An analysis of the impact of negative business reviews on consumers’ product attitudes, risk perceptions, and purchase intentions shows that Internet marketers are now facing a new threat from the rapid growth of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM).
The study further explains that paid online reviewers flood websites with product and service reviews that confuse and deter customers. The study also revealed that Internet Water Army Attack (IWWA), a paid reviewer who posts reviews aimed at destroying the reputation of businesses, can effectively change customers’ attitudes and intentions to buy and increase their risk perception about a product.
Negative reviews on the internet can instantly turn off customers. Understanding how to handle negative reviews online will help you develop a reputation management strategy. It will also give you insight into how to improve your brand and what people think of it.
The Effects Of Negative Reviews
Today’s consumers use search engines such as Google to research products and brands before purchasing. They often compare brands, prices, and products online. During their research, they will likely come across both positive and negative reviews about products and services.
According to a St. Pete SEO firm, online reviews influence 67.7% of consumers’ buying decisions. Online reviews can also vary depending on which platform is used. Positive reviews can lead to higher sales and better search engine rankings. On the other hand, negative online reviews can have negative effects on businesses, such as:
- Revenue Loss
Your revenue can be affected by bad reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Google, and Facebook. For example, businesses with a rating of 1 to 1.5 stars have 33% lower revenue than the average business. A Reviewtrackers study showed that 94% of consumers would steer clear of a company with poor reviews.
- Business Reputation Undermining
Negative reviews can undermine what you have built, even though you put a lot of effort and time into protecting your reputation. Many people won’t transact with businesses of questionable credibility.
According to a BrightLocal survey, 85% of customers trust positive and negative reviews as personal recommendations. It is important to respond well to negative reviews, by showing genuine concern and offering solutions. This builds trust between reviewers and potential clients.
- Lower Site Visitor Count
Research has shown that 22% of potential customers are turned away by negative online reviews—the percentage of customers who are lost increases as negative reviews on the internet increase. Three negative reviews are the most common cause of customer loss at 59%, and more than four can lead to 70%.
- Low Search Engine Ranking
The reviews you leave will affect how your business ranks on search engines. Negative reviews can make your business rank low since search engines will only recommend businesses with the lowest number of negative reviews.
- Fewer Profits
Negative reviews on the internet can drive customers away, which will, in turn, reduce your revenue. You can also lose your profit margins by trying different solutions and methods to correct the situation.
Online Reputation Management: What Is It?
Every business must hire professionals to manage its reputation as the internet continues to change the business landscape.
Online business has changed the way customers perceive you and what they learn about your online reputation. This makes it easier for customers and businesses to leave negative reviews about services, but it is more difficult for them to manage their online reputation.
Businesses need to be able to handle negative online reviews effectively. The speed of word-of-mouth and the limit of customer complaints was a limitation in the past. A single negative review online can ruin a business in the right circumstances.
Online reputation management is becoming more important as businesses, from solopreneurs to large corporations, become more aware of the importance of protecting their online reputation.
Online Reputation Management: How To Do It Right
- Do Good Work
Your online reputation management strategy must start at the root — improving your work quality. Providing excellent work and making it easy to get positive reviews is crucial. It also increases your reputation and improves your SEO rankings.
- Include Your Customers In Business Decision Making
Engaging is an effective way to manage your reputation. You can ask customers questions, get their opinions, and conduct customer surveys to do this. This type of business relationship can bring about strong will.
- Respond To Negative Reviews Promptly
Businesses often ignore negative reviews. Sometimes, silence can be taken as agreement or lack of care. This can be avoided by implementing a reputation management strategy that will allow you to keep calm and respond appropriately to reviews.
It’s not easy to manage your online reputation. While positive reviews and happy customers are good things, negative reviews can make it difficult for consumers to return. Sound knowledge of how both positive and negative feedback can affect your business will retain repeat customers and attract new ones.
Fortunately, you don’t need to manage your online reputation on your own. You can partner with a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in managing online reputations and helping companies to establish an online presence in a competitive market. Learn more about using your online reputation to manage negative reviews with grace.