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Online shoppers and consumers, in general, are beginning to become more and more aware online. Generally speaking, when a consumer is in the market for a new product or service one of the first things they do is scan online review platforms. This could be anything from the reviews within the Amazon app itself, to Google My Business (GMB), Facebook, and most notably, Yelp.
Monitoring your online reputation and online reviews on all platforms should be one of your main focuses. Studies show that over half of the adults in America will avoid a business, regardless of whether they are interested in a product, after seeing a negative review. Bad reviews are one of the biggest deterrents in this digital age, consumers are becoming smarter and businesses aren’t.
For most businesses in 2020, they cannot continuously rely on word-of-mouth marketing as much as they use to. Amidst the emergence of consumer review platforms, especially those for specific industries or small niches, a negative review here can potentially put an SMB out of business. Quickly.
Fake, Negative & Malicious Online Reviews
Regrettably, fake testimonials exist, and they exist in a huge abundance. Competitors have been proven to leave poor reviews on products posing as unsatisfied clients. That’s why more must be done in order to help customers identify a fake review.
You’re certain to receive a negative review at a certain stage throughout your business livelihood. That is just the nature and reality on earth. It can be catastrophic for a company, but the majority of men and women realize that everybody makes mistakes. A few bad reviews are not likely to put a nail in your coffin and shut your company down for good. (Learn more to remove negative reviews here)
Here some reasons why online reviews are not to be neglected:
- 68% of millennials trust online testimonials, with favorable positive reviews generating an 18% moderate reduction in earnings
- Consumer testimonials tend to be more reliable than recommendations come from different providers, almost 12x longer.
- 90% of customers see less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a company. Online reviews enable quick decision making.
Negative reviews are not all bad; those have been proven to make a buzz around your company and increase its exposure. Unlike fake testimonials that have been so outlandishly and clearly fake that they go viral.
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Shocking Consumer Statistics About Bad Reviews
Online review statistics demonstrate exactly what many already know from personal experience. Testimonials are thought to be reliable and authoritative.
Here are some key facts & statistics:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business.
- 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before making purchases
- Online reviews have been shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions.
- 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
- 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more.
- Every one-star increase in a Yelp rating means a 5 to 9% increase in revenue.
- 82% of Yelp users said they typically visit Yelp because they intend to buy a product or service.
- 80% of consumers will change their mind about making a purchase due to negative information online.
- 85% of tech buyers read up to 10 online reviews before making a purchase.
- B2B buyers complete 57% of the purchase process before ever engaging with a vendor
- 93% of consumers find user-generated content helpful when making purchase decisions.
Negative Review Caveats
Amongst online reviews, those that are negative tend to sting even the biggest of businesses. Research studies have shown a direct negative correlation between the revenue generated before and after a negative review was left.
For instance, businesses potentially risk losing an estimated 22% of business revenue when a potential customer finds a single negative article or review on the first page of any search engine.
Furthermore, businesses that have accumulated a plethora of negative reviews are missing roughly 70% of their potential revenue. When it comes to the internet, nearly half of all Americans claim they actively research a business they are unfamiliar with before making any purchasing decisions.
45% of consumers say bad online search results steered them away from a particular business. Where on the other hand, 56% of consumers found something that they liked and solidified their decision to do business with a specific company.
In the world of bad reviews, the impact can be permanent if you don’t act quickly. Simple tactics such as incentivizing those customers to remove their review, making amends with the disgruntled customers as well as generating more positive reviews.
This works to essentially “flood out” any bad reviews that you deem unwanted from the top of your listing.
Popular Forms of Negative Reviews
Consumers have a tendency to only posting a review when they have a negative experience. We have found that even if an individual has “the time of their life” or “absolutely loved” your product/service they are less likely to leave a review. For these customers, you have to rely on their loyalty to spread the word about your business via word-of-mouth marketing.
Although the ROI of this tactic is unmeasurable, hopefully, it generates evergreen and long-lasting local businesses in the future.
Research about trend purchases from Yotpo discovered when studying reviews (1.3 million total reviews), a vast majority of negative reviews include the term “disappointed” or”disappointment” In reality, those phrases were cited on 20,000 occasions, while the term “poor” was in only 7,500 of all negative reviews.
