ReputationChanger.com Reviews the High Cost of Online Reviews
Posted on January, 20th 2011 By super
According to ReputationChanger.com, reviews can prove costly to businesses and brands. Of course, this is not true for all reviews. Some reviews are positive, laudatory, and brand-enhancing. Others, however, can prove defamatory and ruthlessly negative—and sadly, these reviews carry quite a bit of influence among today’s consumers.
Just how influential are online review sites, in today’s consumer landscape? Studies have shown that somewhere between 80 and 85 percent of all consumers check in with online review sites before they make any major purchase. In fact, many consumers say that they trust online review sites more than they trust personal recommendations from friends and co-workers!
And make no mistake about it: According to ReputationChanger.com, reviews are not just matters of pride, or of a business owner’s vanity. No, online reviews, posted to sites like Yelp.com, can have a very real, bottom-line impact for businesses and brands. They can impact sales, client retention, and more. To understand just how pivotal online reviews are, consider the following examples.
ReputationChanger.com Case Studies
One ReputationChanger.com client was a hotel, long esteemed for its excellent rooms and its terrific service. The hotel was always a 5-star hotel, and, accordingly, it charged 5-star rates. Then, disaster struck, in the form of a nasty online review.
The review in question was given on the basis of noisy road construction, a block or so away from the hotel. Evidently, the noise kept the hotel patron up all night. This clearly was not anything within the hotel’s control, and yet the patron saw fit to weigh in with a scathing one-star TripAdvisor review.
This opened the floodgates to more nasty criticism. Soon, the hotel had to begin charging one-star rates just to keep its doors open. An entire business was crippled and all but ruined by one unreasonable consumer. Such is the power of the online review site.
Not all examples are quite so extreme. Another ReputationChanger.com client was a dental practice, and it received decent online reviews in the 3-4 star range. However, another practice—located just across the street—received only glowing, 5-star ratings. Can you guess which dental office saw more patients—and which one struggled just to remain in business?
The Impact of Review Sites
According to ReputationChanger.com, reviews matter a great deal—period. In fact, the effects of negative criticism can prove quite severe, as evidenced by the two case studies cited above. A few of the particular consequences of negative reviews include:
- Negative reviews can cause sales to plummet, and, ultimately, revenues to diminish.
- Negative reviews can lead to a major drop in client retention.
- Negative reviews can open the floodgates to more and more bad reviews; according to ReputationChanger.com, consumers like doing what other consumers have done before them.
- Negative reviews can also lead to increases in refund requests and chargebacks.
- Finally, negative reviews lead to an overall loss in prestige and pride on behalf of the business. This can gravely impact companies seeking to attract venture capitalists. It can also hurt companies trying to attract top-shelf talent.
With all of that said, according to ReputationChanger.com, reviews that are positive bring with them many desirable effects. Some examples include:
- Positive reviews lead to more clients, and to increased sales.
- Positive reviews discourage refund requests and chargebacks, especially among consumers who are on the fence about a particular product or service.
- Positive reviews help establish a brand as the brand of choice—great for generating enthusiasm and loyalty among employees, potential employees, investors, and consumers.
The Danger of Negative Reviews
Some companies may heed these warnings about the potential ill effects of bad reviews. Others may opt not to. They may believe their products are so stellar, their services so great, that bad reviews are all but impossible.
This is dangerously misguided thinking. The truth is, no company is exempt from the threat of negative reviews. The reason for this is that the Internet allows people to write whatever they like about your business or brand—regardless of how fallacious, defamatory, or outright silly it is. As such, negative reviews can appear at any moment, generated by a disgruntled employee, a business rival, or simply a malcontented consumer.
ReputationChanger.com: Reviews Warrant Action
According to ReputationChanger.com, reviews can impact any company, either for good or for bad. No company can stop reviews from happening. As such, the question becomes this: What can companies do to moderate their online notices?
The first thing to remember is that soliciting favorable reviews from loyal customers is never a bad option. You might find it surprising how many of your “regulars” will prove willing to offer positive feedback, if only you ask them for it. There are other ways to solicit reviews, as well. Including links to your Yelp.com page on all invoices and receipts is one option.
Responding to Reviews
With that said, sooner or later, most businesses find themselves faced with negative notices. The question is how best to respond to them. The answer may surprise you. Often, the best response is no response at all!
This may sound counterintuitive, and of course, it is important to always respond to positive reviews. In fact, companies may even wish to respond to genuinely helpful, constructive feedback. Responding to unreasonable and defamatory reviews only draws more attention to those reviews, however. This is the last thing business owners want!
The ReputationChanger.com Response
According to ReputationChanger.com, reviews require moderation and management. If consumers can say whatever they want about a business—no matter how nasty or how untruthful—it is only fair that businesses have a chance to respond, and to defend themselves. That is what ReputationChanger.com offers.
Specifically, ReputationChanger.com has pioneered a review widget. This widget is attachable to any website or blog, and allows companies to ask their clients for feedback. Before that feedback is published, however, companies have the chance to review it—weeding out any blatantly defamatory, unwanted reviews.
According to ReputationChanger.com, reviews warrant just this level of thoughtful and disciplined approach. ReptuationChanger.com would know; the company is widely lauded for its pioneering review moderation tactics and technologies. The company prides itself on the ability to change the reviews its clients receive. To the pros at ReputationChanger.com, reviews require both vigilance and a reasonable, measured response.
I never understood ORM, but my negative one was affecting my business and taking a toll on sales. None of the reviews were accurate, but the review websites would not take them down. I called Reputation Changer, and they explained the ins and outs of ORM today. They set me up with a campaign for the right price. I am very happy with the results so far and that I now know a little bit more about ORM.
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