There’s nothing quite as convincing that a product or business is good as social confirmation of some sort. Back in the Dark Ages, before the Internet was a household product, people would rely on word of mouth from friends and acquaintances to back up a product’s validity or the honest dealings of a particular service provider. Today, in the world of social everything, confirmation comes in the form of reviews. People do read them, and, when they appear genuine, they take them to heart.
Products and services that receive largely positive reviews and testimonials are much more likely to attract new customers because people like to try new things—especially if they know they’ve worked for other people. If a product gets mostly negative reviews, it will have the opposite effect. People will stay away for fear of wasting their time, their money, or both their time and their money.
Why do People put so much Faith in Product Reviews?
Humans are social creatures. In every country and every economy, there is this desire to try things that others are using. The more reviews, positive or otherwise, a product has, the more likely it is that a lot of people are actually using the product. But reviews tell the customers a lot about the product that advertisements and packaging may not reveal.
For instance, if you’re selling coffee makers and have the coffee makers you’re selling open for reviews, people are likely to share their experiences, good and bad, with the coffee maker. The people who read the reviews can tell from these experiences whether any particular problems, glitches, or absent features might be a problem for them or something that wouldn’t really interfere with the way they use a coffee maker. Also, many reviewers offer helpful hints and suggestions for dealing with common weaknesses in the product line.
How Product Makers/Service Providers can Benefit from Reviews
Savvy product makers and service sellers should be reading these reviews as well to discover where deficiencies in the product exist and what they can do to improve those deficiencies in future models. Another thing you might want to try, in this social media world we live in, is to solicit feedback from people who are having issues with products or even customer service to see what would make it better for them and take what they have to say to heart.
One thing you should never do when attempting to encourage reviews about your products is to generate false reviews—whether writing them yourself or paying someone else to write them for you. They are almost always recognisable and will turn potential customers off faster than having no reviews or even negative reviews.
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