The reason is clear. If a customer is purchasing online, they are making a choice based on pictures and words. Without having the ability to use their other senses to produce a determination. Consumers rely heavily on what is exhibited online. A dissatisfied client is produced whenever your company offerings do not measure up to what you are really providing.
The best way to fight these negative reviews would be to increase your product, supplying, or client services.
Bad Reviews Temporarily Stunt Your Motivation
Any business owner (and even employees) can attest to this idea. Although you know it is impossible to please everyone in the world, it still hurts when you find a negative review. Especially towards something such as your business that you have and are still devoting your life to making sure it becomes successful.
A negative review is the equivalent of a put-down. Clients that are frustrated generally state what they had been expecting, and the way the company failed to step up to their expectations. This helps inform prospective customers instead of merely turning them off. A poor review that is bad, however, with a different story — it can be beneficial to the company. I.e. An unfair review was left, and you respond in a professional manner.
Make sure to keep in mind that negative reviews should be viewed as constructive criticism. If there is no way to remove it, make sure your business makes the appropriate adjustments so this will never be an issue in the future.
Impressions Bad Reviews Leave on Potential Customers/Clients
As you can imagine, most consumers would run from any business that sees that it has a variety of bad reviews. This is a key indicator that the company needs to improve on many internal processes before it can better serve its market audience. It is your job as a business owner to make the proper adjustments. If you don’t, you’ll be out of business faster than it took that individual to write the bad review.
A poor review in a sea of otherwise favorable reviews does not hold much weight. Consumers anticipate collective opinions over the opinion of one person who certainly had a poor, atypical experience.
Similarly, a really good review in the middle of a small number of negative reviews is not likely to do much to boost trust. Not every bad review will harm your organization, but if each and every review is poor, you are definitely doing something wrong.
Online Reviews Can Be Your Safety Net
When it comes to the online reputation management efforts of your business, online reviews should be at the top of your list. With the emergence of review platforms, the research process for consumers is done in seconds nowadays. Working to generate as many positive reviews should be your goal at all times. These work as a safety net or “pre-emptive crisis plan” in case you should ever incur a bad review or negative feedback in the future.
Working with online review platforms such as Facebook, Google My Business, Yelp, TrustPilot and many more, can secure your company name in the industry for good. Once you are able to generate a surmountable number of positive reviews, your customers will never give your competition a second thought. Your goal should be the 10x the amount of good reviews that your #1 competitor has.
It is possible to provide incentives to clients who post testimonials, just be certain that there’s no real surprise that the inspection needs to be great. Should you receive a negative review, that is likely to occur at some stage, do not simply let it sit. Respond to a bad review using intelligence and provide a solution.
Most clients who leave a negative review only want their side of the story to be heard. A real apology can go a long way toward altering their understanding and can affect the remarks of other customers when they are reading through your current reviews.
Generate Positive Reviews on a Routine Basis
So at the end of the day, do not let testimonials, good or bad, occur without your knowledge. Monitor your online mentions, either through routine explorations of your company on review sites and widespread reputation tracking tools.
The faster you learn about a negative review, the faster you are able to come up with an actionable answer and prevent any fallout. Nowadays, reviews could be tracked and even enhanced with automation.
So, do not be afraid of negative reviews. Consider these to be chances to allow the real integrity of your organization to shine. So long as you are working hard to supply the best possible service or product, your positive reviews will outweigh the negative ones.
If you are getting more negative reviews to see it as an opportunity to satisfy your clients’ requirements.
Can You Trust Online Reviews? Good or Bad
Obviously, not all consumer reviews you read on the internet are fake. Authentic testimonials are a valuable tool when formulating many different purchases. This may include which resort to book, where to eat dinner or what kind of TV to buy.
TrustPilot features flagging mechanics visible to customers. Also, artificial intelligence technologies and a team are set up to detect and eliminate fraudulent testimonials. Possibly one of the most bizarre review management sites is Yelp, which compares to a modern-day model of word-of-mouth.
Before platforms such as Yelp existed, customers needed to rely on Yellow Pages, magazines, newspapers and local ads for advice about local companies.
Yelp takes steps to make sure high-quality content. Including allowing Yelp’s network of business owners and owners to flag articles that may violate the website’s terms of support, in addition to human moderation of testimonials.