At one time or another we have all searched for reviews for a certain company or product we were thinking of doing business with. Maybe we read one review and took that as word and maybe we searched out many reviews. One thing we probably didn’t do is think about how the particular person who wrote the review effected his or her own experience. A review is nothing but the perception of a certain persons experience with a certain product or company.
Three days ago I read several reviews of the company I work for and it hit me then how perception can make ones experience seem so different that someone they may be standing right next too. When a person does a review they don’t say, “I’m in a bad mood today and my kids were acting up and I’m super stressed and maybe this contributed to my perception of this particular experience I had with this company”. Instead they write something like, “My experience was horrible. It wasn’t a relaxed environment, my food tasted awful, and the waiter was unfriendly”. Then you have the lady at the table next to this one with the same waiter who may write, “Great food, excellent service, friendly staff.”
When you are browsing those online reviews it is very important to remember that not everyone who stands in the same exact spot at the same exact time will see the same exact situation exactly the same. A person’s attitude, outlook, and beliefs will greatly impact how one looks at the situation.
I read that 90% of consumers read online reviews before they visit a business. I probably don’t do that as much with local businesses as I do online businesses. Do you look up the reviews for a business before you visit it? When you are thinking of going to a store you haven’t been before do you just go and let your own experience speak for itself or do you trust the judgement of others? According to this article on the Business to Community blog I read 88 % of consumers not only check out the online reviews before they visit a business but take the reviews they read there as a trusted source.
A staggering 86% of people will hesitate to visit a business after reading just one negative review. I will admit that I have felt that way before myself. Sometimes I will still visit the business or order the product and sometimes I don’t. Let me tell you how it goes when I do. I have that negative review in the back of my head. The whole time I am there I am looking for that bad experience. I’m looking for someone else s perception of their experience. After reading a bad review my chances are seeing my experience the same is likely.
Now on the flip side 72% of people will take action after reading only one positive review.
I believe that reviews are important and but I also believe that it is important to keep an open mind when reading them. It would also be helpful to keep an open mind when writing them too. There are some people who only ever share their negative reviews. If you are one of these people I challenge you to write a positive review for every negative review you make.
It is also important to know that companies a business can hire to boost their online reviews. It doesn’t necessarily make those reviews fake but it cost money to maintain those reviews. You have to be willing to spend the money.
I don’t expect anyone to stop making or reading online reviews but what I am hoping you will do is really look at the review when you are reading it. Is it a product review or is it ones personal experience. Remember that everyone has a different perception when it comes to experience and sometimes people will only see the good or only see the bad in any situation they find themselves in. Try to remember that also when you are writing one.
If you are interested in reading more on the article I read you can find it here. http://www.business2community.com/infographics/impact-online-reviews-customers-buying-decisions-infographic-01280945#3GOcJdMKwYyMcoZT.97
Thanks for reading!