Transparency on the internet has dramatically changed the way consumers perceive businesses. What are people reading about your business online?
There is no way of avoiding the question of online reputation and how it can impact both individuals and businesses alike. Exactly how important is having a positive online presence and reputation for companies? Statistics show that online reputation and online reviews are both crucial elements in how the public will perceive a company. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business (2016), and online reviews have shown to impact 67.7% of purchasing decisions (2015)i.
Taking this into consideration, it’s important to be aware of your company’s online reputation and where it stands. This is also important for a business because you are also an employer. Customers and potential employees looking to apply to your company will read reviews about what type of employer you are and how you treat your staff on sites such as Indeed and Glassdoor.
If online reviews are detrimental to a business’s reputation, what is the impact of negative reviews and how do they affect revenue?
“A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity” – Baltasar Gracian
Regardless of how great your product or service is, what customers are saying about you matters. Surveys show that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendationsii. If consumers are placing this much value in online reviews, a bad review or a series of bad reviews can have a damaging impact on sales and revenue.
To further complicate things, people are generally more inclined to write bad reviews and not write positive reviews. When people are happy with a product or service, they are inclined to talk about it within their social circles. But when someone is unhappy with a product or service, they tend to go online and vent. This trend often results in misrepresentative reviews online, where the negative outweighs the positive.