5 ways in which Online Reviews are affecting your Business
You may have heard that online reviews are of extreme importance to every business, but how true is this assertion? And what can you do to leverage on the potential that lies within the digital version of the word-of-mouth phenomenon? This article looks at how online reviews affect businesses;
- Up to 90% of consumers will consult online reviews before making purchases
The numbers that you will hear being bandied around in this regard will likely be varied, but the fact remains that a large chunk of the consumers who are out there will first consult online reviews before making a purchase. In fact, up to 90% of people will do this.
Why people consult online reviews
The fact that people consult the internet when making important purchasing decisions is hardly surprising. Not so long ago, we all used our neighbors, aunts and uncles as sources of important information about products and services. Today, word-of-mouth remains a portent phenomenon in marketing. Yet it has been superseded by the internet, along with all its glorious tools.
So, how does the fact that a wide majority of people now use the internet to get information about important purchases affect your business? Well, in simple terms, what this then means is that you cannot hope to hide from this now ubiquitous digital marketing tool in this day and age.
A matter of life and death
Online reviews will affect your company in the sense that they are what people consult before coming to do business with you. The nature of the feedback that you get will, therefore, have a bearing on your ability to attract and maintain high quality leads. Indeed, it is safe to say here that online reviews, for most entities, tend to be a matter of life and death. Attract the right kind, and you will see your business growing. Attract the wrong kind, and you may just fall by the wayside.
- People overwhelmingly trust online reviews
So, we have already noted that a large majority of people out there will first consult customer reviews before making a purchase, but do they really put much stock into whatever it is that they read on the internet?
Well, the fact of the matter is that they do! Remember what we have just been saying about consulting uncles and aunts before making purchases? One would think that people would not be as trusting of complete strangers on the other side of the globe, but that is hardly the case.
Research indicates that up to 85% of the consumers who are out there trust the reviews that they read online! That is a staggering figure. It also means that every business needs to take every effort to make sure that it gets positive reviews that help foster growth.
Trust matters in business
Trust, it is safe to say, is the oil that lubricates much of the world’s commerce. Indeed, trust is something that every business needs to seriously make an effort to build.
How does trust affect a business?
The importance of online reviews for your business lies in the fact that they help you build the trust that you need in order to take your business to the other level. At another level, the fact that people are so trusting of online reviews means that they play a very important role in their purchasing decisions.
- Bad experiences are greater motivators than good ones
One of the things that you will notice, as soon as you set out to leverage the power of online reviews for your business, is that people who have had a negative experience tend to be a lot more motivated to leave feedback across the internet that those that have had a good experience.
This can really have a negative impact on your business. If you do not take active steps to remedy the situation, you will soon discover that your online image will largely be negative, in spite of the fact that you may be doing well otherwise, as far as customer service is concerned.
How does this affect businesses?
What this simply means is that every business needs to take active steps to carry out Online Reputation Management. Allowing negative reviews to become the overwhelming voice about your brand on the internet will be devastating in the long run. Remember what we have already said about the fact that up to 90% of consumers will consult online reviews before making purchases.
There are several things that you can do in order to make sure that satisfied customers leave positive feedback on Yelp, Google and other platforms. The good news is that most platforms give precedence to newer reviews, meaning that you can do something to make sure that adverse feedback is drowned out.
- Negative reviews do not spell doom
Many people believe that getting a couple of negative reviews spells doom for their businesses. However, that is hardly the case. In fact, research indicates that people are much more likely to trust reviews if they are not all positive.
That is hardly surprising. The fact of the matter is that the online age, for all its uses, has led to the development of a certain level of mistrust in most people. We are all ever on the lookout for potential scams, and nothing scam more than a business that has a 100 five star reviews and not even a single dissatisfied customers.
Turning negative reviews into a positive
Another thing that you need to take note of is that negative online reviews are a good way through which you can iron out issues that may be present in your products and services. They provide you with an honest mirror that allows you to introspect. Once you have done that, you can then reach out to the dissatisfied customer and get them to change their feedback.
- Online reviews are worth real money
The takeout from everything that we have discussed above is that online reviews are worth real money for businesses large and small. They are a tool through which you can generate leads and, by extension, help build your revenue.
On the other hand, reviews, where they are not managed properly, can have the negative effect of keeping people away from your brand.