The Antidote to Negative Online Reviews


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Don’t worry too much about negative online reviews—just offer customers a positive experience.
According to John Fuller of Decision Sciences, quoted in the April issue of Fast Company magazine, survey data shows that anything an Internet shopper reads about a site can quickly be trumped by personal experience.
I haven’t seen the actual study but based on the way people make value judgments, I would agree with the premise. Personal experiences out weighs the opinions of others.
But I have two quibbles. The Fast Company piece suggests the vendor use a promotional strategy to get the customer to their web site. If by a promotional strategy they mean a discount or incentive, them I think they are doomed to fail. Why? Well, attracting customers to a deal is not the same as attracting them to an emotionally compelling experience. Deals trigger a mindset that is about transactional value not experiential value.
The other quibble concerns the retroactive tone to the strategy. One of the benefits of emotionally compelling customer experiences is a form of indemnification. Simply put, customer who have had positive experience with a company increasingly forgive snafus. The proactive strategy should be to foster experiences customer emotionally engaging. Why engaged customers are more profitable and more loyal.

John Todor
John I. Todor, Ph.D. is the Managing Partner of the MindShift Innovation, a firm that helps executives confront the volatility and complexity of the marketplace. We engage executives in a process that tackles two critical challenges: envisioning new possibilities for creating and delivering value to customers and, fostering employee engagement in the innovation and alignment of business practices to deliver on the new possibilities. Follow me on Twitter @johntodor


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