The Impact of Online Customer Reviews on Your Business
Word of mouth is a very powerful social construct. It is a widely accepted form of information sharing because it is considered an unbiased channel where people can get a truthful evaluation about a subject matter. As the digital landscape continues to adopt constructs of society into the virtual marketplace, it has created platforms for people to share their opinions online – enter online reviews.
There are countless review sites online catering to specific niches, from service providers and products to restaurants and films. But how exactly do they impact business?
Purchasing decisions are influenced by online customer reviews
A survey by Dimensional Research indicates approximately 9 out or 10 people who read online reviews admit that positive online reviews influence their buying decisions. Furthermore, online reviews are believed to affect search engine rankings significantly. As such, it is important to incorporate online reviews in your overall online marketing strategy.
What do the stats say?
The survey, which involved 1,046 participants, indicated that customer purchasing decisions are affected by positive and negative online reviews. Essentially, consumers use reviews as a barometer to gauge which options to consider and from which choices to steer away. Furthermore, 58 per cent of the respondents admitted that they are more likely to share their experiences today as compared to five years ago, especially with the emergence of social networking platforms and review websites.
More than their actual impact on the grassroots consumer level, however, online reviews also have a significant effect on your online reputation. When people find your business a reputable source of quality consumer products or services, they are more likely to recommend you to others. In this aspect, it is important to engage with your consumer market online through dedicated quality customer service.
Conversing with your customers online, to either address a query or action a negative review, can help immensely in establishing your responsiveness towards customer concerns, which can have a direct impact on your business.
Incorporate an intelligent and reactive strategy for online reviews
While SEO is about bringing your business out in the open, customer reviews can prevent customers from availing your products or services, negating the positive effect of your SEO campaign. As such, it is important to dedicate resources to responding and addressing online reviews. Hubspot offers an extensive list of go-to online review sites for customers who want to share and read experiences. The list includes the staple review platforms such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook Ratings & Reviews, ConsumerReports, and of course, Google My Business.
Find out which platform is most appropriate for your business based on where your market is found online and where you can generate the most positive customer awareness. Create a strategy for responding to customer reviews on these select platforms, and implement this actively, on a regular basis. This will augment your online marketing campaign, and create a positive brand image with customer service at its core.
If you want to know more about managing online reputation, or you are looking for experts who can help you with yours, get in touch with the experts at United SEO. Our consultants can provide you extensive guidance and service that is superior in the region.