What makes you choose to do business with one company and not another? In an age where people lack trust in major institutions, media and government, positive online reviews are proving to be the fuel to light the fire of business success.
Exactly How Important Are Online Reviews?
According to a Vendasta survey, 80% of consumer respondents say they trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations. More striking, 48% said they are more likely to visit a company’s website based on their positive reviews. A whopping 94% are more likely to use a business if it has a 4 star rating.
While people are putting a higher value on the reviews they read, they’re also becoming more likely to leave reviews about companies they do business with. According to the Vendasta survey, 58% of consumers said that in the last five years, they’ve begun leaving an increasing number of online reviews based upon customer service.
If you own a company, excellent customer service is key to consumer satisfaction. Your reputation online has become as important as word of mouth. It’s not surprising that people are looking for reputable companies to do business with. Positive reviews can clearly drive your business. They can put you on top of competitors who don’t value the power of online consumer feedback.
Great reviews are not only helpful for the credibility of your brand, but they can drive higher online organic search results. Positive online reviews are one of the critical metrics search engines look for when deriving their search result algorithms. Want to rank higher when people search for companies like yours? Make your customers happy!
What About Negative Reviews?
However, as important as positive reviews are, a glut of negative reviews can be very damaging. According to Vendasta, 86% of respondents say they are reluctant to make a purchase from a business that has too many negative online reviews. This makes sense. How likely would you be to do business with anybody that has a poor reputation overall?
There are steps companies can take to negate the effects of bad reviews. These including taking responsibility for mistakes, being public with efforts to improve or fix problems, answering negative feedback and offering people the opportunity to right a wrong. But never try to fake positive reviews to build your online ratings. Consumers are looking for clues that such things are happening and may shun companies that may be trying to game the system.
The reality is for any business owner is that negative reviews happen. Consumers do expect to seem them for any business to a certain extent. In fact, 68% of respondents say they’re more likely to trust a company that has some negative reviews mixed in with positive reviews. The key is how many you have in relation to happy customers and how you turn a negative experience for a consumer into a positive one. Always monitor your online reviews or hire a company like Geek Town USA to handle this for you. Make sure to take care of your reputation management.