Optimized Ecommerce EP 051 – How to Leverage Negative Reviews
This week on The Optimized Ecommerce, Eric Kwoka returns to chat with Tanner Larsson about how you can leverage negative reviews to grow your business. Tune in this week’s episode as Eric dive into details about the multiple ways you can leverage negative reviews and turn them into revenue. Don’t forget to subscribe
Welcome to Episode #051 of Optimized Ecommerce – How to Leverage Negative Reviews. I’m your host, Tanner Larsson, CEO of BGS.
BGS means Build Grow Scale! It is a community that we founded where eCommerce entrepreneurs and physical product sellers come to learn how to take their businesses to the next level.
Super thrilled to have Eric Kwoka back on the show for the second time around! He is one of the BGS ex-pat Revenue optimization Experts, he loves to travel and bounce around while doing his work on a laptop.
Eric is one of the guys who really dives deep into the nitty-gritty of Revenue Optimization, that’s because It’s his personality type, it is what he likes and enjoys the most. He just drills down into some really cool areas of the business. And he’s pretty awesome at doing that.
Here’s just a taste of what we talked about today:
Eric discussed the reasons why store owners shouldn’t take negative reviews personally.
Store owners have a negative bias, where they could have a million people screaming praises, and that one person that says something negative sticks for the day. A lot of times, this can lead to store owners wanting to get rid of negative reviews to make everything perfect. This can cause a lot of problems related to trust.
The surveys and tests that BGS has conducted show that a perfect 5-star rating makes it unbelievable for people and it actually destroys customers’ trust. People also tend to make purchases with stores that have more reviews than the ones that have few perfect 5-star reviews.
Then, Eric talked about the positive benefits of displaying negative reviews or low star reviews.
Displaying negative reviews makes people trust your store a little bit more. They would think that your business is honest and that you are doing the right thing.
Another benefit of negative reviews is that it helps disqualify customers that are not going to be happy with the product. It saves the store from possible shipment & refund hassles.
We also discussed a few other fun topics, including:
- The reasons why people look at negative reviews before buying.
- How to effectively sort negative reviews?
- Ways to turn negative reviews into something beneficial to the customer and the store.
- How to correctly leverage the FAQ page?
But you’ll have to watch or listen to the episode to hear about those!
How To Stay Connected With Eric Kwoka
Want to stay connected with Eric? Please check out their social profiles below.
- Website: BuildGrowScale.com/author/eric
- Facebook Profile: Facebook.com/ekwoka
- Instagram Handle: Instagram.com/thekwoka
Also, Eric mentioned the following items on the show. You can find that on:
Tanner Larsson 0:07
Hey, everybody, welcome back to the Optimized Ecommerce podcast. I’m Tanner Larsson. And today we’re joined by another member of the revenue optimization team for a repeat show. He’s been on a couple of other shows his name is Eric Kwoka. Eric has been with us for a few years now. He’s one of our Ex Pat RO’s that likes to travel around the world and stuff like that. And bounce around, while he’s doing his work from a laptop, he actually is living the laptop lifestyle. But anyway, Eric is also one of the guys who just really deep dives into the nitty-gritty of RO at a deeper level than almost anybody on our team just because it’s his personality type. It’s what he likes, it’s what he enjoys. And he just drills down into some really, really, really cool areas of the business. And today, I brought him on because I wanted to talk about something that we don’t normally talk about, we talk about reviews a lot, right, and how important reviews are to the sales process. But when we talk about reviews, we tend to only talk about good reviews, we talked about the benefit of having good five-star four-star reviews. But we don’t ever talk about the negative reviews. And the negative reviews are actually super powerful and can be leveraged in a very, very, very cool way, multiple ways to grow your business. So negative reviews aren’t necessarily bad. But most people take them that way. And most people suppress them and do things that they shouldn’t do with them. So Eric has actually done a lot of research into this. We’ve done a lot of testing, and we figured out ways to use negative reviews to actually help your business. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. So Eric, thanks for joining us.
Eric Kwoka 1:47
I’m always happy to be here.
Tanner Larsson 1:51
So why don’t you tell them? What part of the world you’re in and kind of like where you’ve been bouncing around to keep always like here and that kind of stuff?
Eric Kwoka 2:01
I was living in Korea before the sickening happened. And I managed to get over to Singapore, just in the early days, and they’ve been gracious enough to keep extending my visa. As long as I’ve been here. I might be the only person still in the country, like not in a much more long-term situation. But it’s working out for me.
