Aspiration: Trusted (Negative) Customer Reviews on your Corporate Homepage

It may surprise you, but a sign of a mature social business is to allow negative customer reviews right on the homepage.

Hard pill to swallow? Absolutely. Many brand managers, CMOs and CEOs will resist tarnishing the brand, yet savvy social strategists know to enable a trusted place for prospects, reviews from actual customers will need to surface during their decision making process.

In fact, consumers often get this data from third parties, and the savvy strategist knows they want this to happen closer to their point of transaction on their corporate homepage. Why? It shows a sign of confidence that a brand is willing to allow all customer opinions closer to them, and ideally they are responding to fix issues.

Yet despite this, our recent survey found (our full Open Research report to come in Q1) that a majority of corporations are not aggregating customer reviews on the homepage, instead they are continuing to link away to social media owned (their own branded FB and Twitter accounts). Let’s continue to adopt trusted consumer content in all relevant digital touchpoints, and ensure we’re integrating across the entire customer lifecycle.

A sign of a mature social business is having trusted, and therefore negative customer reviews on the homepage.

  • I quite like this example from Brooks, England, a company founded in 1866.

    On each of their products pages, beneath the product, are columns for “unsolicited testimonials” and “unfiltered criticisms”.

    http://www.brooksengland.com/catalogue-and-shop/saddles/touring+%26+trekking/B17+S+Standard/

    They are not using any real-time social media here but I think that it is still a nice “open” example.

  • I quite like this example from Brooks, England, a company founded in 1866.

    On each of their products pages, beneath the product, are columns for “unsolicited testimonials” and “unfiltered criticisms”.

    http://www.brooksengland.com/catalogue-and-shop/saddles/touring+%26+trekking/B17+S+Standard/

    They are not using any real-time social media here but I think that it is still a nice “open” example.

  • Makes sense why reviews are away from home page. But most businesses can edit reviews before it’s posted on their site. Review placement can affect consumer decision making. However the savvy customer will search other avenues for reviews. No business can escape the claws of online reviews. The trick is to respond to every bad review.

  • Disclaimer: I work for Bazaarvoice, and we are a SaaS review provider. Negative reviews are a sign of many things. Among them:

    -The brand has nothing to hide from consumers
    -The brand welcomes open and honest feedback from product/service users
    -The brand understands and respects consumers enough to know that, should they not provide an area for open customer conversations, they will go elsewhere to escape the veneer of marketing copy (which consumers trust far less than peer and expert opinions).

    But, here’s something that goes even further to gain consumer trust when it comes to UGC: acting on it. That’s right–don’t just apologize, improve your products based on the feedback you’re getting. Change your description copy to more accurately reflect product features and qualities. Negative reviews are an opportunity to become more customer centric by taking them to heart and acting on them. Therein lies the core value of what some still wish to cover up. If only they understood they were sitting on a goldmine!

  • The difficulty isn’t so much the presence of negative user reviews, but the brand’s method of dealing with them. As long as the brand responds through the right channel in a timely, diplomatic  and responsible manner, it can an opportunity for good publicity and genuine customer engagement.

  • Agreed. It’s an opportunity to prove in public how committed a company is to customers.

  • Agreed. It’s an opportunity to prove in public how committed a company is to customers.

  • Thanks James, similar to many manufactures who have power reviews or Bazaarvoice on their site.

  • Thanks James, similar to many manufactures who have power reviews or Bazaarvoice on their site.

  • And yet, brands are so afraid of showing negative reviews. I work for one of the strongest brands in the world and we started to collect user reviews 1 month ago. We already have more than 40,000 reviews in 6 countries. I spend every minute on convincing the internal organization that we should not delete negative reviews…. A great challange I can tell you! So thanks @jowyang:disqus for your support!

  • This is a nice content. It shows a sign of confidence.The written skill is so good.I am very impress to this one.This is an amazing.I appreciate to this one.Thanks to share this blog with us.Keep it up.

  • Pingback: .Kku88Fw4XFeYWAj()