Star ratings and the content of online reviews are arguably two of the most important aspects of a modern brand’s digital footprint. Complaints, or negative reviews that are visible online can really make the difference between driving new sales, and losing out on customers to competitors.
Nowadays, online comparison shopping is just a part of society’s norms. Research shows that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a close friend’s opinion. The fact is, online reviews have major power and influence over the purchasing decisions of consumers. If a brand’s reviews do not portray a good customer experience, they are likely losing out on a large amount of business.
Reviews In Search Results
The way consumers put stock into online reviews has made it impossible for search engines to ignore. Google, and all other search platforms, understand the influence and importance of online reviews to their users, and therefore rank them highly on search results pages. The prominence of reviews and review platforms on Google only compounds the importance of a positive review rating for businesses.
For example, a potential customer is searching for a new Barber Shop to support – in their Google search, they find two Barber’s in their area. One business has a 4.5 star rating, and the other has a 3.7 rating, with multiple negative reviews and complaints. Which Barber is the customer likely to go with?
Given how prominently reviews will rank for your brand and it’s competitors, maintaining a high star rating and obtaining positive reviews can truly make or break your business.
Review Response and Interaction
Overall star ratings and content of online reviews are obviously very important, but the way in which a brand interacts with and responds to negative online feedback can be just as important in reflecting your brand’s true character to customers.
All brands and companies are going to receive a negative review from time to time, it’s next to impossible to please everyone. When complaints occur online, it is then up to the brand to respond appropriately. Not responding at all can display to consumers that your brand doesn’t care about it’s customers or their experiences.
Responding to negative reviews in a respectful and helpful manner will not only show consumers reading your reviews that you care about your clients, but it could also turn into a resolution with the writer of the complaint. From that point, it could lead to retaining them as a client, or a recommendation to their friends and colleagues.
Review Removal and Management
Though complaints and negative reviews are impossible to avoid forever, businesses do have options at their disposal to combat fake or inaccurate reviews. Given the ease in which reviews can be published, fake reviews, with malicious intent, have unfortunately become commonplace online. Whether it be a personal vendetta against a company, or competitors trying to gain an edge, all brand’s are vulnerable to the spread of fake reviews.
Luckily there are companies like Guaranteed Removals and Erase.com who specialize in the removal of online reviews and review management tools. These companies focus on helping businesses permanently delete fake or inaccurate reviews, and also develop monitoring, response and positive review growth strategies.
Reviews Cannot Be Ignored
Brand’s can no longer afford to ignore their online reviews. As alluded to above, the nature of reviews opens the door to defamation and can leave companies vulnerable to attacks on their character. Managing reviews has become a necessary practise that will allow businesses to accurately portray their customer experience, protect themselves from false narratives and drive sales by getting a leg up on their competition.