Tanner Larsson 2:27
Pretty cool. All right, Eric. So why don’t we go ahead and jump into this whole negative review thing? Now, I’ve done it. I know a lot of people do. But people take this personally like store owners get a negative review. And a lot of them really take it personally as if it’s an attack on them or an attack on the store.
Eric Kwoka 2:47
Tanner Larsson 2:47
But I mean, we know it’s not but like, Why is this not the right way to react to a negative review?
Eric Kwoka 2:57
Yeah, well, like as you mentioned, it’s super understandable that new stores, many could be spending so much of their time to get just a little way going with their store, maybe even quit their main job or put themselves kind of in a more tough position where success is really important. And the store becomes your baby. But then those negative reviews can, you know, we have a negativity bias, you could have a million people screaming your praises, and that one person that says something negative sticks with you for the day. But a lot of times, this can lead to store owners wanting to get rid of reviews many times when they’re somewhat legitimate. And this can cause a lot of problems related to trust. And other information we’ll get into a bit later, that negative reviews can help. But just like right away, there’s this like that bit of trust has been lost with your users, even if many won’t notice, or because they don’t know that you deleted things. But over time, that can kind of build-up especially if there are just no reviews, you can really end up in this position where it’s, is this store even real? Because we know it’s really easy to make a store and put up a bunch of, five-star reviews on your own. And even there’s ways to get the little verified buyer even though it’s not a real purchase. I mean, a lot of the apps make it a bit difficult, but there’s ways to get around that. And that can end up in a situation where a user is at the store is everything’s five stars, and everything’s perfect. It’s just unbelievable.
Tanner Larsson 4:39
And it’s not just only unbelievable, but it destroys trust. Nobody. From all the tests we’ve done, people don’t believe in a five-star rating of 4.8 4.9 Yes, but as soon as it becomes a perfect five-star, it becomes too hard to believe.
Eric Kwoka 5:04
In a lot of research, when there’s still only a few reviews, people will go to having lower actual star ratings on products, they’ll prefer those as long as they have more reviews. So a lot of times, what’s more, important is getting to a critical mass number of reviews is more important than keeping that five stars. Because you could have, 15, five stars, but having maybe 40 reviews, and maybe brings it down to 4.5 people are just going to trust the 4.5 more because it has a lot more behind it. But that five stars on few, it’s just, who knows what’s going on.
Tanner Larsson 5:46
Now, guys, I wanted to touch on something here where we’re making the assumption that you’re actually selling quality products. I mean, if you’re selling shitty products, and you’re getting crappy reviews, well, then you deserve every single one that you get. No, no sympathy for you there, if you’re selling shit, you deserve to be reviewed like shit. But assuming you are selling quality products, it is totally understandable. But from the customer, think about yourself, like, you know that no product is perfect, your customer knows that no product is perfect. They also know that no customer is always the nicest customers are not good. There are people out there who are like, on principle alone, I will not give you a five-star review, even if it’s perfect because I don’t believe in five stars. there’s the people that are so nitpicky and the people that you just can’t satisfy. And we as a society know those people are out there, we’ve all encountered them.
Eric Kwoka 6:41
Or those that didn’t understand what they were buying, where they’re totally being honest, but it’s just that, there’s a message disconnect. So as long as you said, good product, but also being honest about how you convey that product. And making that effort to make sure users understand before they buy, you’re probably going to be fine, even if you get some negative ones.
Tanner Larsson 7:06
And that’s okay. And Eric’s going to talk about this thing, but I want to really clarify that negative reviews, take them, read them, obviously. But remember, they’re typically outliers. But if there’s a common theme among your negative reviews, then maybe take that to heart and go, Okay, how can we improve this aspect, maybe we’re not clear enough on the sales page or stuff like that. But by and large, you’re selling quality products, the natural instinct is to suppress or get rid of that negative review. And that is not what you should do. There’s different ways to handle it, which Eric’s going to talk about. But again, assuming you’re selling quality products, negative reviews can be turned in a way that can actually benefit you significantly. And we’ll talk some more about that now. So Eric, what’s the next thing in this so you want to talk about benefits or you want to, or you want to talk a little bit more about like leading up to, from the user perspective?
Eric Kwoka 8:00
A bit more leading up to it. So, a lot of people maybe even not sure whether or not reviews are that important, or especially the negative reviews. But lots of user testing just shows that, if a user is really considering the product, they’re going to go to those reviews, and they’re going to specifically look for those negative ones. Like so much of actually, as we talked about, you need to have the reviews module there. And the distribution chart and means of sorting, pretty much all of that exists so that the user can find negative reviews quickly and easily. Like they go down, they see the rating of 4.8, we have 305 stars, and then they just click on that one or two-star, because they just don’t care what the five stars say.
