The Importance Of Online Customer Reviews and Reputation

How important are online reviews?

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Customer reviews are really important for businesses. Research shows that 90% of consumers read them before visiting a business and 88% of these trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. Online review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor are essential in determining the success of a business.

Online reviews help you to better understand your customers and therefore improve your customer service, allowing your consumers to have their own say whilst also improve your rankings. This is incredibly important for any business. Ask yourselves this, would you want a 5-star hotel or a 3-star hotel to stay at a reasonable price?

How important is your online reputation?

Your online presence is everywhere! On social media, forums like Reddit, TripAdvisor and other websites. You can be found pretty much anywhere and everywhere.

While it is good for promotion and for finding out information about your company, it can be bad if your reputation takes a hit as bad reviews can be spread and seen easily creating a negative look on your company. The trick is to this is to keep track of your customers on what they are commenting and conversing about and if they have any problems. You should always be polite and try to help as much as you can until you have solved the problem.

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Not addressing problems can cause a loss of trust in your company and may deter people from purchasing from you. You should try your hardest to reply to any queries or questions your potential customers may have. How you respond says a lot about your business.

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An insight on Reviews

Responding to reviews is absolutely crucial as 84% of people trust an online review just as much as someone in-person recommending a company. Replying to comments regardless of it being positive, negative or even a question shows that you are willing to engage with your audience. Having a good customer service means that people would be willing to do business with you as they know that you would either have a solution to a problem or you have what they are looking for.

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Having negative reviews is important too as it can give you a way to solve problems and prove you are still trustworthy to other people who see these negative reviews. If anything it makes yourselves professional. Everyone can make mistakes. Acknowledging you may have flaws with what you do and working onto improving what you do makes yourselves sound much better than being stuck up and not doing anything about it. This would make people will make then assume that you just don’t care and move on to a different place to do business with. This would impact your company a lot so doing a simple action by replying and noticing what people say strengthens your future.

How can people notice you though? Well, there are many different online directories like Yell and TripAdvisor. You may come across from website listings. These pages are actually significant as they are a way of people doing some research on you. Think about it as an online directory. You should take advantage of it so when people were to get referred to you by these websites, they could see that you are a well-established business.

Remember those reviews we spoke about? Well if they were still negative these directories would most likely mention that. This impacts your online reputation as people may become uncertain if you are the right business for them. This should give you more of a reason to keep track of directories that may link back to you.

Therefore, it is important to monitor listings of your company as anybody can list your business which could be positive or negative. It just takes one disgruntled customer to register a domain that may cause a negative impact on your business. Businesses become targets of catfishing just like individuals do and there are ways to regain control if this happens.

To make sure that negative listings are removed you should get into contact with whatever platform they are on and demonstrate some form of certification or verification to show that you are the original owner and to remove the defamatory content. This process won’t be instantaneous though and you may have to wait a little while. While you are waiting for the process you will have no control over what’s happening online.

The majority of people who shop online trust other people who write reviews so it is important to your reputation that you keep a close eye on reviews and respond to any queries, questions and problems. Just having a few 5-star reviews can convince someone visiting your site to become a customer and purchase something from your business. This can have the opposite effect if you have too many negative reviews as they can be damaging.

Another reason your online reputation is important is that word of mouth and information spreads fast between users. There have been many instances in the past which show just how true this as big corporations like McDonald’s have taken hits to their business when they have messed up in the past. The fact that even big corporations are not safe from the onslaught of the Internet is a terrifying thought and should show just how important it is to monitor your online reputation. To avoid instances like this you should ensure that what is being posted online is relevant and doesn’t clash with any of your business’ ideals and policies.

So what can you do then?

Try not to heavily rely on people from the outside such as companies to reply to your customers. More and more businesses are relying on tools/bots or even people not within the business that automate their social media accounts. They may not have a good enough understanding as to what you do therefore can cause misunderstanding.

Instead, designate someone within your business to manage or monitor your social pages as well as your website. As well as this, as a manager, you could make yourself a time to have a good 10 minutes or so to review what is being said about your company or how your social pages are running. This ensures that every review has a reply that is relevant and makes sense.

Upon reading this, you should now understand the significance of Online Reviews and how it can have an impact on your business. So now you know what to look out for. But what if is seriously impacting your business and don’t know what to do with many negative reviews or you are being maliciously attacked anonymously. It is possible and this can be misread by some people and think that you are not a good business. This is where you need someone to step in and help your online reputation out.

At DigitalOx, we tailor your needs to fit your criteria. From first contact, we give advice and get involved right away to protect your business. Not only that, but we would also improve it so that you can improve your business in every way possible from making sure you have a restored reputation to also gaining customers and being acknowledged. We can take down the malicious attacks making a claim to legal themselves if need be.