We know that no one wants negative customer reviews—but why? It seems like an obvious question. A bad review sucks, after all. We want to dive deeper into this issue and understand exactly why businesses should put effort into maintaining their online reputation…and what the costs are if they don’t.
1. 73% of consumers say bad reviews shake their trust in a business.
Consumer trust is hard-won and swiftly lost. Thanks to the internet and reviews sites—Yelp, Google Reviews, TripAdvisor or your very own feedback forum—it’s become easier than ever for customers to uncover dirt on your brand. And a lot of people take it to heart, no matter how true or exaggerated it may be.
Losing trust sucks. Don’t let it happen to you.
2. Businesses with low star ratings report 33% less revenue than others.
That’s right: people talking sh*t about your brand will eventually cost you money. This dip is only noticed by businesses with a low (1- or 1.5-star) overall rating, so you don’t need to panic if a couple bad reviews have dragged your average below five stars. But this does show that companies need to nip bad reviews in the bud before they impact the bottom line.
A 1-star rating sucks, and you shouldn’t let them add up.
3. An additional star can result in an up to 9% increase in revenue.
You may be sitting comfy at a 3.5-star rating, a perfectly fine score—but did you know that putting in the effort to bump up your ratings may earn you more money? A 1-star increase may earn you a healthy 5–9% in new or increased revenue. It’s worth the effort of building your review score as part of a digital marketing strategy.
Missing out sucks. Don’t let an average rating lose you money.
4. On average, a customer reads 10 reviews before trusting a business.
Not only do you want positive reviews but you want to have several. Customers, on average, want to read at least 10 reviews before deciding that somewhere is okay to shop or spend time. This is why actively soliciting reviews is a good idea. Add a note to each customer receipt or send a casual email follow-up asking for them to rate your product or service.
Having no reviews sucks and can detract new customers from giving you a chance.
5. A single bad review can drive away 30 customers (or 22% of prospects).
Okay…remember when we said not to panic about a single bad review? We still believe that—but brands also have to be aware of the tangible effects even one bad review might have. Loss of business can be quite severe, with up to 22% of potential new customers turning away. However, you can mediate this by responding thoughtfully to bad reviews and showing customers that you’re taking feedback to heart.
Ignoring reviews sucks, so make sure your PR team is equipped to handle them.
6. 65% of reviews, whether positive or negative, may be fake.
Some people can spot fake reviews right away—they’re usually longer, include requests or demands and are riddled with exclamation points. Unfortunately, a lot of users don’t realize this, which means you need to take all reviews (yes, even the fake ones), seriously by disputing them or responding to them.
Leaving fake reviews sucks…but it happens. Can you spot them?
7. A bad reputation could cause you to pay up to 21% more in salaries to attract staff.
Negative reviews affect you—and your staff—in more ways than you may think. No one wants the hassle of working for a company that customers dislike. It means more (often stressful) work: going above and beyond to improve brand reputation or fielding complaints. Because of all this, you may end up having to pay higher salaries.
Having no staff sucks. Don’t let your reputation drive candidates away.
8. Reviews influence 13% of the search engine decision-making process.
Have bad reviews? Your search traffic suffers. Have good reviews? Your search traffic may improve. If you want to show up in organic search results for your field or industry, you need to monitor and clean up your reviews. Both the quantity and diversity of your company’s reviews have an impact on SERP, so ask customers for feedback, mediate bad reviews immediately and use Google Alerts to monitor your business name online.
Search traffic sucks sometimes…but having good reviews can help.
Customer reviews, both negative and positive, are a part of life. And the above statistics prove that companies need to be diligent if they don’t want their business or reputation to suffer. The impact of a review spreads far and wide, so make sure you have proper feedback, customer service and online reputation management strategies in place…before you need them. Better safe than sorry.
Photo Credits: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock, fizkes / Shutterstock, fizkes / Shutterstock, mentatdgt / Shutterstock