It has long been acknowledged that word-of-mouth is the most effective and valuable marketing tool. Due to its highly authentic nature, the majority of all consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. Getting customers to talk positively about your business is the most organic sales-driving effect your marketing efforts can accomplish. And it is something you should be putting resources into.
Traditionally, consumers have passed information through face-to-face conversations. However, as we move further into this digital age, electronic word-of-mouth
has become increasingly important. Online reviews now play a prominent role in the decision making process of consumers. According to Moz, a staggering 67.7% of consumers are influenced by online reviews. And to top that off, half of all consumers regard online
reviews to be important to their decision making. To put it simply, eWOM is the single most important information source for consumers and has a direct
impact on your sales! Understandably, positive reviews lead to a better reputation and more sales – but what about the negative reviews? Well, this
is where you will really understand just how significant online reviews are.
Bad reviews hurt your business more than you think. You risk losing almost a quarter of potential customers with just one negative review. And that number
increases exponentially, with three negative reviews resulting in a potential loss of 59.2%, and four or more leading to a likely loss of 70% of potential
How can you proactively work to prevent negative reviews?
• Offer excellent customer care
This is a no-brainer. You should always, always, always make sure that your customers leave your business happy and content with their experience. Even
though a customer might be disappointed with your specific product or service, they will remember how well they were treated by your representatives.
• Manage expectations
Do not make promises you can’t keep. Review your company website to make sure that all information is correct and that pictures are representative of what
they depict. When expectations aren’t met, customers quickly feel dissatisfied.
• Encourage positive reviews
Most review hosting websites state that you should not ask for reviews, in order to keep the authenticity of the reviews on the site. But before the internet,
if a customer had a great experience in a shop, it was very common for the merchant to say “Tell your friends!” So, it’s not really fair to discourage
businesses from requesting reviews. The important thing is not to push the customer. Ask if there’s anything you could have done better – if there
is, you have an opportunity for improvement. However, if you did a great job you can certainly ask for an online review.
Online reviews are tremendously important and as they increase, your involvement is going to become more necessary. If you proactively work for a great
online reputation, chances are, you will start to see increasing sales and more happy customers.