How Negativity Bias Affects Your Business

What is Negativity Bias?

For many, just a single strand of hair in a meal is enough to place a previously beloved restaurant on the “do not return” list. Dozens of positive experiences can be quickly overshadowed by feelings of disgust. This phenomenon of overemphasizing the negative is pervasive in all types of situations. This is because the human psyche is typically bound by a negativity bias, meaning we have a propensity to use negative information far more than positive information in our decision-making. 

Scientists heavily theorize that this bias is an evolutionary adaptation due to the advantage of special vigilance toward dangerous situations (Rozin and Royzman, 2001). For our ancestors, avoiding food that caused sickness could have been the difference between life and death.

What Are The Impacts of Negativity Bias?

In the modern world, negativity bias typically does not manifest in avoiding life-threatening situations. Instead, we are far more likely to see it affect our perceptions of everyday life. This means that as a business leader, you potentially have a greater incentive to prevent your customers from encountering inconveniences than you do to provide a stellar experience. Managing negativity bias is especially important because studies have shown that negative reviews impact sales significantly more than positive reviews (Chevalier and Mayzlin, 2006). 

Furthermore, when customers are unhappy, there is a 91% chance that they will not return to a business compared to a 42% chance of returning due to a positive experience (Thomas, 2018). The evidence thus supports the idea that negativity bias impacts customers’ perception of businesses.

How Can Businesses Avoid Negativity Bias?

So, knowing that customers are disproportionately influenced by negative information, how can businesses act? 

One of the customers’ most common grievances with companies is poor employee interaction. Customers, above all, want to feel like they are being heard and that they can expect friendly and timely service. However, this fact is something that most businesses already know. Companies spend countless resources on investing in their customer relations.

On the other hand, they often overlook the importance of something as simple as bathroom cleanliness. In a survey of 1,500 people, 31% said they would not return after using a dirty seat. Similar to finding hair in one’s food, feelings of disgust heavily impact humans. Investing in bathroom sanitation can be one of the most cost-effective ways to ensure businesses avoid do not fall victim to negativity bias. 

The Cleana self-lifting toilet seat is one such solution. Designed for mess prevention in commercial restrooms, this mess-preventing toilet seat automatically lifts after being used, stopping patrons who otherwise wouldn’t lift the seat from urinating on the toilet seats. People who use the seat can interact with its antimicrobial handle to push it down, and once they are done the seat automatically lifts for the next patron. The Cleana self-lifting commercial toilet seat is easy to use, does not require any ongoing maintenance, batteries, or electricity, and saves the labor costs of cleaning toilet seat messes. The Cleana self-lifting commercial toilet seat also seeks to become comparable in price to typical janitorial supplies, making it economically viable for almost any institution or application. 

Cleana Toilet Seat

Cleana Self-Lifting Toilet Seat

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