The inconsistency amongst customer reviews and ratings is a perplexing matter for several businesses. In today’s scenario, consumer feedback and ratings play a critical role in the success of a product or service. Gross inconsistencies amongst reviews are often a major detrimental factor for any business operation. Moreover, in many cases, a stark difference is often observable between consumer reviews and their ratings. This phenomenon has been the subject of numerous researches and is the topic of this article too.
Before we dwell more in-depth into the reasons behind such inconsistencies, let us take a brief look into the crucial role that reviews and ratings play today.
The critical nature of consumer reviews and ratings
Consumer reviews are a critical influencing factor in most businesses today. Studies show that nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase decision. Reviews and feedbacks have the potential for swaying consumer behavior on a large scale, and most businesses are well aware of this fact.
With the unmitigated rise of e-commerce, more and more companies are using reviews as a potent means of consumer engagement. A multitude of businesses use customer feedback to improve their products or services, pinpoint their own limitations, and conceive ways to improve customer experience. For example, Myassignmenthelpreview is a leading site reviewer page utilized by many to scope out the best online assignment service reviews.
The degree of impact of a particular review typically depends on:
- Nature of Review Content
- Number of Reviews
- Price of the Item
- Source of the Review
The nature of feedback is a major factor that can affect a customer’s ideas and, eventually, the demand & the sales of a product or service. Inconsistency in consumer reviews is a serious matter and demands a closer look at the reason behind them.
The Dangerous Implications Of Contradicting User Reviews
Simply put, a positive review with a good rating can boost up sales and rake in the bucks while negative reviews with low ratings can lead to the damnation of product or service. But, one of the most perplexing peculiarities is the inconsistency that creeps into the thoughts about certain services? One particular population sings praises while another has harsh words for the same.
Key factors affect a consumer’s purchase intention.
- Ambivalence due to the contradictory attributes of a chosen product ( Intra-attribute ambivalence)
- Ambivalence due to conflicting attributes between a chosen product and a similar one in the same category ( inter-attribute ambivalence)
- Consumer involvement, expectations, and enjoyment
The relationship between the above three psychological factors and purchase intention is quite close.
Detailed studies reveal two significant hypotheses in connection with the above three factors:
Hypotheses 1 à Quality, details & consistency of existing reviews and information, along with product attributes AND experience, have a significant impact on purchase intentions and subsequent reviews.
According to Ricky form Myassignmenthelp marketing department, “Ambivalence due to inconsistent inter and intra attributes, customers’ information processing fluency, their ambiguity tolerance, and a product’s functional & enjoyability attributes are the major influencing points”.
Hypotheses 2 à Customer involvement plays a significant mediating role.
Relationship norms and a business’ customer engagement play a vital role in this case.
Notice the similarity between the factors affecting the degree of impact of a review and the ones that are controlling consumer behavior. It is a vicious cycle as once reviews start becoming inconsistent, the pattern rarely changes.
Results: Hypothesis testing solves the perplexity of inconsistent consumer reviews largely.
- When a consumer faces conflicting product information and inconsistent product reviews, the probability of posting a negative review increases.
- Poor product experience increases the chances of posting inconsistent reviews. This occurs primarily if the product or service does not even offer functional satisfaction.
- Ambivalence due to conflicting attributes between their chosen product and a similar product is another big reason.
- Mixed feelings due to differences in the attributes of a chosen product are yet another factor.
- Poor customer engagement and buyer-seller relationships bode ill for any business.
But, the same results also show that:
- Good customer engagement and satisfactory functional experience can trump ambivalence due to conflicting reviews and product information.
- Accurate and detailed product descriptions can work wonders in preventing negative reviews and subsequent inconsistencies. It can also help circumvent the problems of customer cognitive dissonance due to insufficient information processing fluency & ambiguity tolerance level.
- Better consumer interactions and engagements leave a positive impression on the user’s mind.
- Finally, improvement of product quality can improve its enjoyability attribute leading to a positive review and rating.
And that wraps up this write-up. Let’s hope it was able to answer the question of “Why customer reviews are inconsistent?”
Author Bio: Ricky Hardy is a professional counselor and a regular reviewer of Essaycritics.com. He is also a regular blogger and writes about various topics related to education and career. In his leisure time, he loves to take part in adventure sports and spend time with his pet dogs.