Wait… are there negatives to 5-star reviews?

When this notion was first presented, I thought, “No..there is no way that a 5-star review could negatively affect a business.” Everyone talks about how you need 5-star reviews, how they will help a business. Albeit this definitely has some truth to it, there are still some other considerations to think about.

I have gone to businesses who boast about their 5-star rating and make sure I know and have checked it out. It is great to see a highly rated business, sure, but a perfect rating with many reviews makes me question the honesty.

I was once in a new city, trying to find a dentist. Someone in my network recommended their dentist and I looked up their reviews. Everyone raved about their experiences except for one. “That one customer must have been an outlier,” I thought and proceeded to make an appointment. The first appointment went okay, but at the end of my session when it was time to square up, the receptionist handed me a slip saying if I reviewed them then I would get $20 off my bill. It was clear to me then, the reviews were not posted out of goodwill, they were posted out of incentive.

A high rating will get customers in the door. A dishonest rating, will keep them from returning. It is important to have a rating that best reflects who your business is. A recent study done by Northwestern University shows that an average rating of between 4.2 and 4.5 is most appealing to consumers. Customers will see a 5-star review and think it is “too good to be true.”

Upwards of 80% of readers look at the negative reviews according to the research. The study reports, “Negative reviews have a positive impact because they help establish trust and authenticity.” Consumers understand that a product can’t be all things to all people, and they appreciate negative reviews as an important element in their decision-making process.

Be sure to represent your brand authentically and encourage your customers to leave honest feedback. This will be mutually beneficial to you and your customers! Your business will learn more about its effectiveness with customer service and the consumer will have nothing but positive experiences with your services. Research has found that 82% of shoppers specifically seek out negative reviews, so don’t sweat the small stuff, because there is always ReScore available to show off your sincerity!