Tanner Larsson 8:49
Come to say when we shop on Amazon. Like, what’s the first review you read on Amazon? Is it positive? Or do you sort for the bad reviews?
Eric Kwoka 8:57
Yeah, it’s like, they have the sorting option. And a lot of these apps and some people think that they need to have every possible sorting option, like lowest rated, highest rated, new, old. It’s basically 99% is just lowest rated. It’s the only thing anybody is really looking for, because they want the dirt. It’s part of that doing due diligence, finding out like, are these problems that I’m gonna have? Are these problems that aren’t gonna annoy me or are they gonna be fine?
Tanner Larsson 9:24
Yeah. And that’s the other thing, guys. When you think about it from a consumer standpoint when you go buy something on Amazon, you go look at the negative review, or the lower review not because you’re not wanting to buy the product, but you want to see what do people say bad about it? And is that something I’m okay with? Or it’s not necessarily that you’re trying to look for a reason not to buy it? You just want to say okay, I like everything I see in the product reviews, they got some bad ones, but let’s see, are they actually about the product or the customer service or what are they in are those negativities that people are saying, big enough for me to not want to buy this product. So it’s not necessarily a disqualifier. It could just be, oh, yeah, someone didn’t like how long it took to get to them because it was during Corona or whatever. And they could take them longer to get there, so they left them a bad review doesn’t always mean that it’s gonna break and kill the sale.
Eric Kwoka 10:16
Yeah, one example that I like to use is Bluetooth speakers, a lot of them have the little plug space that you can actually plug in wired to something. And maybe there’s a complaint about that. That’s not something I care about, I’m not even going to look to see if what I’m buying has that I’m just never going to use it. But for some people, they might like having that extra option and having it be good quality.
Tanner Larsson 10:42
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Okay, so let’s go ahead and actually spend a little bit let’s talk about some of the positive benefits of displaying negative or low star reviews. So what’s good about showing people the bad stuff?
Eric Kwoka 10:56
We already mentioned a bit about, if you air your dirty laundry out, people trust you a bit more like they’re like, Oh, this is an Honest Company that’s really trying to do the right thing. But additionally, and this is more important with high ticket items, or very technical things, is that some of the negative reviews can actually help disqualify customers that are not going to be happy anyway. Because let’s say, you sell very expensive office chairs. And maybe most people love it. But then there’s some small things that some people just really hate about it. But then you also have a money-back guarantee and everything. But if you could just kind of upfront kind of say, hey, if you care about this small thing, don’t buy our chair, because it’s just gonna cost us a bunch of money to ship it to you get it back and just deal with all that hassle. You can just right away get rid of some of those people in that way. And another sometimes that, depending on the product, some things can have different ways that things can go. I’m trying to find a way to lead into this, but I’ll just give this specific example like I eat IEA, one of those powder-like Soylent type foods a lot. And that was one brand that I buy that’s cheap out here. It’s a Malaysian brand. And all those say that they taste sweet and taste good. And a lot of them taste like crap. Like no matter how, no matter what you add in, they do not taste very good. So I immediately dubious when they say like, Oh, this is really good. Tastes like a real proper milkshake. Like, okay, sure. But then when I was looking through some of the negative reviews, somebody pointed out that they thought it was too sweet for that. So it was like, oh, I am someone that can handle very sweet things. I like very rich cakes occasionally. So when I see it’s like somebody else’s complaining that it’s too sweet. And it’s like, oh, this is actually viable.
Tanner Larsson 12:52
A benefit to you.
Eric Kwoka 12:53
Yeah, so like, because I’m not gonna trust the company saying it, but somebody that’s being negative about this fact, that’s like the ultimate thing that you can trust. So they’re saying it’s too sweet for me. That means for me loving the sweetness probably going to be much better.
Tanner Larsson 13:12
So within that, like we’re displaying this, we actually want people to see the negative reviews. Which is contrary to maybe what most people would think, like from a logical sense. It’s like, Oh, yeah, of course, you want to hide the negative reviews. But in actuality, we don’t want to encourage people to find and see the negative reviews. How do we do that? What’s the best way for us to do that without posting the negative review at the top of the page, which we don’t do?
