Study: Responding to Online Bashers Works
According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 68 percent
of consumers who posted a negative review on a social networking or ratings/reviews
site for a retailer after a poor holiday shopping experience actually received
a response from the retailer. Of those, 18 percent turned around and became
loyal customers and bought more.
Among consumers who did get a response from
the retailer to their negative review, the survey determined that 33 percent
followed up and reposted a positive review. Thirty-four percent deleted their
original negative review.
The study, sponsored by RightNow, found that consumers
generally have low expectations of how retailers monitor and respond to their
negative reviews. Among the third of consumers whose negative review did not
get a response, 61 percent indicated they would be shocked if the retailer
had responded to their negative comment on the web.
"When consumers have a bad experience, they will not come back," said
Greg Gianforte, chief executive officer, RightNow. "And now, more than
ever, unhappy consumers are turning to the social web to share their complaints.
However, retailers have an opportunity to wow consumers by listening and effectively
responding to their complaints on the social web. Retailers can bring back
unhappy customers and turn them into brand advocates."
On the other side,
after a positive shopping experience with a retailer online, 31 percent of
respondents said they purchased more from the retailer. Among those having
a positive shopping experience with an online retailer, 21 percent recommended
the retailer to friends and 13 percent posted a positive online review about
Other findings from the survey:
- Half of the respondents indicated they were influenced to buy from a specific
online retailer by great customer service or a previous positive experience
with the retailer;
- Twenty-eight percent researched what customers wrote on social networking
and reviews websites while shopping online;
- Thirty-eight percent turned to the retailer’s website for information
or support with online shopping;
- Twenty-two percent were frustrated by information that was inconsistent
between the retailer’s website and customer service agents.
This survey was conducted online in the U.S. from January 25-27, 2011 among
2,516 adults ages 18 and older, of whom, 1,605 shopped online during the most
recent holiday season.
- RightNow Study Finds Retailers Can Win Back Unhappy
Customers Through Social Media – RightNow
- Retail Consumer Report – RightNow
Discussion Questions: What are the best practices to responding to both negative and positive reviews on the internet? How should staff be organized so that complaints are heard by the right people within the retail organization?