Online reviews play a significant role for businesses trying to sell their products or services. According to BrightLocal, 91% of consumers state that positive reviews make them more likely to buy.
Bad customer reviews potentially harm both a brand’s name as well as financial outcomes. Online reviews lead to more interactions with customers, thus impacting organic visibility. Besides, they also affect consumer decisions – availing a service, buying a product, etc.
This is why it is imperative to pay attention to your online reviews. While positive feedback naturally helps to nurture your brand, negative reviews can sometimes act as a setback. At Bash Foo, we believe that every business must respond to or combat bad reviews that they find online.
How Popular Are Online Reviews?
No matter what the industry, the internet has become a melting pot of businesses of every size, trying to outdo the others to catch the customer’s eye. A majority of customers want to look up the details of a business before buying their products or services. This User-Generated Content (UGC) comes in the form of reviews left about the company or the buying experience, along with an insight into other relevant information.
Sites like Google and Yelp end up being the defacto sites that consumers use when researching a business online. Their reviews cover every segment and business size, with over 115 million reviews on just Yelp’s website. Facebook has emerged as yet another powerful platform for online reviews, responsible for around 19% of all business reviews worldwide.
On the other hand, Google accounts for millions of business listings and 57.5% of all online reviews worldwide. This proves especially beneficial for small businesses, which can gain a positive reputation in no time through Google My Business pages. Online reviews end up as essential marketing tools for brands and transparent references for customers. The numbers speak for the popularity and relevance of online reviews for businesses and consumers alike.
The Basics of Online Reviews Explained
Customers view online reviews as helpful opinions from people who have used the services or products of a business before them and have some insights to share. In today’s times, with the massive penetration of digital and social media, online reviews have come to shape how a business is perceived online.
In the words of Chris Anderson, the Curator of TED, “Your brand isn’t what you say it – it’s what Google says it is.”
Who is Reading Online Reviews?
The answer would be – virtually everyone! Think about the first thing you do when looking for a restaurant online. Or, try to imagine yourself purchasing a garment from an online store. Aren’t we automatically drawn to checking out the reviews to know what others have to say about the product or service?
Around 89% of customers would not take any action on their purchase or booking unless they have read some online reviews. Therefore, it is pretty clear that people read online reviews; in fact, online reviews have become part and parcel of today’s online shopping experience.
Are Online Reviews perceived as Trustworthy?
The same survey from BrightLocal also highlights that 91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family. A majority of online purchasers have admitted that online reviews have influenced their decision-making in the past. Besides, they are likely to refer to online reviews in the future to make more well-informed choices.
So, why do customers trust online reviews so much? The first reason is that these opinions on the web offer transparency about the business and its products or services from a third-person perspective. Customers want to know everything before they shop. While this was barely possible before, the internet has enabled them to carefully understand every aspect of the product or service by reading the diverse opinions of strangers with seemingly verified profiles.
Online reviews provide customers with unmatched knowledge about a business and its products/services, even if the business itself might not be very transparent in the matter. Secondly, the influence of another person is always welcome when making a purchase. Foodies are drawn to restaurants that create positive vibes, while they will stay away from it if they come to know how disappointing it was.
Customers view online reviews as genuine and helpful resources for helping other shoppers make informed decisions. 86% of consumers would themselves consider writing a review for a business, which means they also trust that the reviews they read are genuine shares.
Why can Negative Reviews be a Concern for Your Business?
First things first, negative reviews are not inevitable, and they are not always bad for your business. Some negative feedback from time to time might even help your business – listing out the areas of improvement and helping you handle criticism better.
However, we have to admit that too many bad reviews can end up jeopardizing the popularity and trust quotient of your online business, doing more harm than good. While combating bad reviews as constructive feedback is easy, handling reviews those trollers deliberately pen down to give you a tough time, is certainly not worth it.
Besides, nasty competitors might also calculatingly leave behind poor reviews just for the sake of belittling your efforts. They might intentionally leave behind multiple 1-star reviews and negative comments to influence your customers, despite there being no truth in it! Such reviews could eventually impact your business by:
Since most people rely on reviews for social proof, accumulated negative feedback can shatter their confidence in your products and services, thereby negatively impacting sales.
With the countless brands in your domain fighting neck to neck, multiple negative reviews on display will only make the pool of customers drift away from your brand to your competitor’s.
Nullifying SEO Efforts
Ranking high in search engines is a prime necessity when it comes to digital popularity these days. Poor customer reviews online affect the content on the internet associated with you, leading Google and other search engines to prevent your website from appearing high in search results.
Handle Negative Reviews Effectively with Bash Foo
It is clear, therefore, that online reviews have the power to make or break businesses today. Therefore, if you wish to optimize your brand’s digital presence in the current climate, you need to start using online reviews to your advantage.
The first step towards this is to eliminate negative reviews that fail to offer constructive criticism or that seem to be purposely planted to show your brand in a bad light. At Bash Foo, we have been helping brands, especially small businesses, build an improved online reputation over the years. Our best-in-class services comprehensively take care of your digital presence, including eliminating negative reviews that cause consumers to pause.
How do we do this?
We Make Online Reviews a Priority
At Bash Foo, we make sure that your brand does not lose out on one of its most effective marketing tools for the digital world – online reviews. We understand the value of reviews for influencing customer decisions and how they are neck to neck with social media marketing strategies today.
Therefore, while you take care of your business activities, we prioritize effective strategies related to online reviews for you. From charting out a response strategy to helping you take action against a negative review, we have it all covered for you.
We Help Monitor Your Business Reviews Online
Our focus is on continuously monitoring your online reviews across different platforms – Google My Business page, Facebook, Yelp, social media, and even your website. We focus more than just on stars – written reviews make a stronger impression on 73% of shoppers; therefore, we keep a tab on what is being written about your brand.
We are committed to ensuring that no unfair reviews are misleading potential customers about your products and services. Trust Bash Foo to be all ears when it comes to what people are discussing about your business online!
We Remove Negative Customer Reviews of Your Business
While some criticism is welcome, we help eliminate any irrational negative online reviews that trollers or competitors pen to make you look bad. From negative social media comments to irrational reviews on sites like Yelp, we are experts in managing poor online reviews for your business.
Our strategy towards a bad online review is to be responsive, not reactive. Years of experience in the industry have taught us how to tackle negative online reviews. After careful scanning the review in question, we either help bring before your customers your willingness to go the extra mile or dismiss unreasonable feedback the right way. Bash Foo’s idea is to adopt a proactive approach towards response to negative reviews.
Online Reviews: A Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy
That social proof and influence play a huge role in consumer decisions are already clear to us by now. Business reviews on popular sites such as Facebook and Yelp can go a long way in establishing the reputation of your products and services as a brand if taken care of the right way.
While negative feedback online is inevitable, the best way to handle them is to avoid any friction and deal with the situation calmly. Poor reviews could also end up lending you the right insights to improve customer experiences! The best way is to always lookout for ways to use online reviews as leverage to get ahead in the competitive marketplace and positioning yourself on the top.