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Why Your Response To Reviews Matters So Much

By Evan Nierman for Forbes…

Reviews can make or break a business, but whether the effect is good or bad hinges on how the business owner reacts. Learning to navigate a complex maze of positive and negative comments can be tricky business. Say the wrong thing and your problems get worse. But finesse a difficult situation with the right words in the right tone and you might hit a home run with winning results.

In a world fueled by the real-time impacts of social media, online reviews have become the building blocks of a company’s reputation. Good reviews shine a positive light on a business, helping it retain old customers and attract new ones, while bad reviews can scare off new customers and make existing ones feel uneasy. Add to this perilous landscape blatantly unfair reviews and “fake reviews” and the challenge of protecting your company’s online reputation becomes even more difficult.

Learning how to make the best of bad reviews and be appreciative of the good ones has become an essential part of doing business. But gauging the best way to respond to reviews in ways that are most beneficial to your online reputation can be problematic.

Online Image Matters

No matter what you think of customer reviews, it is important to understand the profound impact they can have on your business. According to the Pew Research Center, 82% of U.S. adults say they read online customer reviews at least some of the time before buying items for the first time, while 40% always or almost always read reviews before purchasing something online.

In fact, 53% of 18- to 29-year-olds and 47% of 30- to 49-year-olds say they always or almost always read online reviews when buying something for the first time, Pew Research says. Approximately 34% of adults ages 50 to 64 and 23% of those 65 and older consistently check reviews before shopping for items online, statistics show.

What’s more, approximately one in 10 Americans nearly always posts personal reviews on products, restaurants and services. In addition, a Pew Research survey showed that 39% of U.S. adults share their consumer experiences on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

The takeaway is clear: reviews matter and should never be ignored.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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