How potential customers perceive you and your business can play a huge role in how successful you are. You can spend all the marketing dollars you like, perform effective SEO and still not see regular sales because your online reputation is being damaged online. Maybe it’s bad reviews from people who have used your site or products. Perhaps is a news story about your company that puts it in a bad light. Whatever it is, you need to be managing your reputation. If you don’t, then you will start to see declining sales and experience a backlash that may be impossible to recover from. No amount of damage control in the world may be able to restore your company afterwards, so you want to stay on top of your reputation. Here is how you should do it.
When people read reviews from your products or businesses, they are expecting to get a sense of the quality of these services. The want to know if what you offer is worth their time or money or if they should go elsewhere. They are going to look at how many stars people are putting when they review you. If they see all five-star reviews, they may think something is up and they might be suspicious of your supposed level of quality. But if they see a lot of one and two-star reviews, they will likely look somewhere else for what they need. How well reviews reflect on your quality isn’t as important is how well customers believe they reflect on it.
Many times, consumers will also be looking for recent reviews. If there are only old reviews of your site, business or product, then customers may try to do more investigating or they may not feel you are relevant anymore. Many people want to shop where they know other people shop, because that gives them more confidence in what you are offering. They want to feel like part of the crowd or they want to follow other people’s solid buying decisions. You can show them that you are still relevant and still fashionable by having current reviews posted for your business.
Quantity of Reviews Shows Success
If you looked at a mechanic who only had one or two reviews, would you choose that mechanic over one who has a lot more reviews? Even if those one or two reviews are five-star ones, you are still going to be looking for consistency. You cannot tell how consistent someone is by just a single review. You have to look at their history- a number of reviews. That’s what most people do. They skim over a long list of available reviews to form an opinion about how consistent they think a product or service is. If there are a few one-star reviews and then twenty four-star reviews, they will probably think the business is good on a fairly consistent basis. If there are not enough reviews, then consumers are going to avoid you.
Keep It Real
It might be easy to create fake reviews for your business, and it can boost your reputation quickly for a short while, but you’re very likely to get caught in time. In the end, you are cheating your customers and being unethical, and the results can be devastating to your business once your customers find out. Instead of trying to game the system, keep it as real as you can. Tell your customers to be specific when they write reviews, since vague reviews feel artificial and you want yours to feel as authentic as possible.
Expand Your Online Reputation
While it’s a good idea to use top sites like Facebook or Yelp to showcase customer reviews, these sites can also backfire. There are plenty of people who refuse to trust anything from either of these sites as well as others because of their sometimes unethical practices when it comes to user reviews. If you don’t want your business to suffer the same way others have, then you need to increase your range of sites you use. Expanding your reach to other sites, allowing a wide range of consumers to rate your business, not only increases your status but it also puts your business in front of eyes that normally would not be aware of it. Don’t just stick to the big name sites, as they can have as many disadvantages as advantages for you. Instead, branch out and let people know about what you have to offer.