Eric Kwoka 13:41
Well, as I mentioned, like, if you have a good reviews app, like stamps.io, one of the best for this, like their default settings, they have everything that you could want without having to do any real tinkering of those ratings distribution chart, and the sorting and other kinds of search things that help you get to help users get to those reviews that they’re looking for quickly. But one strategy like you kind of mentioned, posting the negative review at the top. And this is not quite at the top, but sometimes above the actual like review widget. Many stores, especially some technical stuff, this is often more common on non-brand specific stores, because there might be a bit more willing to just put that out there because it’s not their reputation if a product is bad, but putting up the most helpful positive review and the most helpful negative review, like above the main widget because, you have those votes and you have enough traffic for using it to vote for most helpful reviews. That can just really help those users get to that deal-breaker or not a thing. So now on Best Buy. One example I have for this is it was like an Android tablet but it was kind of marketed as like, a cheap one that you can get for a kid for Maybe Netflix babysitter, or I guess, the new homeschooling type stuff. And one of the most helpful negative reviews that they put up was just that this user couldn’t find a good more rugged, sturdy case for it. So they didn’t feel very confident giving it to their kid to use, because they’re worried is going to break. And it’s not the most expensive thing, but it’s just another hassle. I mean, one thing it could be, maybe these cases exist for it, and they just couldn’t find them. Other issues for a store to fix. But it could also just be, somebody knowing like, Oh, this doesn’t have those rugged cases, I need that. So they put that up right away, you can qualify or disqualify yourself off of that really quickly. And chances are, it was automated. But if you were to do this manually, it kind of helps them control the narrative of it. Because the review was otherwise fairly positive about the product like it was what it was supposed to do, it was generally good value, it was just this one thing, that kind of ruin what their purpose was.
Tanner Larsson 16:10
And in the world of sales copy and sales and stuff, there’s this concept of non-damaging omissions and things like that. And when you’re, you’re touting the benefits of everything that you have, if you’re always saying how good and great and everything is, but there’s never anything that’s negative, people just assume that everything you’re saying is bullshit. But if you can throw out something that is a negative, but it’s like a non deal breaking negative, then, it actually solidifies the trust and actually makes everything you’ve said about the good believable, because like, Oh, he’s willing to tell me both sides of the story. So an example like what Eric was talking about, was the Bluetooth speaker. Some of them do have a plug-in, so you can make them hard-wired or whatever. But maybe the damage in omission is and oh, we don’t have that, one of the downsides to our product is that we don’t have that hardwired plug-in thing, because we consider our speaker completely wireless, and we don’t offer that option. Or one of the other things about our product is that we don’t offer multiple colors, or you can’t change that the RGB light in it, or
Eric Kwoka 17:27
you can get any color you want, as long as it’s black.
Tanner Larsson 17:29
Correct, you can do the Henry Ford Model, or if it’s apparel, one of the damages in omission’s could be that, hey, due to the fitted nature of our shirts, our size chart is accurate. But you may want to order one size up than you normally wear because they’re fitted, and they fit slightly differently than the average shirt. So that can that confuses some people and people are like, Oh, well, alright, like, that’s not a bad thing, as long as I know it upfront. So you can use negative reviews in that way. Like the thing, It’s too sweet, that’s not necessarily a damaging omission or a damaging thought to everybody. It could just be Yeah, of course, ours is sweeter like ours is sweeter than others, because we found the other ones weren’t sweet enough. But you throw that out there. So he’s like, hey, maybe we’re not traditional, because we add a little bit more sweetener to it or whatever. But you mix those in with your positives, and it works. And then that’s the same way that reviews do not all reviews are bad. Again, some reviews could be just user error, or I bought this Bluetooth or WiFi headset or earpiece or whatever. And I bought the medium because the other brand that I used was a medium, but the medium was too small for my ears. So I needed to go get large and I’m unhappy that I had to return it. Well, that’s not something wrong with the product. That’s something wrong with your ear and the sizing and you just didn’t get the right size. But a lot of times that will be a three-star or a two-star review. If someone’s just irritated. Is that a deal-breaker? No, it just means you need to pay attention to what size that I ordered for myself. And like if Eric said there’s a guarantee or free returns or you know, exchange, then I don’t really have to worry, I may lose a couple of days, but I’m still going to get what I need.
Eric Kwoka 19:17
Absolutely, this is a good one could be speaking of the headphones and stuff. If you’re buying Samsung headphones, but you have an iPhone, it works 90% of the way there but there’s some few features that you can only get just because Samsung is Android, and it’s worthwhile for them to kind of put that out in front because they’re like being honest, like, hey, if you have an iPhone, you’re not going to get these three features. Maybe go now buy 21 Ultra, don’t know that you’d be able to get someone to change phones just for the headphones.
