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Why You Can’t Ignore Online Reviews

02.19.2018 / Posted in Articles, Social Media

In today’s world, with just one click, customers can glean more information about an organization than ever before, simply by checking out the company’s online reviews.

The way a company responds, or doesn’t respond, influences an organization’s reputation. Organizations of all sizes will be more successful when they the importance of online reviews, where to find and address them, and how to handle positive and negative reviews.

The Influence of Online Reviews

Up to 93 percent of people say that reading online reviews impacts their buying decision. A recent study by Influence Central, found the following compelling data points about the importance of online reviews:

  • Just 1 percent of consumers say that they believe online reviews to be not at all important.
  • Online reviews are important to 71 percent of respondents when considering making a purchase in specific categories, such as with electronics, appliances, and home décor.
  • Of female respondents, 57 percent check online reviews for certain categories (e.g., books, clothing, electronics, appliances). Of all respondents, 43 percent check reviews for every purchase.

What do people assess, when they assess online reviews?

  • How many listings does the company or product have?
  • How consistent is the listing information? Does one listing give one set of product or company details—and another listing provide conflicting information?
  • What’s the overall sentiment of reviewers about the company, product, or service?
  • How frequently is the item reviewed?
  • How many reviews of the item or company are there, overall?
  • How active and social are the company’s reviewers?

Another factor to consider, where applicable: Star ratings. Star ratings are very suggestive. Combined with a narrative explanation, they are very powerful drivers for the interested consumer.

Think about star ratings like this: A five-star rating is excellent, four-star is good, and three-star means it was “okay.” Not excellent or good—just okay. Compared to a competitor’s “good” rating, your prospect will most likely choose the good over the okay. How much is that full star worth to your business?

Where Customers Leave Reviews Matters

Consumers can leave online reviews in many places, though they tend to review companies, products, and services on the sites where they purchased the products, such as Amazon, and sites that have good traction for the business category, such as Yelp and Facebook.

Though reviews on any platform matter, the “big” sites matter most: A BloomReach survey found that people will go to Amazon to read reviews, even if they plan to purchase the product or service elsewhere.

Know which sites matter most to your customers and your prospect customers and prioritize these sites when it comes to review triage and response.

Responding to Positive and Negative Reviews

Amid the hubbub of business, it’s tempting to ignore reviews as “one more thing.” Don’t make that mistake. Responding is critical.

People read reviews—and they read company responses, too. If your organization seems responsive to concerns and appreciative about feedback, you’ll earn more consumer goodwill (and more business in the process).

The content of a response matters—and we have another article addressing how to draft the perfect reply—yet the timeliness of your response matters just as much, if not more, as its content.

With so many people reading your reviews and basing buying decisions on what they find, we suggest responding to reviews within twenty-four hours in most circumstances. Quick responses show review-readers that your customers matter to you, that they have your attention, and that you care.

Some people want a resolution, some want a response, and some simply want to be acknowledged. Try the best you can to determine what they want and to give it to them. Try as best you can to resolve issues and document the resolution for readers, not just to respond to concerns with pat “thank you for your feedback” or “we’re sorry you had a bad experience” responses.

How can you better address reviews for your business? Contact FrogDog today.

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