The skewed reality about reviews and feedbacks on Google, Facebook and Groupon

Words of mouth are the best form of marketing; many people are fully relying on the opinion of their friends and relatives in order choose a product or service, or when deciding whether to work with one person or not.  Ebay was probably the first internet based service which added reviews to score how good its members are and helping us decide whether we would like to buy from them.  Within a few years many online services and Ecommerce websites, like Amazon, have added the opportunity of writing reviews about products, services, packaging, delivery, return policies and so on.

There is however an interesting reality, which at Salus Wellness we noticed from reviews we received on Groupon, Google and Facebook.  The majority of people who are happy about the service they receive, whether moderately, substantially or very happy will just assume, in most cases, that it’s ok to say nothing.  The people who go out of their way to write something are:

  • the few who are not getting what they expect and need to shout it to the world their disappointment, often unjustified;
  • those people who received a treatment which was way beyond their expectations in terms of results, customer service and so on.

One of my associates made me notice this from Amazon.  A large number of book reviews has a number of 5 stars from people who loved it and quite a few 1 stars from people who hate it, but very few 2, 3 and 4 stars.  Once more the super happy or super unhappy want the world to know, the others seem to care less.

Considering we see several hundreds of clients per month it seems nearly odd the fact that we literally have a handful of reviews (all positive) on Google and Facebook.  Perhaps we are not asking hard enough and therefore people don’t feel the need to feedback their impressions; we actually really appreciate when people leave a feedback but, given the nature of our business, we prefer to leave it to their discretion.  The other example which is important for us is the feedbacks and reviews we get from Groupon clients; out of over 2000 treatments we delivered via Groupon within 3 years we just have a total of 33 feedbacks, 20 positive and 13 negative.  The negative ones are a mix of people who got disappointed about our booking system and the fact that parking is just on the road and other various reasons, nobody but 1 complained about its treatment.

Feedbacks and reviews are important and have their place in indicating how good a product or service can be.  Before taking an important decision purely based on feedback or the positive/negative scores I make sure investigate how genuine each review is.

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