Negative Testimonials – the Dark Side of Digital Marketing

By Dave Ingalls
Digital Marketing Consultant

I saw this product (“Yoshi Copper Chef Grill Mat”) advertised on TV and thought what a great idea!

Wow! What a product – right? Not so fast my friend!

I next went to Amazon to see if I could buy it there – of course I could! Before ordering, I took a peek at the Customer Reviews. In general, they were quite positive. But then I did what I always do – I flipped the reviews to see the most negative ones first and this is what I saw – take a look:

Amazon Negative Customer Review

Not very positive, so I Googled this product and came up with some YouTube videos that showed some real results grilling with this product – here’s one:

And that was the end of my Yoshi Copper Chef Grill Mat purchase plans!

I know, I over-research products before buying, but here’s my point – IT’S EASY TO RESEARCH STUFF LIKE THIS ON THE WEB! I spent a total of about 10 minutes looking at real-world reviews of this product and decided NOT to buy it!

How can you prevent this from happening to your product?

FIRST, be honest about how your product will perform in the real world! Be your own worst critic and eliminate negative surprises. If your product is great at some things and lousy at others, YOU be the one who tells that to your potential Customers, not a disgruntled Customer!

SECOND, get real-world Customers to use your product in the correct manner and make sure their positive experiences get as much exposure as your paid advertising. That way, even if there are negative reviews, but it was being used incorrectly in those reviews, guess who looks bad then?

Bottom Line: It’s incredibly difficult to recover from negative Customer testimonials, even if they are in the minority. So insulate yourself from negative testimonials upfront by making sure your Customers know what your product does well, and what it should never be used for.