With the given cut throat competition in the digital sphere many of the marketers and business owners are gradually realizing the impact of online reviews. We are presently living in an age where social media and other consumer generated content sites dominate the market. Your customers are talking about you online, irrespective of your industry. Initially, the product oriented industry experienced the impact of reviews online. But now the service oriented industry has also seen its influence.
In short, online reviews can influence every kind of business. The increasing popularity of social networks and micro-blogging sites are primarily responsible for making online reviews a crucial factor for any kind of business. Negative reviews itself is bad enough; now imagine the impact it will have on your credibility and business if the reviewer tweet or share that piece of writing with a hash tag mentioning you or your business’s name. I guess that’s more than enough to drive away your potential customers and demote your image in front of the existing ones.
Several surveys were conducted to understand the impact of online reviews on businesses. It was observed that positive online reviews motivate about 87% consumers to purchase a particular product or service. Similarly, it was found that negative online reviews caused as much as 80% consumers to change their mind about purchasing a particular product or service or recommending the same. According to a recently conducted Neilsen poll, 70% of the people polled expressed that they trust other consumers post and reviews online. The same also applies in influencing buyers to choose one brand over some other. Thus, it is no more surprising that sites like Yahoo! Local, Google Places, CitySearche and Yelp have gained massive popularity these days. And their members are increasing in number every second.
Moreover, statistic found that 50% of US consumers were motivated to a particular local business based on positive online reviews. Another 64% consumers trust online reviews so much that they read such piece of writing before making a purchase decision. In fact, 85% of consumers trust the online recommendations when it comes to purchasing a particular product or service.
All these figures mentioned above are more than enough to establish the impact of online reviews on your business. The good and positive ones can make your business successful, whereas the negative ones will kill it. Now the question rises, how to avoid bad reviews online?
To begin with start following up your customers soon after a deal is closed to known their feedback. Also, create an easy complaining policy and never try to be defensive as you receive the complaint. Rather, be a good and empathetic listener as well as try to solve it at the earliest. To implement your easy complaining policy, add a complaint form on the contact us or feedback page of your company’s website. Once you receive a complaint immediately follow up with the customer to resolve the problem. Instead of ignoring online negative reviews, respond them with a viable solution. Finally, remember your communication skill is most important to deal with problems related to online negative reviews.