How Getting Naked is Good For Business

May 30, 2016

Only in the past few years did I get used to exposing my business to the public. While it was difficult at first, I quickly got comfortable with the thousands of people judging my goods and, as a result, I was able to grow, unlike anything I could have at the time I was covering myself up.

Just to be clear, I am referring to accepting, and encouraging, users of my product to publish their honest reviews – both good and bad – for everyone to see.

The practice of seeking out the publication of honest reviews of one’s product or service is part of the concept of naked marketing. Reviews naturally make a company feel vulnerable – they shouldn’t though.

As a part-time CMO for multiple businesses, I am getting used to the near immediate resistance I get from owners when I suggest building out reviews of their products. “What happens if we get a negative review?”. Before I get into negative reviews, let’s take a look at why even solicit reviews in the first place.

As mentioned, I am pro-review and here’s why:

  • According to Adam Beeson of G2 Crowd, a top third party review site for software, recent data shows that the vast majority of buyers read at least ten reviews before making a significant purchase.
  • When someone is choosing between a product with 50 reviews with an average rating of 4.2 out of five stars versus a product with no reviews – most will go with the product that has reviews.
  • Reviews increase conversion rates – and not just positive reviews. A site with only positive reviews looks suspicious. People look for honest reviews, and that will often also include negative reviews.
  • According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88% of consumer trust reviews. If you don’t have any reviews, you may be missing out on a huge audience.
  • Reviews can impact your SEO efforts. Search engines will recognize reviews of your product on reputable third party sites. These reviews can influence how search engines rank your website.

Hopefully, by now you’re convinced of the importance of online reviews, and you can stop reading this article and start soliciting reviews. If you continue to read, I will assume you’re still uptight about receiving negative reviews and the impact they will have on your business. Let’s talk about negative reviews.

When it comes to negative reviews, it’s not a matter of avoiding them, rather, it’s all about how you manage them. I have worked with G2 Crowd, a reputable review site, and so I reached out to Adam Beeson to ask what advice he would give to business owners regarding negative reviews. Here is what he had to say:

“Negative reviews are a source of fear, but they shouldn’t be. The reality is that buyers search for negative reviews. If a product does not have some negative reviews, the buyer will frequently dismiss the product as ‘too good to be true’ or ‘can’t trust the reviews’. In truth, negative reviews are a terrific opportunity for vendors. When a negative review is found, a vendor who engages with the reviewer has the opportunity to publicly use their customer service function and flip the negative into the positive. We frequently find that by quickly engaging with negative reviewers, vendors can repair the relationship, establish a loyal existing customer AND show prospective buyers that the company values their customers.”

Hopefully, I have given you something to think about. If you’re in an industry where none of your competitors solicit reviews, then you have an excellent opportunity to be a leader and embrace the inevitable.

If your industry is already full of reviews and you’re sitting on the sidelines, it may be time to take action before falling too far behind.

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