Recently launched positive-only online review site, Kudusto, has revealed the impact of negative online feedback on Australian businesses, with 15 per cent of more than 1,200 surveyed claiming they wouldn’t visit a business if it had a single negative online review to its name – even if surrounded by a sea of positive feedback.
The survey also revealed that one in five (20.36%) 18 to 44 year olds would prefer to make a complaint to a business in public via its social media page or an independent online review site.
When asked what was most appealing about leaving a negative review online, 31 percent said they enjoyed the anonymity, while a further 29 percent did so in order to avoid confrontation.
According to Kudosto founder Paul Ryan, most Australian’s don’t appreciate the impact negative reviews can have on a small business. “Negative online feedback has the potential to severely tarnish the reputation of a business, and even cripple a small or start-up business.
“Small business is the crux of the economy and the largest employer of Australians. Eighty eight per cent of Australian businesses employ less than four staff and a high percentage turn over less than $200,000 a year, so the potential to lose three out of every 20 customers at the mercy of one person’s opinion, is tough to swallow,” he said.
Ryan, who knows a thing or two about business having been one of the founding partners of home loan company Wizard Home Loans, believes customers are entitled to complain about negative experiences, but that those complaints should be handled directly, rather than posted online. He created Kudosto as a place for consumers to give “Kudos” to businesses that have provided high quality service or a great customer experience.
“When we have a poor customer service experience, we’ve certainly earned the right to be disappointed; however, if we’re truly sharing feedback to help a business improve, then that feedback should be taken offline and directly to a business. It gives the business a chance to remedy the problem for you and for future customers.”
Removing the drama and nastiness that can often be found on other online review sites, Kudosto instead encourages consumers to recognise and reward stand out local businesses with a positive-only rating system. Consumers looking for a business can then search by provider-type (i.e. café) and suburb or postcode for a list of the most favoured in their area.
Ryan believes Kudosto.com.au is a win-win for both consumers and businesses. Amplifying positive word of mouth, consumers that provide Kudos help others to identify the best businesses in their area, while helping to support local business based on good old fashioned service and genuine, personal recommendation.
Kudos can be given by anyone to any business in Australia. It is free for consumers to provide Kudos and for businesses to receive it. However to maximise exposure, annual memberships are available ($190) for businesses to further promote their services with a landing page that includes a logo, description, contact details and any further information.
Kudos can even be given to individual employees, and business owners can also access a unique K2 Live Leaderboard feature, which enables them to view their Kudosto ranking information to track and motivate employees for increased service levels and to reward and acknowledge individual performance.
“We’re looking to be a driving force in boosting customer service levels across the board in Australia. Every business stands to benefit from receiving Kudos, and for those not receiving Kudos – they may need to step back and ask themselves why,” said Ryan.