Monday, December 17, 2007

Customer Generated Reviews and their effect

Q: Do new customers trust your brand or company before they've ever dealt with you?
A: Possibly, but unlikely. Only if you have done lots to try to pursuade them (this marketing costs money)

Q: Would a potential customer trust your brand or company over another, if someone else positively rated the experience with you?
A: Yes!
Consumers place far more trust in their fellow consumers than they do in traditional marketers and advertisers

Q: Would a negative customer review about a product make you think twice about buying a product?
A: Yes! And there's lots of these about:
http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/006009.html

There use to be a card stuck up on a till in my local Fish & Chip shop in Kent when I was a boy: "If you like our service, tell your friends. If you don't, tell us". However, in the web-enabled world of enhanced communications and consumer opinion, this has evolved: "Satisfied customers tell 3 friends, angry customers tell 3000" (Apols, but this book isn't out yet). Now a single customer with a 'bee in their bonnet' can now tell a significant number of people exactly what they think... and this can affect your brand and even your bottom line, as bad reviews affect sales!

There is nothing you can do to prevent this content from being posted out there, apart from provide 100% customer satisfaction. However you cannot please all your customers all the time and trying to provide this is neither possible nor profitable.

What's worse is that unchecked..... these individuals become the worst sorts of influencers for a company. They become beacons of outrage and this attention may even strengthen their passion.

However, this is not all bad news, you don't have to just fear feedback. Consumer reviews can and should be seen in a positive light. What your user wants should hopefully feedback into your customer research. After all, you would usually pay decent money to a research agency to get the insight into your customer thoughts & behavours. A certain percentage are prepared to provide this for free. Its then deciding who and how to ask that becomes the next problem.
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