Tanner Larsson 19:56
Yeah, probably not. But that’s great it’s a great example, because even the Beats when I bought these originally, the thing was like, Yeah, they work with androids. But the problem is if you have on Android, they may not pair to another device at the same time like you can have multiple pairings. But on iTunes or Apple, it would switch from your iPhone to your computer back and forth. No problem. I didn’t care because I was going to connect them to my computer only. So I didn’t care if they connected to my phone or not. So that wasn’t a deal-breaker for me. But that was something that was, so to speak a negative of them for Android users.
Eric Kwoka 20:42
Tanner Larsson 20:43
So okay, we talked a little bit about that. We talked about how to display them. But one of the big things I want to touch on is we don’t suppress them, right? We don’t delete or suppress the reviews?
Eric Kwoka 20:56
Yeah, absolutely. Unless, of course, if they’re fully inflammatory, and like, those kinds of stuff, chances are your review app is going to suppress those before you even get a chance to. But as long as everything seems like they’re at least being honest, like they’re expressing how they feel, even if you think what they feel is wrong, you just need to leave it there, customers know that you’re not going to satisfy everybody, even the big huge manufacturing companies, like the whole Lean Six Sigma, they know that point 3% of the products that come out of the factory are going to have something wrong with them. They just know that’s going to happen. And they’ve invested billions of dollars into these systems, but they know it’s going to happen, you just can’t prevent it.
Tanner Larsson 21:45
So we’re not suppressing them. We’re kind of actually displaying them in a way that makes it easy for customers to find these negative reviews. What do we do with the negative reviews to turn it to our benefit and turn a negative into a positive and help it make us more money?
Eric Kwoka 22:03
Well, of course, you have to respond to that, all the ads give you the option to respond in so many stores, we check them. And it’s just like they have reviews that chances are could be handled like it’s just somebody’s complaining that they didn’t get their product, and there’s just no public response. And it’s possible that this got handled on the back end like the customer service site, and they just contacted the person directly. But like me, as a user, I just see nothing, they just left this customer out to dry after buying. And that’s really going to harm my trust in the company, maybe I’ve to trust what they say about the product. But if something’s wrong, I have no confidence that they’re going to take that step to make it right.
Tanner Larsson 22:44
Even if they did make it right. But they didn’t respond to the review and let the public know. So that happens a lot too. Like people have a bad experience, they leave a bad review. And the company does handle it through customer service. But it doesn’t get handled on the public facing review. You have the option to do this on Amazon to other review apps, and when we say respond, we don’t mean respond just through customer service, but actually write and post a visual to the public response underneath the review. It’s like a reply to the review itself. So when someone reads that bad review, or that negative review, right below it, after they read it well, we’ll see the response from the store or from the customer support team or whatever you set it to look like. And the important thing there is like Eric said that you handle it, but it’s also how you handle it and how you respond to it. That’s important as well, right?
Eric Kwoka 23:36
Yeah, absolutely. And I’m just gonna say stamped because they’re great. they integrate right with slack. I’m sure some of the other ones do too, to where it’s like you just get a notification from the app that says like, Hey, here’s the review. Here’s what it says you can respond right in slack and it posts it. It makes it as easy as humanly possible to get this done. But there are some key things about how to respond like, obviously, don’t just use the same copy-paste thing over and over again, you might get away with it a bit. But if maybe you have somebody looking at that long list of negative reviews, you have a handful of negative reviews, we got a bunch of positive but people are looking for those negative. So they’re going to see the same response a bunch of times doesn’t have to be super elaborate. But just get in there quick. One or two sentences may be mentioned that you’re going to contact them separately. And also include your email or phone number directly in there. Like even if the system is going to send them an email when you respond, even if you’re going to reach out separately to them. Still put it in there because it makes this appearance that you’re accessible. We always talked about the phone number at the top of the page, you get a phone number for your company, put it up there, nobody’s gonna call you. But people are going to trust that they could if they needed to. So the more you give that appearance of accessibility So you’ve now handled their problem like you’re looking after the customer and you’re making sure others know that they can get ahold of you if they have a problem. So now when you have that, satisfaction guarantee, I’m more willing to trust that because you’ve shown that you want it.
