Online reviews are powerful, and it’s these reviews that are forcing businesses to improve their customer support and services. We now have a world of consumers that grew up on the Internet, and it’s these users that have been the driving force behind reviews.
But you’ll find that those aged 55 to 64 rely on online reviews more than any other age group.
It’s a powerful force that is outside of the business owner’s full control. Businesses are turning to customer service and superior products in an effort to negate the risks associated with bad reviews. Oftentimes, a company can turn negative reviews into a positive one with the right amount of effort.
Businesses Must Respond to Reviews
A lot of businesses leave complaints unanswered – a big no, no. Businesses should be using these reviews, both positive and negative, as a way to grow their business. It’s unthinkable, yet widely common, that business owners see a negative review and never respond.
I had this happen to me with a very expensive pair of shoes twice. Those shoes wear down in two or three months. They couldn’t even compete with other shoes that were one-third the price.
And when I complained about the issue, I was never contacted about it.
Businesses that want to build a strong following in their community and in business must respond to reviews, both good and bad.
Bad Business Reviews Can Tank Sales
Online reviews are powerful enough to cause a business to lose sales and start losing money. We’ve seen this time and time again, but it gets even worse when you find out that 85% of customers view reviews as personal recommendations.
If your friend had terrible service somewhere, would that company be your first call when you had a problem?
But what if this friend had a commercial plumber repair their pipes and bragged about how good the service was? You might call on this professional first because that’s the power of a personal recommendation.
Online reviews can be that powerful, too.
Statistics show that when star ratings are considered, a single star rating increase can raise revenues by 5% to 9%. Losing stars will have a negative effect, so it’s important for your business to maintain good reviews.
Imagine losing 10% to 18% of revenue because you received a few bad reviews. It happens.
Just one negative review, especially if it’s the latest review, can drive away 22% of customers. When this negative review is increased to three or more negative reviews, you’ll drive away more than half of the potential customers to your business.
But there is also some magic to be found from negative reviews.
Consumers may overlook a negative review or think more highly of a company when they respond to negative reviews professionally. These companies will correct the complaints that their customers have, helping retain a customer and possibly gaining a new customer in the future.
Boosting customer service and working on offering a product that’s better than the competition will go a long way in improving online reviews.