…Now Give It a Review
Out of curiousity, I was wondering just how long has The Kelsey Group been writing about this topic, and a search of our archives shows the first artcle turned up in a Fax Bulletin (honk if you remember those) on September 19, 1994 entitled, Attention Internet Shoppers:
"Home Shopping Network (HSN), the company that originated and popularized video shopping, has trained its sights on the Internet as the next mass market retailing medium. Last week it completed its acquisition of the Internet Shopping Network (ISN). The purchase is one of many recent examples of the accelerating trend toward online commerce on the Internet."
We predicted ISN would offer product reviews among other services. Oops. ISN is still HSN's online outlet, but don't look for a review, for good reason, I suspect. They want to sell products. The Times says Consumer Reports provides their testers' results…good, bad or ugly, but Consumerguide.com sticks with only nice things. Not surprisingly, they have different business models.
The point is the Internet is still evolving the user review area and unless you are hopping mad (like at a hotel, restaurant or airline), or an expert (like about a movie), reviewing products or services is not first on anybody's to do list yet. It's too bad, because reviews can be both intereting and beneficial.
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And… how smart. Why not build a product that is completely catered to your target audience?
When you look at the stats:
1) Only 4% of customers ever complain. That means a business may never hear from 96% of its customers
2) For every complaint your business receives, there are 26 other customers with unresolved complaints or problems, and six of those customers have serious problems.
3) Most customers who complain to you (54%-70%) will do business with you again if you resolve their problem.
4) A dissatisfied customer will tell up to 10 people about it. Approximately 13% of those will tell up to 20 people about their problem. You cannot afford the advertising to overcome this negative word of mouth.
5) Happy customers who have had their complaints resolved, will tell between
three and five people about their positive experience.
6) It costs five to six times more to attract new customers that to keep old ones.
(These come from a book called "Beyond Customer Service" by Richard F. Gerson, Ph.D.)
It's no wonder it is import to do surveys.
During "The Role of User-Generated Content and Community" panel at ILM-05, consumer reviews' monetization potential was questioned. News Corp. is leveraging its MySpace community of "26 million friends" through commercialization, such as the launch of a record label and integration of its television content:
"FX brings the curtain down on season three of its plastic surgery drama Nip/Tuck…But until the final episode runs, the serial rapist/mutilator (character) known as The Carver will be preoccupied with making new friends through his MySpace.com home page…"