Think about the last time you did business with a company. How did you find out about them? There’s a good chance you asked your friends and family for a recommendation and that one or more individuals ended up naming the company in question.
But what happens when a person is looking for a quality service and nobody in their circle can offer any suggestions? Most often, they’ll still look for word of mouth, but it’ll be found on those pesky review sites that so many business owners fear.
The importance of online reviews
It’s not an over-exaggeration to say that online reviews play a huge part in a business’ ability to get customers. When thinking of hiring a contractor, people want what they’ve always wanted: the cold, hard truth about the company’s practices from someone unbiased and unaffiliated with them in any way.
Most experienced marketers have come to recognize that customers are gaining more and more power as time goes by. It’s not just the fact that more businesses popping up translates to people having more choices than ever – there’s also something to be said about the widely-available information regarding good and bad practices in virtually every profession. The number of uninformed customers is rapidly dwindling – people know what to look for and are hardly willing to take chances with so many options available.
You could have the slickest-looking website out there featuring all sorts of customer feedback, quotes and reviews of past cases – you’ll be happy if the informed customer believes a fraction of it before venturing out to neutral websites to get the real skinny.
How negative reviews impact your business and what you can do about them
Unfortunately, the massive presence that online reviews command means that business owners have a tough time rebounding from a single negative review, let alone a couple of them chained together.
People have a way of ignoring the good to focus on the bad, and things are no different here – in fact, lots of customers actively seek negative reviews as they want to know the worst case scenario.
If you’re looking to become a legitimate business with a strong presence in your local community, you can’t afford to ignore online reviews no matter what they’re saying. The game has changed, and businesses must evolve in accordance – you have little choice but to start building your reputation through good practices and making sure that lots of customers are satisfied enough to go out of their way to write a positive review.
It might seem grueling, but there’s no way around it. Just the opposite: as popular as online reviews are now, they’re only getting more widespread by the minute and there’s practically zero chance of the standard going away in the foreseeable future. Instead, expect online reviews to become the go-to method of getting information about a business – those who went through the effort of keeping their record clean will benefit more and more as time passes and are sure to beat out their less-attentive competitors before they even know what hit them.