Watt Media Blog

Online Reviews…Do They Make a Difference?

The impact of reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook on consumer buying decisions.

A positive online reputation is one of the most influential tools a business has to attract new customers. The growing number of online reviews and review sites offers considerable benefits to both consumers and businesses. Potential customers utilize online reviews to make buying decisions quickly and confidently, so the online reviews for a specific business can be a game changer.
online reviews

Review sites like Yelp, Facebook, Google, and TripAdvisor dominate consumer decision-making about where to spend money. Most small businesses still get the majority of their customers through word of mouth…but those conversations have migrated online versus weekend cookouts with the neighbors.

Generally, once a consumer starts browsing online reviews, they already know what they want. They are now in the process of selecting the business that will fulfill that want to their expectations. Keep in mind that that the window between reading a review and making a purchasing decision is incredibly small. Negative reviews will adversely affect your business and overall revenue generation because most consumers will decide against buying from you once they read a negative review. Simply put… your online reputation directly influences your bottom line, so it’s crucial for your reviews to remain positive.

When researching a business, most consumers view the top few reviews, which means if recent reviews are negative ones, you likely just lost a sale. So, it’s vital to monitor reviews regularly and focus on generating positive reviews so that negative ones will get relocated further down the list.

Many business owners don’t want to deal with reviews, but it’s important to understand that customers are going to leave online reviews about your business – whether you like it or not, so it’s best to be proactive.

You can take three simple steps to increase positive online reviews:

Always go the extra mile to provide excellent customer service. Even if the buying experience isn’t very positive, most consumers will appreciate the efforts staff and management take to correct the issue at hand.

Monitor review sites. Stay current on what is being said about your business on review sites. By knowing what’s out there, you can better manage the situation.

Respond to reviews in a timely manner. Consumers appreciate having their concerns addressed and positive experiences acknowledged. Quick response times indicate that as a business owner, you value their opinion.

To summarize, your business will generate more revenue by adding and retaining valuable customers, and online reviews play a major role in this pursuit. And remember…you can’t buy positive reviews.  You have to earn them.

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