Ever run across a bad review on Amazon? I don’t mean a poorly written review, but a review that shreds the product into pieces leaving it whimpering in the corner.
I ran across one of those reviews today. I didn’t set it out to find it. I actually started off on someone’s Facebook profile. They talked so much about how delighted everyone was by their book that I just had to check it out. It takes up most of their Facebook profile. Updates about their fans, and fan mail, and raving reviews.
So out of curiosity, I checked out their book on Amazon (which I suppose was the point of all of their posts, so mission accomplished). Imagine my shock when I saw that it only had 5 reviews.
Just kidding. I wasn’t surprised at all. When someone talks that much about their own stuff it often means they’re overcompensating.
Here are 4 quick takeaways from a crappy Amazon review, and how you can apply them to your business:
1. Don’t be the only one talking about your product/service
When you’re the only one talking about your stuff it diminishes your authority, and when your stuff is all you talk about, frankly it smacks of desperation. This is why testimonials are so helpful for your business. They help show that you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life.
2. Don’t just have reviews from friends & family
Okay so you may have read the line about testimonials and thought “but Amanda, you were reading reviews! Isn’t that like testimonials?” Sure. But it was very obvious that all 4 of the favorable reviews were from friends or family. One of which gave it a 5 star review after only reading the prelude.
When it comes to books it may be an accepted practice to get a round of reviews from friends and family, but if all they’re going to do is spit out an automatic 5 star review then you wind up with the written equivalent of someone who’s on American Idol because of all their family and friends said they were an amazing singer.
3. Nobody is above proofing/editing
I don’t care how good a writer you think you are, you’re not above proofreading. And it’s never a bad idea to get a second pair of eyes on your product. Make sure you pick someone whose grammar/spelling are impeccable. And if you’re going to put a book on Amazon, consider hiring an editor.
Fun fact: When I wrote this, I accidentally wrote “I don’t care how good a singer you think you are”, because I still had “singer” on the brain from the previous paragraph. That is exactly why proofreading is a must.
4. If you must respond to bad press, do it with integrity
Don’t get a friend to write a counter review. Don’t create a fake account and write a counter review. If you absolutely feel like you need to counter the bad press, do it under your own name on your own blog. Make sure that you’re not making a snap judgement. Bad reviews hurt, but it doesn’t automatically mean they’re wrong.