The rise of mobile computing has allowed consumers to take a quick look at reviews for a local business before they visit. Yelp, Google, even Amazon allow for reviewers to voice their opinion on products and services. Today, the online review s holds as much weight as word of mouth. A study from searchengineisland.com found that nearly 88% of consumers look at online reviews before visiting a small business. According to a study illustrated by moz.com, 21.9% of reporters stated that one negative review could affect their desire to purchase from that business. An additional 22.3% reported that two negative reviews affected their decision. When it comes to a small business with a low overhead, losing up to 21.9% of business from a single negative review can be devastating. It’s why many small businesses look to online reputation management companies like ReputationDefender. In an age where a consumer can look up an anonymous (and therefor protected) review in seconds, facts are brought to light concerning the importance of delivering exceptional customer service and quality products.
There are some positive aspects regarding online reviews. Reviewers online are protected by the anonymity provided through virtual communication. This anonymity allows the reviewer to be open in their opinions, which makes the readers feel a sense of trust towards the reviewer. The ugly part about online reviews is that a negative reviewer can exaggerate claims or blow aspects of their experience out of proportion; that extreme negativity is often just as trusted as a positive review, which can be devastating for business. With this information in mind, it is imperative that small businesses deliver exceptional experiences to consumers. Indifference could destroy any created reputation.
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