Myths of Online Reviews
Busting three myths about online customer reviews.
The evidence is clear, online reviews are now an established and important part of consumers’ decision-making process. But myths still persist.
Here we bust three common myths about reviews.
1. Five-star is always best
Five-star reviews prove that your business is at the top of its game = true.
Only five-star reviews are worth your effort = false.
Mediocre and bad reviews are actually good for business because they:
- Offer your business a chance to demonstrate exceptional customer service.
- Provide valuable feedback on what your business can do to improve.
- Give a genuine and believable account of customer experiences.
These three factors may be more valuable than a five-star review in the long term. In fact, 15% of British online shoppers say they are more likely to do business with a company which responded to a negative review and dealt with it successfully.
2. Reviews are all fake anyway
On September 23, 2013, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an agreement with 19 companies to stop writing fake online reviews and pay over $350,000 in fines. Fake reviews are not only illegal – they’re no way to build trust with your customers.
High profile examples of fake reviews have led some buyers to doubt the value of customer reviews. It is therefore critically important to use a service that operates a strict zero-tolerance policy on fake reviews.
Your business also needs to:
- Resist the urge to take shortcuts and ‘buy’ reviews. Deleting bad reviews, asking people not to write bad reviews, posting fake reviews or defaming
- Customers in your response to their review could land you in court.
- Monitor feedback carefully to identify malicious or fake reviews. Choose an open review community where moderators monitor for fakes and non-confirmed purchasers. The platform should remove these posts immediately pending investigation.
- Reach out to all customers, not just the ones who are likely to be happy. In 2013, 75% of businesses which used Trustpilot as their online ratings and review solution had the 5* TrustScore – a ranking which shows how consumers value a business.
3. Review badges should be used sparingly
Good reviews and customer trust are badges of honour. So why do some businesses only display their feedback credentials at the very end of the shopping journey, on the checkout page?
Try displaying your feedback badges or short testimonials on all of your pages. In doing so your site immediately gains credibility and shows that your business takes feedback seriously.
“… web design cues effectively enhance consumers’ initial trust towards unfamiliar online vendors.”
The Effect of Website Design Dimensions on Initial Trust: A Synthesis of the Empirical Literature, Karimov et al.
Review badges have been proven, thanks to A/B split tests, to increase conversions and reduce shopping basket abandonment.
“We had some quite incredible results when we started using Trustpilot on our site. Through A/B split testing we realised that installing the TrustBox on the site improved sales by 58%.”
Christopher Andrews, Managing Director, Express Watches.
“Within the last 90 days, we’ve seen a 24% increase in conversion rates compared to the previous 90 days before we implemented Trustpilot.”
Steve Baker, Sales Manager, FMW Fasteners
Building trust online is essential. Don’t let these myths hold your business back.
- All reviews hold intrinsic value – even negative reviews can add value.
- Never use fake reviews – getting caught could mean fines and permanent damage to your reputation.
- Review badges could transform your website conversions – use A/B split testing to see what works for you.
Turn negative reviews into a positive with this eGuide: The Truth About Trust: When Reviews Turn Ugly