My latest project at home has been a little outdoor garden oasis. Visualize plants, flowers, a cozy spot to sit, an umbrella, and some sun. I decided I wanted a fountain to complete the environment. After hours visiting about 20 websites and browsing hundreds of options, I chose the winning fountain. The final factor that dictated my decision to purchase this particular fountain was NOT the pictures, description, price, shipping, or return policy. Sure, all of these factors were persuasive. Rather, what really sold me was what the NEGATIVE reviewers had said. A complaint stated by several reviewers was that the fountain was “too noisy” and “sounds like a river”. These customers had wanted a quietly trickling fountain, and this fountain produces a significant flow, cascading down four tiers into a little pool at the bottom. Hearing this was actually music to my ears! I live near a San Diego freeway, which brings a constant little traffic hum. Flowing water is a highly preferable noise for a little Zen garden space! Sold!
What can your business learn from this story?
First, and most obviously, product reviews are a great opportunity to get good feedback from your customers. Allow your customers to submit reviews on your products, and even solicit and reward customers for submitting them, because shoppers read them, search engines love them, they provide excellent feedback for you, etcetera, etcetera!
Secondly, your reviews can provide you with very valuable information about uses and benefits of your product that you never even considered! A negative does not necessarily mean a product flaw that needs to be engineered out. The noise created by this fountain is value to me because I wanted to use it to surpass the buzz of the freeway. Someone else may use it to tune out their neighbor’s barking dog, or the construction taking place down their street. Fountain noise may be a key element to a solid chunk of fountain shoppers. Finding out about this feature, and bringing it forward into the product description would not only help the shoppers looking for that feature to find the right product, but also help to keep the seller from attracting the WRONG buyers who will just return it and give them negative product reviews (all because they bought the wrong item).
Finally, if you see a common enough theme among buyers’ comments, consider making this a standard spec on your website among this class of products. Among height, weight, price, name, materials, this fountain vendor might list “Noise level: Quiet, moderate, or significant”. Or even add your store’s personality to it – Noise level: Close-Talker, Jerry, Angry George.