The Importance of Online Reviews

Word of mouth is huge in many industries. In fact, 83 percent of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over other forms of advertising.

Here are a few ways online reviews can affect your business:

  1. Online reviews matter to customers — 88 percent of consumers put as much trust in online reviews as they do personal recommendations.
  2. You’re being judged — 92 percent of consumers read online reviews, and 40 percent form an opinion after reading only one to three reviews.
  3. Word-of-mouth referrals are doing their homework — Four out of five consumers look to reviews before they finalize a buying decision.
  4. Positive reviews generate leads — After reading a positive review, 72 percent of consumers will take action.
  5. Negative reviews can affect your business — Four out of fiveconsumers changed their mind about a buying decision after reading negative online reviews.

Responding to Negative Online Reviews

Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world. In fact, 30 percent of consumers will suspect your business censors if there are no negative reviews. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore negative feedback. Instead, take the opportunity to show the world your customer service skills.

Thank the reviewer for bringing the problem to your attention, address any legitimate concerns, and begin working toward a satisfactory resolution. Even if you feel it’s safer to take the discussion offline, be sure to follow up online so future readers can see that you cared enough to resolve the issue. After all, 53 percent of people say they like a business more if they see a direct reply from a company to a customer.

Are you giving online reviews the attention they deserve?

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