According to Reputation House, customers' reviews are a huge resource for any business. They have an incredible power of persuasion, influencing the decision-making of potential customers and their level of trust in the company. The difficulty is that people tend to share negative impressions more than positive ones. A natural result can be an increase in negativity online, even if the product or service is generally satisfactory to consumers. As a result, negative feedback will appear in the search engine with no positive feedback behind it.
But there is good news: the situation can be changed in your favor. All you need to do is turn to professionals - to the Reputation House agency, which works with SERM - Search Engine Reputation Marketing. The technology allows you to bring resources that contain positive information (comments, articles, reviews, etc.) to the top of the search results. Accordingly, when a potential buyer enters a necessary query into a search engine, he sees verified and positive content about a brand or person.
Reputation House: How do customers’ reviews work?
Customer opinions are one of the main tools for effective business performance. And this is confirmed by statistics. For 85% of consumers, online reviews are more important than personal recommendations from friends. On average, customers read 7 reviews about a product or service before making a decision. While negative online reviews made 60% of customers refrain from making a purchase. Reputation House agency emphasizes that customers' reviews have a direct impact on sales because they are one of the manifestations of social approval.
Let's take as an example a situation when a person wants to buy a phone. A simple study of technical specifications does not help to make a decision on the purchase, so the buyer turns to the Internet. He wants to understand how many people have already bought this model, whether they liked it and whether there were any shortcomings.
He can read the reviews on the company's website or on third-party resources (geoservices, marketplaces, forums, etc.). Such information helps to clear up doubts and understand whether it is worth buying the product or not. Interesting fact: increasing the Yelp rating by just one star increases business profits by as much as 9%, while reviews with 1-2 stars result in a loss of conversion for 86 potential customers!
Reputation House says that customers' reviews should be real or as similar to them as possible, with a certain amount of negativity. You have to agree that there will always be a customer who is dissatisfied with something. And if a potential customer sees only enthusiastic comments, he/she will be suspicious that they are not genuine. A negative reaction can also be caused by the use of such tools as removing or ignoring negative reviews. So, the probability of a purchase will decrease, and so will the business's revenue.
What benefits come from working with customer feedback?
According to Reputation House representatives, negative reviews can be a real challenge for SERM. They need to be not only removed from the first pages of the search results but also replaced with positive and neutral comments. The work is carried out in various areas, including social media, review websites, geoservices, marketplaces, and official brand websites. Agency specialists promote existing content to the top-10 by optimizing it for keywords, publishing reviews and comments, creating and improving content on YouTube.
Reputation House believes that positive customer' reviews help with:
Build trust in the brand and persona. If there are no opinions about a product online, it will seem suspicious. "Sterile" reviews on the company's website do not inspire confidence either, so users go to independent sites for information. If they are satisfied with it, the likelihood of a purchase increases significantly.
Increase brand visibility. The more often people see information about your company in a positive and highly regarded manner, the more loyal they become. And this leads to increased sales, increased traffic to the website, and a good reputation.
Get feedback. Honest opinions from customers allow you to assess which aspects of your business need improvement, and which are already functioning well. Through them, you can evaluate the performance of your staff, determine the competitiveness of your products, and understand how high-quality they are. Here is another example. Customers are satisfied with the product, but instead of 5 stars, they give only 4 because of insufficiently solid packaging. The box was crumpled upon delivery, although the product arrived completely intact. What is the recommendation for the manufacturer? It is, of course, to make stronger packaging that minimizes reputational losses.
Increase sales volume. If, thanks to Reputation House's work with SERM, there are positive reviews on the first page of the search results, they will interest potential buyers. In the comments, users will find information that is not always present in the technical specifications, for example, the real-time performance demonstration of the phone while playing a game. A large number of positive comments becomes an effective advertising tool that stimulates sales.
Should you respond to online reviews?
Of course, a company should not ignore any manifestations of user activity. A positive review should be responded to by thanking them for choosing the product and for their trust. If the feedback is negative, it is necessary to understand the situation, recognize the problem, and solve it.
In working with customers' reviews, Reputation House recommends keeping an open mind and demonstrating your willingness to engage in dialog. You should promptly respond to all comments, including positive ones. It is important for people to get a response from the company as quickly as possible, as they want to solve the problem "here and now". Research shows that 33% of customers will change the negative tone of a review to a positive one if they receive a response from the company, and 34% will delete a negative comment altogether.
And keep in mind that there are many Online Reputation Management tools from Reputation House at your disposal, including SERM. Partnering with an agency is an investment in your company's security and reputation that will allow you to come out on top in any situation.