In today’s business environment, online reviews play a critical role. People rely on reviews to help them choose among products and brands and to feel confident in their purchasing decisions. In fact, 63% of consumers say they are more likely to make a purchase from a website that has user reviews. For most buyers, an online review can be as important as a personal recommendation from a friend. For a business, managing online reviews and appropriately handling the negative ones is vital to gaining new customers and growing sales.
Online reviews can make or break a company. Statistics show that for more than 88% of online shoppers, online reviews are a part of their purchase decision process. Forty percent (40%) of consumers will form an opinion of a brand or product by reading just one to three reviews. Online reviews have become an important part of building trust with consumers, with 68% saying that positive reviews cause them to have more trust in a business. In addition, online reviews are an important way to drive traffic to your website. Forty-eight percent (48%) of consumers say they will visit a company’s website after reading online reviews.
Of course, no one wants negative reviews—and companies need to have a plan for dealing with them—but paradoxically, a few negative reviews can actually boost the credibility of your online reviews. 95% of consumers say they suspect that reviews are being censored or faked if they don’t see any negative reviews, and 68% say they trust reviews more when they see both positive and negative reviews.
That’s in no way to suggest that bad reviews are a good thing. For 67% of shoppers, reading as few as one to three bad reviews is enough to prevent them from making a purchase, and 86% of consumers hesitate to purchase from a brand with negative reviews.
The good news: 95% of unhappy customers will return to a business that acts quickly to resolve complaints.
Best Practices for Handling Negative Reviews
By properly managing online reviews, a company can mitigate the effects of negative reviews.
While it’s important to respond to negative reviews, it’s just as important, if not more so, to respond to positive reviews. If someone gives you a compliment in person, you always say “Thank you.” A positive online review is no different. Here’s why:
Another idea is to mention special offers, such as a loyalty card or other promotion. Just be careful that such offers aren’t subject to time limits since you can’t be sure exactly when a consumer may be reading the review.
Online reviews are a fact of life in the 21st-century business environment. Properly handling both negative and positive reviews is critical to the success of your business. This is important both in keeping current customers happy and providing prospective customers with confidence in doing business with you.
Get Started Today