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Why online reputation matters.

by: Clara Bush Digital Strategy
2 min read

Where do you start?

Imagine you need a new vacuum. You know you want it to be lightweight, durable and effective. And of course, you want the best value. You could ask your family for advice. Or you could use Google. Or maybe Amazon. Let’s be real, those would be easier. Plus why ask one person when you could see feedback from hundreds of fellow consumers? With online reviews, you can see what people thought about products, places, activities and more. All with a click or two.

Let’s go back to finding a vacuum. You found three on Amazon that look like they meet your qualifications. Option A has a 5.0-star rating and is $150. Option B has a 3.8-star rating and is $99. Option C has a 4.6-star rating and is $140. Research shows most decision makers would choose Option C. In a study by Spiegel Research Center, purchase likelihood peaks in the 4.0-4.7 range. Too low and it’ll seem like your product doesn’t deliver. Too high and it seems like reviews are fake, or worse, paid for. While Option B may be cheaper, the rating will negatively impact a consumer’s choice. And yes, we know you’re reading those reviews; 95% of people read reviews before making a purchase according to the same Spiegel study. 

Now let’s say you buy Option C. It’s estimated to take two to three weeks to be delivered. It takes two phone calls and five weeks. You’d probably be pretty upset at this point. You thought you were getting a good value. And while the vacuum is what you wanted, the experience wasn’t. You’ll more than likely going to leave a negative review. According to a Salesforce report, 62% of customers say they share bad experiences with others, and 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.

Negative reviews aren’t the end of the world; it’s expected to have some negative reviews. But too many, especially recent ones, will deter customers from buying your product in the future. It’s important to learn from those reviews as a company to strive for better.

What does this mean for you and your business?

Here are some solutions:
  • Promote reviews on your website.
    This is crucial for e-commerce sites. Without seeing an item in person, reviews provide context for customers.
  • Aggregate reviews in one spot.
    It’s easier to see how your company is doing if you can see all review sites (Google, Yelp, Facebook, etc.) at once. Where are you not doing as well will be more obvious as well.
  • Reach out to customers post-initial experience.
    Any marketing automation software will allow for this. It’s important to contact customers via email or text asking for their feedback. Treating customers like humans will show that you care, as it’ll give you a chance to promote positive experiences and resolve negative ones.
  • Respond to reviews.
    Positive, negative, neutral…all reviews have value. Responding to reviews shows you care about the customer and their experience. Forbes recently highlighted the retail industry for not responding in a timely manner, or even at all. It’s a mistake that can deter any customer from interacting with your brand.

    If you need help managing your online reputation or soliciting reviews and feedback, contact one of our marketing strategists for more information.