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BizReport : Ecommerce : November 19, 2015

Brands: How to use negative reviews as a positive force

Reviews and recommendations are growing in importance for brands, but some would say only the positive reviews have value. One expert disagrees. Here's why?

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How can B2B organizations leverage negative reviews to their advantage?

Tim Handorf, CEO & Co-Founder, G2 Crowd: It may seem counterintuitive, but we've found negative reviews can often have positive impact. Users actively seek out negative reviews 2-3 times more than positive reviews, and they put more trust into a brand that has a couple of bad reviews than those that have received nothing but high user ratings. Further, providing an authentic response to a negative review that expresses your desire to fix identified problems helps show other readers that some organizations care more about their customers than others, and actively seek feedback so they can improve their products.

Kristina: What role does this kind of transparency play in marketing B2B brands in the digital age?

Tim: Transparency builds trust, and trust is the cornerstone of any lasting business relationship. There is simply no better way to prove you embrace transparency than by encouraging your customers to write public reviews. Word-of-mouth insight is important to consumers; it's just a matter of the software companies joining the conversation. Further, customers and prospects want to have access to the information they need in order to make the best decisions. With digital transparency, you are able to build trust before a prospect even makes first contact, thereby increasing the probability of closing a sale.

Kristina: Looking toward the New Year and beyond, how can B2B brands use data to increase market share and gain a competitive edge?

Tim: When available, data should play a key part in all decisions made. The data that G2 Crowd shares with brands can be used in multiple ways. One example is a provider looking to gain market share and gain an edge on the competition. To do so, they need to build a superior product, and customer feedback/data is essential to do so. Another is how data can be used to product buying behaviors in prospects. G2 Crowd visitor data can help brands determine what stage a prospect is at in their buying journey and ensure they are delivered the right information at the right time.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: brand content, ecommerce, G2 Crowd, review content, review tips

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