Last week, we posted information on consumer’s use of online reviews. Today, we’ll look into how online reviews the impact the consumer’s impression of businesses. New research shows that just how reviews can affect the way potential shoppers feel about your organization.
● Over 70% of consumers say that positive reviews instill trust in a business
● The number of consumers who feel this way have increased by 14 percentage points in the past 2 years
● Overall, 90% of consumers notice online reviews
● Nearly 90% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
● 32% put more trust in companies with multiple positive reviews
What This Means To You
The line between online recommendations and virtual ones are becoming blurred. While personal recommendations may fade, change or be affected by time, online reviews are there forever. That can be both good and bad. It means that a positive review is something that can continue to help generate new customers for years to come. It also means that a bad review won’t go away by on their own and could be a danger sign to potential patrons for a long time. But the difference between bad personal recommendations and bad online reviews is the fact that you can find and mitigate most bad online reviews and promote good ones. When most people just say bad things about your business, you never really find out what they are saying, if it just patently false or something you can fix to make your business better. A bad online review gives your organization a teachable moment. Negative reviews are something that you should not ignore. Don’t get defensive. If it is a customer service issue, respond to the review by apologizing for the offending act, let the reviewer know that plans have put in place to fix the problems and invite them to patronize your business again. But you can’t act on pure lip service. If a customer has the same problem twice, you can bet the review will much worse the second time and you have no chance at getting them to shop with you again.
If it is something operational with your business, look at it as a chance to make improvements. Maybe they have caught on to something that has been costing you business for a while.
Remember to a customer perception is reality. Good perceptions can build your business and a negative one will cost you potential sales. For more information on how to grow your business and increase loyalty, please contact:
Our last couple of posts have centered on the types of content that help consumers make buying decisions and the role of expert opinions. A new report is out that centers on how important online reviews are to consumers when choosing a local business. Small businesses don’t have the resources that major regional or nation competitors have. They need to take advantage of every opportunity to stay competitive with these bigger name brands. Online reviews are one of the things that can help small and medium businesses set themselves apart from the crowd.
● Nearly 90% of consumers say they read online reviews to determine the quality of
● Close to 40% regularly will read a review, which is up six percentage points in the
● 25% of consumers will read 2 to 3 reviews. One-third will 4-6 reviews and 18% will read 7 to 10 reviews of local businesses
● Overall, 85% of consumers read up to 10 reviews before visiting a local business
What This Means To You
The good news is that consumers are doing their homework before going shopping. These reviews can give you a competitive advantage against bigger competitors and other small local companies.
What are you doing to cultivate these reviews?
Many businesses are using surveys as a way of gauging customer satisfaction. These can also be used to generate reviews on your site or on other local review sites such as yelp. At the end of the survey, provide a link to create review to post on your site or other local review aggregators.
Positive reviews are like a virtual endorsement. If you have good ones, promote them on your site and through your social media. You need to give people a reason to come to your establishment over one of your competitors, positive reviews can be that reason.
No one ever wants to hear negative things about their company. Just like no ever wants to hear that their baby is ugly. But, speaking honestly, there are some ugly babies out there.
How often do you use secret shoppers or customers to spot check how your business is operating?
This isn’t a game of gotcha with your employees, it’s an opportunity to improve the way your business runs and the satisfaction of your customers. It also gives you the chance to highlight employees who are doing a great job, not just find teachable moments with employees who need coaching up.
Doing this work should holistically help you get better online reviews and more new customers. For more information on how to use digital tools to grow your business, please contact: