Why people believe bad online reviews about you

reputation marketingYou might wonder why people believe bad online reviews about you when it’s patently obvious to anyone who knows you that these reviews are untrue.

Here’s a possible reason why bad online reviews are often so easily accepted: In the report: “When scowling may be a good thing: The influence of anger expressions on credibility” European Journal of Social Psychology Volume 39 Issue 4, Pages 631 – 638, the authors say that a display of anger gives credibility to a complaint that may not otherwise be perceived as being credible.

This is really bad news for anyone who has bad reviews online.

Besides the fact that Google is now broadcasting your reputation score publicly in their search results, the truth is that unless you have an active reputation marketing strategy that’s consistently implemented, you’re more likely to get bad reviews than good.

The reason for this is that it’s quite a hassle to post a review.  It takes effort.  For the most part, people tend to not bother to exert that kind of effort unless they’re influenced by a really strong emotion.  Anger tends to be a much more common and much stronger emotion in the market place than satisfaction.  Which is why, the majority of reviews tend to be negative.

Trouble is, people see these negative reviews.  They don’t see the – maybe – 110’s of satisfied customers speaking out for you, as these people haven’t been motivated enough to jump through all the hoops required to post a review on a major review site.  They only see the comments of people who are so angry that they used an online review site to vent against you.

Negative reviews fall into a few different categories:

  • customers who received genuinely bad service or a disappointing product and then could not get adequate resolution from the company
  • customers who are unreasonable and like to vent
  • competitors or disgruntled ex employees who want to damage you

The trouble is that your prospects will not be able to tell the difference.  If I called you up and said, “I see you have a few bad reviews online,” chances are you could justify your position with a quick explanation about why the reviews are unfounded or what you did to resolve the issue.  But, most of your prospects will not call you.  They will simply believe the review is true and move on to another business – your competitor who has a better reputation.

And, according to the research cited above, the angrier the review, the more likely it will be believed.  Scary, huh?

If you haven’t already checked to see what your reputation score is, use this free resource that provides you with an instant report. http://CheckMyReputation.org

There’s also further training available once you’ve pulled the report and it’s free.

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