Why You Trust Anonymous Reviews More than You Trust Your Ex

trust anonymous reviews ex

66. That’s the number I want you to remember today. 

It’s a hexagonal and triangular number. It’s the name of the
Mother Road, the famous and historic Route 66. Sixty-six is the
international direct dialing code for Thailand. And, it is the
number of hot dogs Joey Chestnut ate in 15 minutes in Nathan’s
Hot Dog Eating Contest in 2007 for the world record. It’s quite a
number. 

We recently studied
word of mouth
to understand more about how it works in the year
2018. In our report, Chatter Matters, we’ve
learned word of mouth isn’t created equally, and it is not spread
out evenly.  

The same is true of trust. We don’t trust people and
information sources evenly or equally. The data from Chatter
Matters gives us a look at some of these unexpected
variances. 

When it comes to word of mouth, Americans don’t trust
information sources evenly or equally. #ChatterMatters

Click To Tweet

How do we distribute trust? 

It’s different for each of us. The way you distribute trust
isn’t the way I distribute trust. Now, in general, we place more
credibility into word of mouth from our offline
circle of family, friends and associates. But our unique
circumstances can majorly impact how we trust information sources.
For example, failed relationships can produce hurt feelings and bad
outcomes. They can also imperil word of mouth.

Here’s what I mean: 66% of Americans would trust an
anonymous online review more than they would trust a product or
service recommendation from an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. This
fact speaks to the power of recommendations.

In most cases, a reader doesn’t know the people he or she is
listening to on TripAdvisor, Angie’s List or Rotten Tomatoes. But
we all make buying decisions based on those recommendations.
We’ve mutually agreed that reviews and recommendations have
merit. We trust our fellow citizens a lot, unless they’re our
ex… then we don’t trust them much at all.

66% of Americans would trust an anonymous online review more
than they would trust a product or service recommendation from an
ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. #ChatterMatters

Click To Tweet

We studied other variables that affect word of mouth and
trust.

Your age and gender influence who and how you trust. Here’s
another example: Until age 40, Americans trust people their
parents’ age and older. Once we cross the 40-year-old threshold,
we begin to trust people our own age. This lasts until age 60, when
we start to trust the opinions of people who are our children’s
age.

Until age 40, Americans trust people their parents’ age and
older. Once we turn 40, we begin to trust people our own age.
#ChatterMatters

Click To Tweet

In addition to the age-based word of mouth trust cycle, there is
a gender-related trust cycle, too. Women are 24% less likely to
trust people their own age, and men are 116% less likely to trust
people the same age as their parents.

Women are 24% less likely to trust people their own age, and men
are 116% less likely to trust people the same age as their parents.
#ChatterMatters

Click To Tweet

Here’s the question: As a business, how do you build
trust—your most important business asset—if it’s such a
finicky asset to build? 

You can do it by creating a
talk trigger
—a strategic, operational differentiator that
compels word of mouth. The data from Chatter Matters shows us how
hard it is to gain trust from 100% of the people you’ll do
business with. This is why your talk trigger must be relevant,
repeatable, and above all else, consistent. It can’t be a gimmick
or a surprise-and-delight tactic. It needs to be something every
one of your customers can experience. Consistency builds trust and
inconsistency has the potential to create contempt among your
customer. As Jake Sorofman, a vice president at the Gartner, noted:
“in the game of customer experience… consistency will always
trump delight.”

I couldn’t agree more. 

Download the complete Chatter Matters report, the
most recent word of mouth research available to marketers. My new
book,
Talk Triggers
, co-authored with Daniel Lemin, is available on

Amazon
.

Chatter Matters is a proprietary word-of-mouth report produced
by Convince & Convert Consulting and the research firm,
Audience Audit. It examines the word-of-mouth attitudes of 1,001
randomly selected Americans. The margin of error is approximately
+/- 3.1%. Chatter Matters is a companion piece to the new book,
Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with
Word-of-Mouth. Talk Triggers was co-authored by Jay Baer and Daniel
Lemin. 

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Why You Trust Anonymous Reviews More than You Trust Your Ex

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