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Having negative reviews about your business or your products and services will immediately turn consumers away. It’s really that simple. Consumers do almost everything online and people use the internet to shop and conduct pre-purchase research. They compare brands, prices, and products online. 9 out of 10 consumers use search engines like Google and Bing to do their online research before making a purchase. When researching, customers encounter online reviews – positive and negative – on brands and products.
Online reviews affect the purchasing decisions of 67.7 % of consumers. Positive reviews are beneficial for your business because they improve your reputation, increase sales, enhance ranking on search engines, and boost profitability. On the other hand, negative reviews have numerous detrimental effects on business regardless of the size. Here are some of them along with the latest statistics.
1. Loss of revenue
According to Womply research, bad reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp have a significant effect on your revenue. A business with a 1-1.5 star rating reports 33% less revenue than the average enterprise. Forbes reports that 94% of consumers avoid a company with bad reviews.
2. Undermine business reputation
Negative reviews have the power to damage the reputation you have built for years. They make potential customers trust your business less. Many people do not purchase from a store with a bad reputation and questionable credibility. 50% of consumers question the quality of a company with negative reviews. Abundant negative reviews are hard to fix, making it challenging to regain consumers' trust.
3. Drive customers away
Negative reviews succeed in chasing away customers from your business to your competitors. Research shows that one negative review drives away 22% of prospects, around 30 customers. The percentage of lost customers increases with an increase in negative reviews. Three negative reviews drive away customers by 59.2%. More than four negative reviews increase your lost customers to 70%.
4. Low search engine ranking
Review ratings affect the way your business ranks on search engines. Negative ratings make your business to rank poorly because search engines recommend the best enterprises to users.
5. Decrease profitability
Negative reviews decrease your profitability by driving away customers and decreasing your revenue. Also, the cost of rectifying your tarnished reputation takes a toll on your profitability.
Negative Reviews? Here's What You Can Do
Respond to reviews immediately or as promptly as possible. Most enterprises ignore negative reviews and don’t have strategies in place on how to effectively address them. It is a best practice to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Research shows that enterprises that respond to more than 20% of reviews get 33% more revenue than average enterprises. Also, Forbes contends that 45% of consumers will visit a store that responds to negative reviews.
What should you do?
Solve issues before customers take them online. Apologize for a lousy experience and promise to work on it. The customer thought it was important enough to post a public review, so treat it as urgent. Be professional and show empathy with a quick response, it will go a long way. It also shows potential consumers that you care and want to make things right.
Offer to fix the problem. Continue the conversation offline and invite the customer to contact you directly by phone or email to resolve the situation.
Invest in online reputation intelligence tools and reputation management. These tools and services can help you ensure that your online reputation is positive. They also provide you with tools to effectively deal with negative reviews.
Encourage customers to give positive reviews to outweigh negative reviews and increase your overall ratings. Have a strategy in place to solicit reviews at the right time from your most valued customers.