We’ve talked to several advisors and prospects who expect to see a “U” shape in the distribution of their review submissions by ratings. In other words, there should be an equal number of “1” ratings as there is “5” ratings, displaying the extremes of customer opinion. We weren’t sure what to expect when Bazaarvoice got off the ground a year ago.
We didn’t know what to expect then, but we do now.
Across many clients in diverse industries this “U” curve turns out to be more like a “J” curve…almost a reverse "L" (see below). The average rating across all clients is 4.3 out of 5 stars. The distribution looks like a J, where there are more 1s than 2s, but far more 4s and 5s than the lower ratings.
Why is this? Aren’t people more likely to share their word of mouth about bad experiences? Perhaps they are more likely to share negative opinions when they have personal experiences with a company (service, sales) than the product they buy?
And perhaps customers are interested in sharing their opinion about great products they buy, because there are so many mediocre products. So there’s some satisfaction in sharing the news when we find a product we love.
We’ll learn more and share more here. But in the meantime, this “J” curve is part of the answer to the conern: “What about negative reviews?”