Tanner Larsson 25:17
And you know, with that, guys, the other pieces it’s also how you respond to tonality in which you respond is important too. Remember that over the internet, also in text messages and stuff like that, takes the emotion or the intonation out of it. So a lot of miscommunications happen over the written word. So if you’re not careful, you can come off as being aggressive, or very mean, or unrepentant about how it’s happening, or whatever. So you want to make sure that your tonality in what you write comes across, and you want to acknowledge what the customer is expressing, okay, you don’t want to just immediately shut them down and be like, No, you’re wrong, you’re an idiot, we’re our stuff is great. That’s not the way to respond to it, think about what you would want to see if you were looking at buying a product and the customer had a problem, and then the store responded to it, what would you want to see, you would want to see that, hey, yes, the customer had a problem, maybe it was partly the customer’s fault, or all the customer’s fault. But regardless of that, the store owner or the customer support team acknowledged the problem, handled it politely, and ultimately made it right with the customer, however, they had to do it. And that’s what I want to see myself as a consumer. And that’s what the review person wants to see as well. So even if it upsets you, or makes you mad, or whatever, you need to have that be the bigger man type of methodology there where you write a very polite and acknowledging what they’re saying and their review. And if it’s something that’s true, like, yep, our sizes do run a little small, cool, this is a perfect chance for you to explain why they run a little small. And then you can say, our sizing chart specifically says that our sizes are small that you should order a size up because of X, Y, and Z. Now, you’ve just given yourself a chance to educate the later consumers a little bit better about Yeah, our sizes do run smaller, we’re not making that up, or, yeah, we don’t have a plugin on our Bluetooth piece because it’s wireless. And we don’t want it to have that. And you can basically give a little background, you don’t have to write an essay. But if the opportunity arises for you to give us some more clarity as to why you run your company a certain way or why your product is a certain way or yeah, this is something that our product doesn’t do. You’re right. But we never said that it did. And here’s why. You take the time to do that. And you’re going to turn those negative reviews, which everybody is going to see into a marketing piece for you.
Eric Kwoka 28:04
Absolutely, like those positive reviews, they look really good for that badge, but nobody’s really going through and reading them.
Tanner Larsson 28:10
Those reviews, you guarantee we’ll get seen or anything three-star and less. Those are the ones people are going to spend the most time looking at the glance over the other ones, just whatever shows up before they click the sort button. Now, in terms of that, do we need to respond to every single review? Or is it like more of a cross-section of them are? What’s your stance on that?
Eric Kwoka 28:38
Definitely every single negative review, as long as it’s manageable for the size of your store, staffing, and all of that. But it’s definitely something to look into, make sure you’re getting all of those negative reviews. Chances Are any of the longer positive ones also should get a response. If you’re just getting flushed with a lot of really short positive reviews like nobody’s going to really notice that a positive review is missing a response. It’s just not something that really triggers in people’s minds at all.
Tanner Larsson 29:16
And it’s a good point because also think about a four star, sometimes you get a four star review where someone would say like, this would have been a five star except for this. So they actually gave you a four star which is a good review, but there’s still a negative attached to it. So responding to that kind of a review can be very beneficial to you because someone’s like, Oh yeah, why didn’t they get a five star. What’s the bad thing? Well, now you have a chance to respond to that too. And it also shows that you’re engaged with your brand and with your customers.
Eric Kwoka 29:47
Another thing that goes it’s a little bit more towards user research, but you should definitely make sure that whoever is reading these reviews and responding to them is also communicating with whoever is writing your copy. And if you’re small enough, it might just be you. But you can think of those reviews when you’re writing your copy. How do people describe the things that they liked about your product, maybe you say it one way, but every single customer says it a different way. And you can shift your messaging to match that a lot of times, especially as you get into having the separate customer service person, and then you’re working with the designer or yourself handling the copy. They don’t communicate across. But then there’s these customer service people like from whatever chats, emails, reviews, like they know, how the customers talk about things. And they know like, what things are coming up regularly. And they have all that insights. And you really need to take advantage of that. Like, you can almost write all of your page copy just using snippets from reviews and just kind of slightly adjust it to fit the company speaks, as opposed to not too much company speak, you want to keep it still like a human, but adjusting the perspective of it. And you can almost piece all that together into like, a sentence from here, a sentence from there, and back them all together. And then you have a really good copy because you have what the people are saying.
Tanner Larsson 31:13
And you’re a lot of times what we’ve found in the past and actually still currently is we have a series of benefits or features that we’re showing, usually in a feature benefit type statement, whether bullets or whatever as to why the product is awesome. But a lot of times the customers have other things that they use it for, that you never even considered, you may even open up an entirely new segment of traffic or customers that you can market to because someone is buying it for something completely unrelated to what you thought its primary use was, and your reviews and your dialogue with your customers and stuff like that through customer support. And everything else will tell you that even your feedback on your ads, a lot of times you’ll get stuff where they’ll say, you know, I know people use it for this, but I actually used it over here like this is for gamer audio file type people who love the super sound, but I’m a graphic designer who does a little bit of video or whatever. And I use it for this. And all of a sudden, it’s like all these video guys start buying this because they didn’t ever consider it because it was marketed as a gamer thing. But it actually crosses the boundaries very nicely. And you can open up the entire segment. So you may also find that you think it’s going to be a gamer device. But it winds up being it’s more for the YouTube studio kind of guy, right or videographer kind of guy. So just because you have an idea of who’s going to buy it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s who your market is going to wind up being. And your reviews and all your other customer data will help tell you that.
