scientists at the Harbin Institute of Technology noted that the better someone’s reviewing expertise was, as measured by the number of reviews they put out, the more their reviews leaned towards the negative.
This has its place, but might not necessarily be helpful for someone who’s actually looking to purchase something.