Bad reviews about your company can actually help you drive sales and are vital if customers are to trust your brand.
Matt Eames, sales director a Feefo, the reviews platform, said surveys have found only 5% of customers would not book with a firm that shows bad reviews on their sites.
He told the second annual BrightOnTravel conference last week that customers spend four times longer on average interacting with a website that shows bad reviews.
But he said it was vital that firms respond a engage with negative feedback and that this too, when seen by other customers, increases the level of trust in a brand.
“The most important thing about a review is trust,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to trust a review. Unfortunately there are far too many out there that you’ve got to look at a question their validity.
“To get trust all you need to do is guarantee they are from genuine customers and number two don’t moderate.
“If someone’s got a problem with you then deal with it because you can bet your life that person will go and talk about it elsewhere and you may not even know where it is and you’ve got no chance of responding and putting it right.”
Eames said reviews are now all pervasive with 83% of all holiday shoppers saying they are influenced by them.
And he said more than two thirds of people trust reviews when they see bad scores alongside good scores leading to a 67% uptick in conversion.
Eames added a third of consumers suspect sensorship or faked reviews when they don’t see bad scores.
“You have to put bad reviews up there just to make sure your good ones stand pout more.
“One of the biggest challenges we have to overcome with a new customer is when they say ‘what if people hate us?’ If they hate you wouldn’t you want to know about it?” said Eames.
“Companies spend billions on reputation management and building a brand when actually what you could do is shifting a lot of that money into harnessing the power of your customers.”
BrightOnTravel was a free half-day conference organised in partnership with Travolution by Brigthon-based digital agency CWTdigital to coincide with the month-long Brigton Digital Festival in September.