Eric Kwoka 32:46
Absolutely. The more you can also get those narratives because some customers will give you a full story of their whole thought process behind buying it and their experience. And using that specific details in your copy can really excel that you understand your audience much more. And people expect marketers to not quite lie, but to definitely blur the lines of reality, or just to fool or lie, some people are expecting that. But the more specific the story is like specificity is trusted. They’re not expecting marketers to lie about the deep, deep details. They’re expecting the like, oh, best in class, like, well, what the hell does that mean? Who according to who, but it’s like, something hyper unique. Like this is not like, Oh, my dogs super aggressive. And he always breaks through all my other dog doors and but this one held up to it. It’s like you’ve used that story, especially if size of the dog and all that stuff, those details. Everybody’s gonna trust it. Like I think Bret has said, like, if you can explain their problem better than they can, then they already think you have the solution. And using that negative reviews or positive reviews, putting that all together. And you can use that to rewrite the way that you communicate your products and hopefully make it so that you’re only getting good reviews in the future.
Tanner Larsson 34:14
And guys, another way to look at this. Most people have built a FAQ or a fact page Frequently Asked Questions page for their store before and a lot of the time what happens is they’re not really frequently asked questions. They’re the marketer in you asking salesy type questions that like, oh, how can I buy this? Or Oh, why is this shirt better than others? Things like that. And then you basically write this sale speak answer to them to try to convert them into a sale. Well, that is actually from an FAQ standpoint, that’s a fail we’ve proven that does not work the way you think it does. But where you can leverage that is in the reviews, think about the reviews, almost like a frequently asked question. And also, a lot of the review apps now have the ability for people to ask questions and answer. You see it on Amazon a lot now, but we also use it in some of our stores. And where the browser, the shopper can ask a question, and anybody who’s left a review or bought that product gets a chance to answer it. But at the same time, you as the store owner can go in there and answer all those questions too. So like, Eric is saying, you can control the narrative, because you know if there’s questions, they’re going to look that they’re going to look at the negative reviews, those are perfect opportunities for you to control the narrative, let them leave with a negative that they’re actually attracted to, and then redirect that the sales process back into, yes, this is still what you want. And this is still good for you. And it’s still the right decision to make. And there’s no better way for you to control that than by zeroing in on the area, you know, for a fact every single person is going to go to if they have an interest in your product, they’re going to go to the reviews, and specifically the bad reviews. So think of it kind of like the same way you used to write your FAQ answers. When you got a chance to do that, in your reviews and your question and answers area.
Eric Kwoka 36:08
Absolutely. Now you get to do it. For real, obviously, those FAQ’s. They’re always the worst when it’s brand new stores because they don’t know what people are asking. But once you’re growing and you’re getting that information, make sure you revisit those things. If it’s really frequently asked, don’t even have it in the FAQ, put it right in the more specific sales copy.
Tanner Larsson 36:31
Yeah, figure out where that FAQ is made. Yeah, actually, why don’t you explain that thought a little bit cuz we talked about it a lot. But I don’t think we have. So what Eric just said was frequently asked questions you really don’t even need a frequently asked question page, if you use those questions appropriately.
Eric Kwoka 36:50
Like, if they’re frequently asked that you need to, like call them out, that means that it’s not being answered elsewhere and that people care about that you shouldn’t take the time to make sure that stuff is early on. Oftentimes, people put only they’re shipping and returns information like down in a link in the footer or in the FAQ, and they put none of it like at the actual place where the user is making that buying decision. Because it’s oftentimes the user is not thinking about the shipping and return situation until they’re pretty close to taking the leap and buying. But then they have to go off on this wild goose chase trying to find this information. And a lot of times not very good anyway, once they get there. But you could provide some of that right there, like on the BGS theme we put a tab and most users will glance over it and some will see that shipping right where they need it. And then they’ll be like, oh, there’s the shipping details.
Tanner Larsson 37:52
And the other piece with that, guys, though, the FAQ page is honestly the lazy way out, It’s like, oh, man, we get this question all the time? Well, I’ll just throw it on the FAQ page. Whereas like, man, we get this question all the time? Well, I know the answer to it is in the product copy. But clearly, it’s not showing up the way that they need it. So maybe we need to change it, move it around, make it more prominent, whatever you should be looking for.
