What effect do Google reviews have on your business? Can bad reviews really have that much of an impact on sales? Can bad reviews prevent your business from getting new customers? The answer is a hard yes.
Bad Reviews And Your Reputation
Reviews can affect sales in all sorts of ways. At the very least, people look at the average review score. In one survey, 78% of online reviewers said that seeing a business respond made them trust that business more. Simply put, if you are one star lower than your competitor, people will go to your competitor.
Does a Single Bad Review Hurt?
Depending on which study you look at, somewhere between 67 percent and 90 percent of consumers look at a product’s reviews before they decide to make a purchase. It might seem, therefore, like any bad reviews would immediately affect your sales in a negative way. After all, having a negative review shows that your company isn’t perfect, right?
More Than The Score Matters
Beyond the score of the reviews, there are the reviews themselves. While it is extremely rare for someone to read every review, many people do read a handful of reviews. The amount they read depends on what level of involvement they are putting into buying the product or service. For something that costs a lot of money or something they are very passionate about they are likely to read many reviews before making a decision. However, even in these cases, your top reviews will usually leave the first and foremost impression. If those aren’t good they won’t even be interested enough to care about the rest.
What Should You Do About Bad Reviews?
Good customer stories can build your business, but on the other hand, negative customer stories can break your business. So what should you do when your company or product inevitably gets some bad reviews?
- Look for patterns. If you find that customers who come into your restaurant at dinner are having a markedly different experience than lunch time, it’s worth looking into your staff to see what might be the problem. If you find that all of your products are going over beautifully, but there’s a regular complaint about one function or detail, test it out yourself to see what could be improved.
- For isolated incidents. Reach out to the customer. Apologize for their experience, and extend an invitation to call or email and speak to you directly about what happened. Your goal is to get the conversation offline so that you and the customer are freer speak. Once you’re talking to them, listen to their concerns and make notes; some of them may be valid and need to be addressed. Offer them a gift card or a refund so that they can return at a later date and hopefully have a better experience.
- Let your customers knowhow much reviews matter. Suggest that they leave reviews on the sites that matter most to you, whether that be Facebook, Amazon, Yelp, or another site, and consider offering an incentive to customers who do choose to leave a review, whether it be positive or negative.
- Don’t worry. One or two bad reviews aren’t going to tank your business. Focus on fixing what went wrong and collecting more positive reviews.
Bad Online Reviews And SEO
According to the 2017 Local SEO Ranking Factors study, Google My Business reviews that included the searched-for keyword were the second-most influential factor when examining a local business’ performance in the “Local Pack,” the box of local search and map results that appears at the top of relevant searches in Google. A company with multiple bad reviews will have a lesser ranking on Google results, which can make the customer likely to not even see your business.
Ultimately, it comes down to this: people trust other customers more than they trust what you say about yourself. Other customers have extremely high credibility to a neutral observer, while the business has a neutral credibility. This makes word of mouth, especially word of mouth that is seen immediately after googling someone’s business, is the most valuable marketing there is
Luckily, ModFXMedia can help you manage these things and more with our reputation management services. Interested in learning more? Contact Us today!