Do you tell your friends about your the awesome new restaurant you discovered last night? Do you appreciate it when your friends save your rear-end by steering you away from a bad location for a first date? When you post an online review you are providing important feedback, not just to your friends, but to the entire community!
Marketing Land conducted research studies showing that 90% of customers’ buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Your online reviews heavily sway the decision making process of the researching internet community. Even more importantly, 88% of people now trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Even though people might not know you, they trust your descriptive and detailed reviews. In fact, most of us rely on online reviews to guide us to the right decisions. These statistics are only growing. Everyone in the ‘younger’ generation researches before they buy, rent, or visit. But more and more of the ‘older’ generation is becoming tech savvy and depending on community advice.
On local community and listing websites like Charlotte Gastonia, its of the utmost importance that you leave feedback and reviews if you have the time! Unhappy consumers are far more likely to leave an online review than happy customers. Your favorite restaurant may end up only having a 3-star rating because two irrationally disgruntled people posted bad online reviews and the 100s of happy 5-star customers didn’t see the need. Be the hero that your local favorites need!
For the local business owner
If you own a local business you already (hopefully) know the importance of online reviews. Over 50% of your recent customers did some type of online research about your busienss. For many businesses, online reviews are the most important aspect of their online presence. Many businesses would be better off by dropping their Twitter accounts and focusing their time and effort into managing and facilitating new online reviews. Why? It doesn’t matter how often you Tweet random information or update your Instagram with new photos of your bed and breakfast if the first thing that consumers see are low-star reviews. Reading bad online reviews will cause a customer to automatically discount your business no matter how much time you spend on your social media presence.
What are the worst case scenarios? Business often spend money on local advertising. A consumer hears your bed and breakfast advertisement and decides he or she wants to go next weekend. But when the consumer gets back to his or her computer, and does a quick Google search, local competitors with better online reviews will likely change the consumer’s buying decision. Your advertising money ended up sending a valuable consumer to a competing B&B. Other worst-case-scenarios usually involve dramatic decrease in new online customers.
What can you do? Every business should claim ownership of their company on every review website, including niche specific websites. Every owner should regularly monitor each of these review websites to know when online reviews are posted. Respond to each review as soon as it is posted! Encourage your happy customers to leave you online reviews. You can learn more from your local Charlotte online reputation management specialists, Broadstone Services. Broadstone services provides fully managed online review services so that you can focus your time on what you do best — your business — and stop worrying about the liability of negative reviews. Contact them at no charge today.