Eric Kwoka 38:21
Or say it three times.
Tanner Larsson 38:21
Yeah. We have a store in the pet niche selling pet products that have the sizing information, like six different ways. It’s a long-form page. There’s a widget that does sizing, there’s a sizing guide, there’s a sizing image. Every time we’ve added another sizing image conversions go up and questions about sizing go down, even though each one shows the exact same information, for some reason, that made a difference. And that was a frequently asked question. But the other thing about frequently asked questions, guys, and I know this is off-topic, but just to say, if they’re frequently asked in your customer support, that’s a small fraction of the people who actually have that question because only a small fraction of your audience will take the time to write in and say, Hey, what’s the answer to this, the rest of the people are gonna be like, I can’t find it over it a balance. So you’re not just solving the people who write in you’re also solving a much larger percentage of people who couldn’t be bothered to ask you the question who also had the same question.
Eric Kwoka 38:22
Absolutely. Similar to one thing I heard, for politicians, it’s like they get an email about an issue from someone they assume 10 other people have that same issue. If somebody like sends an actual letter, oh, it’s 100 somebody stops by it’s 1000. So the more difficult they’re jumping through the hoops to actually communicate to you. There are many orders of magnitude more people that have that issue. But they just are stopping. Or maybe some of them are still buying but they’re not as confident in that purchase in the first place. Maybe they only bought one when they would have bought three had they known this information.
Tanner Larsson 40:02
So great, this is good stuff. So guys and recap, use your negative reviews, don’t suppress them, respond to them, make them prominent, so people can find them use that to direct the narrative. And then we talked a little bit about FA Q’s and how to leverage them how to get rid of your FAQ page and what to do with it correctly, which is to answer that question in the appropriate spot in the buyer’s journey. So that it doesn’t need to be a FAQ anymore. Use those things to change the whole direction of your store just by leveraging those reviews. And if you have suppressed reviews, that’s an easy win for you right there to go responded, and then unsuppressed those reviews and let them start populating. And all of a sudden, you’ve just, given people what they’re actually looking for, and with the way for you to respond to it in a way that still shows them that you’re a good company that delivers good products and that people can trust you. Great stuff, Eric. Thanks, buddy. Appreciate it.
Eric Kwoka 40:56
Anytime, we got a whole bunch. When are we going to do the one on? Was it information foraging theory?
Tanner Larsson 41:06
So guys, Eric just too smart for me. And he has all these ideas, that for topics that he wants to either write articles on or do podcasts on. And one of them he keeps the breeze submitting that it just never goes away is information foraging theory. And I’m about here in terms of intelligence, and Eric’s about here. And then there’s this information foraging theory that’s like way up here. I don’t even know what it is. But Eric loves it thinks it’s really cool. And it’s been one of those topics that I’m like, I don’t even understand what you’re talking about, and neither does anybody else. So what is it? And I still don’t know. So one of these days, you’ll probably find me corners me and we wind up doing either an article or a podcast on information foraging theory, but as of yet, it hasn’t happened, because I’m not smart enough to have that conversation with him.
Tanner Larsson 42:01
Will get there.
Tanner Larsson 42:02
Yeah, we will, we’ll get there. So if you enjoyed the podcast, make sure you click subscribe, leave a review below. Or if you’re on YouTube, hop over and click the subscribe and the notification button. And if you need the show notes, or you need links to any of the places you can get the podcast or any of the other stuff, go to buildgrowscale.com forward slash podcast, everything is there, all the links, show notes, everything you could ever want for the podcast. And also, when you’re over there, you can hit over to the blog and see some of our detailed articles where Eric and some of our other RO’s are contributing regularly. The same kind of content we’re talking about here just in much greater single focus topic detail, we break down into articles that we post every single week. So if you’re not checking that out, you’re missing out. These are not SEO articles. These are legitimate revenue optimization, business growth articles, so all the different topics we’ve covered on the podcast. We also cover in more detail on the blog, so highly recommend you guys hop over there. And if you want the link for that buildgrowscale.com forward slash blog. And with that, guys, we will see you in the next episode. Have a great week. See ya.
Ecommerce Store Audit
Want us to do an Audit on your e-commerce store and show you how you can make some quick changes that will dramatically increase sales and profits without increasing your traffic?
Ecommerce Store Audit
Want us to do an Audit on your e-commerce store and show you how you can make some quick changes that will dramatically increase sales and profits without increasing your traffic?