The internet can be the best platform to market your company to a worldwide audience, but when you come up against bad reviews online, you need to quickly take action to solve the problem and protect your online reputation. A lack of response can have dire consequences.
Online reviews are critical to your business success. Prospects use them to get information and guidance for their purchasing decisions. Therefore, negative customer reviews can really hurt your business, especially if you don’t have many positive reviews to offset them. According to a survey made by Dimensional Research in early 2013, 90% of respondents claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions while 86% stated they were influenced by negative reviews. Statistics also showed that online review sites increased their traffic by 150 percent. That means more consumers are using websites more often than they did in the past.
“. . .90% of respondents claimed that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions while 86% stated they were influenced by negative reviews.”
In the past, making a complaint was largely a private affair between two parties; the customer and the product or service provider. But in the modern world, even the negative opinion of just one individual is capable of being shared with hundreds or thousands of customers. It can often make you feel like you don’t have control of your brand’s online reputation. In order to create value for a business, it’s important to understand how customers regard your products or services. Some implications of bad reviews on your business value are:
Less Company Credibility
Unsatisfied customers tend to spread their word and bad reviews over the internet, especially Google. Google is the world’s largest search engine used by many to search reviews on the products or services that they intend to buy. Lack of reviews or too many negative reviews are likely to tell prospects that your marketing is promising one thing, but what customers can really expect is not the same or of good quality. This can crush your brand’s credibility.
“This can crush your brand’s credibility.”
Damaged Business Relationships
A bad online reputation can affect a company negatively in its relationships with other businesses partners. Your marketers or business partners may refuse to renew contracts or to provide further financial support out of fear that your company’s tarnished reputation will risk their brand’s value and reputation. Think of sports stars who get dropped as spokespeople when they do something that gets negative press.
“Your marketers or business partners may refuse to renew contracts or to provide further financial support…”
Advantages to Competitors
When someone reads a bad review about a company’s product or service, they tend to reverse their decisions about buying the product or trying the service. They then look elsewhere for less risky options that will meet their needs. This benefits your competitors in winning over the trust of your potential customers.
“. . . they tend to reverse their decisions about buying the product or trying the service. They then look elsewhere for less risky options…”
Employees who have to address negative reviews posted online about your company over time can become demoralized and embarrassed about representing a product that they feel is not meeting the needs of their clients. You could lose good sales people because issues in negative reviews are not resolved by the company leading to more negative reviews. Or, simply letting a few “haters” dominate what is being said about you and your brand reflects on them, as well.
“You could lose good sales people because issues in negative reviews are not resolved by the company…”
A negative online reputation can bring frustration, embarrassment and slow your business growth. It’s natural for any company or business to get occasional bad reviews from unhappy customers, but the company should keep a constant check on their reputation by devising an appropriate means of Online Reputation Management.
If you would like to receive a complimentary customized report that shows you what the online reputation is for your business, click here. If you need professional assistance to improve, grow and amplify the online reputation of your products and services, simply contact us at 800-764-8528. Our reputation management professionals are available to provide you with a free consultation and an inexpensive solution to manage and improve your online reviews and listings right away.
Click here to receive a complimentary customized report that shows you what the online reputation is for your business today.