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3 Reasons Why Companies Are Still Scared of Ratings and Reviews

September 12, 2011

Don't be scared of Ratings and Reviews

I’m constantly amazed how resistant many companies still are about having ratings and reviews on their website. Rather than declare, “Because it’s 2011!” and list out the many logical reasons why companies should have reviews on their site, I thought I’d take a different spin on things. Here are three reasons why companies wouldn’t want to put ratings and reviews on their website.

1. Your product sucks

You don’t want to put ratings and reviews anywhere near your website because (shhh…) your product is a piece of crap. It’s difficult to use, parts fall off it, it’s overpriced, and you avoid talking to your customers because all they do is complain. It’s their fault for buying such a heap of junk to begin with. Losers.

Let’s face it, if your product truly sucked, you wouldn’t be in business for long regardless of whether you had ratings and reviews on your site; it really wouldn’t make much of a difference. If however, you are proud of your company, have a good offering and are confident in the merits of your product, then what are you worried about?

2. You hate change

You’ve lived without ratings and reviews for decades and everything’s been hunky dory. Why on earth would you want to break away from the mold. Change is for the reckless —  just look what happened with all those dot.coms in 2000. That direct mailer you’ve been sending out for years comfortably gets a 0.21% fax back response. It’s doing just fine, thanks. 

Like it or not, change is constant; adapt or die. Yes, it can be scary, but the best way to learn, improve and do better business is to listen to what your customers (you know, the people who give you money) have to say. Take the good with the bad and act on it.

3. You don’t want people to say bad things about you

There are over 346 million web sites on the Interwebz, but you’ve convinced yourself that your website is the ONLY site that customers trust when researching your products. Customers only believe what they are told, so you only tell them what you want them to know; all the good stuff of course. You control the conversation because you’re the only one that’s talking. If you ignore the bad stuff then it doesn’t exist, and people are none the wiser… at least up until the point that you’ve pocketed their cash. Ker-chiiing!

Even if your product is really good, no-one — not even Apple (think Antennagate) — has a perfect product. If people have something bad to say, they will say it — be it on your site or somewhere else. Like it or not, the power has shifted and people now have more resources available to them to get the word out, and quickly. This is your chance to take control of the situation and address it in a positive way, for all to see.

So what are you waiting for?

If you are still wondering whether ratings and reviews is the way to go, listen to the voice of reason. If your product doesn’t suck; you want to grow and improve; and you are willing to put yourself out there to better support buyers, then you will ultimately be on the path to selling more. As a bonus, you can throw in the UGC benefit of all those long-tail searches too.

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