Recent surveys show that 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews of products and services as part of their pre-purchase research. Nearly as many consumers – 88% – say Internet reviews influence their purchasing decisions. In fact, Internet reviews have become a de facto substitute for personal recommendations, and consumers say that they trust online reviews about as much as they trust personal recommendations. Unfortunately, experts estimate that between one-third and one-half of Internet reviews are fake.
Grantstreet makes monitoring online reviews easy
Online reviews don’t tend to have a strong impact on ordinary purchases. Instead, they tend to have the strongest impact on purchases that consumers make only occasionally, like appliances, dining out and specialized services.
Only a very small percentage of consumers take the time to leave a review, but those who do are motivated to send a message about your business. Fairly or unfairly, these consumers can have significant influence over your business. While reviews have a high potential to create negative impressions, the good news is that online reviews can also create positive impressions. Monitoring online reviews becomes important because the way you react to reviews can transform the researcher’s impression of your business from negative to positive.
At their core, online reviews are a reflection of your customer service experience. When you respond to a negative review in a helpful way, you demonstrate your attention to your customers’ needs. When you don’t respond to a negative review, readers can easily conclude that you didn’t address your customers’ needs. That will make prospective customers think twice about doing business with you.
So what can you do about negative reviews? Online reviews create a management problem for business owners because there are dozens of sites where customers can leave reviews. You could be left to deal with everything from legitimate reviews left by verified customers to anonymous reviews that could have been written by real customers, fake customers, disgruntled former employees or even an underhanded competitor. With literally dozens of online review sites, you may not even know that someone has left a negative review of your business for weeks or months, if at all. In the meantime, the negative review damages your business every time a prospective customer stumbles across it.
Grantstreet Creative offers an online review monitoring service designed to help businesses of all sizes monitor online reviews of their businesses. The service monitors 18 of the largest and most influential online review sites. With options that include daily and weekly reports, you’ll always know the status of the online reviews of your business. The reports detail review activity over time, and allow you to track which sites have reviews of your business, whether the reviews are positive or negative, the nature of the comments about your business, and whether your reviews have become more positive or less positive over time. This approach allows you to adjust your customer service strategy quickly and responsively.
If you’d like more information about our online review monitoring service, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.
Photo Credit: Israel Papillon , via FreeImages.com