We have a fairly small company (www.YourCover.com) that has recently signed up for Power Reviews (www.powerreviews.com). The team brought this idea to me and I got very excited thinking that since we receive such positive customer feedback we are bound to benefit from being a part of Power Reviews.
In today’s (10/12/09) Wall Street Journal Geoffrey A. Fowler’s interesting article on the Business Solutions notes (http://bit.ly/3tUjbx) that Drugstore.com and Diapers.com both feel they are better connecting their brand to consumers by using Power Reviews. The article also talked about creating ‘verified buyers’ who would have badges next to their reviews in order to add authenticity to their reports.
Amazon.com was the pioneer here but now product reviews are ubiquitous. Last week I noticed another article citing that reviewers in general are overwhelmingly positive – 4.3 out of 5 ‘stars’ is the average rating. But the article also went on and noted that one particular reviewer was going the other way and not throwing around platitudes of positivity when it came to different products he encountered. And that the trend was that reviewers would become harsher as time goes on. So it could be said that these are the salad days for product reviews.
Are product reviews a component of social networking? I say yes. Is there a risk in having negative reviews posted about your product? Absolutely. But there is even greater risk is an attempt to steer or manipulate the conversation. Not everyone will love your product and while deep down we all know that it is quite another thing to have someone publicly slam your product for all to see.
What we hope to learn from (hopefully) YourCover.com having an active Power Review flow is how we can make the product and service better for our present and future customers. Not every review will be positive – nor should it be if the conversation is truly genuine. Of course we hope and expect that most of the comments will be positive, (hey we’re not masochists here), and that we are able to learn from what people think about their experience with our site and products.
I suspect for companies using Power Reviews that there will be bogus reviews – both on the positive and negative side. This is why there are recommendations to tie reviewer’s comments to their Facebook, MySpace, or LinkedIn page. Then there would be background on the reviewer such that you will ‘know’ them better. After all then you are getting a recommendation from a known and ‘trusted’ resource.
The question I have is – why should these folks be trusted?