The power of online customer reviews. Anyone in business who disregards or ignores comments on the Internet can even expect bankruptcy

A comment on the Internet, a positive reaction that will become viral is enough for a product offered on the Internet to win a crowd of fans. However, it works on thin ice, as the lack of response to negative reviews can sink even a promising business. How do companies handle online comments?

Everyone has probably seen that a virus works – spreads across the web – like a virus. Viral is by definition an intriguing video that internet users are eager to forward, send and share with their friends, and these, in turn, provide information to others in their personal networks of friends and of knowledge, thanks to which the video reaches a large audience in a short time. Viruses have become a marketing tool, but those created spontaneously are even more effective: they can work on the most of the product, but also reveal their destructive power.

One of the biggest changes that we have seen in the business world related to the rise and development of the internet is the availability of the ability to post reviews on various brands and products. It’s a powerful tool that helps people understand what a particular company can offer them, but also an important signal to sellers themselves, what they can do to improve their products.

– Notifications, recommendations, social proof of correctness – this is a very effective method to increase sales. Since the trade existed, the man directed his first steps towards places which were recommended to him by a trusted person. Later we called it word of mouth marketing, which now takes various forms on the web – says Wojciech Kyciak, Chairman of the Board of Bezokularow.pl SA

Kyciak points out: – A good opinion can bring us a new customer, but the internet is a place where there is always someone to criticize, and bad news spreads like wildfire. The emotions of a dissatisfied customer are great – of course, assuming that a negative comment is not paid for by the competition – rational arguments are often missing. That is why it is so important to be attentive, calm and substantial in relations with buyers – says Kyciak.

The words of the representative of the online optical store wOkularach.pl confirm the analyzes of Best SEO Companies, an organization of companies in the SEO industry. In the survey, around 500 people working in the PR industry answered questions about how brands and businesses can respond to reviews and how they handle them.

One thing that stands out is that many companies point out that they don’t have time to respond to feedback in real time. Nearly a third of the companies surveyed. This may come as a surprise, especially in larger companies, as smaller companies often have a natural problem with the introduction of standard feedback procedures.

– The creation of an appropriate framework allowing an appropriate response to a comment is all the more difficult when the company is small. On the one hand, commitment is generally greater in small businesses, as the responsibility for the fate of the business lies more with the individual, but on the other hand, there is a shortage of people properly trained in the communication. It is very easy to fall into the trap that a sales expert knows everything about the product and in a casual conversation will explain the customer’s anxiety, but he cannot express it in the right words in a short Internet message. – describes Wojciech Kyciak.

The Best SEO Companies survey shows that even in around 61% of cases, companies were able to change their opinion from negative to positive. Plus, she didn’t have to try too hard, like offering an in-depth chat with a rep, offering a discount, or as a last resort, a refund.

– Most consumers who leave a bad review simply want confirmation that the brand takes their opinions seriously – says Wojciech Kyciak and gives an example:
– After delivering the goods to the customer, it was found to have a manufacturing defect which could not be detected before shipment. The customer thought she had received glasses at such an attractive price, precisely because of the defect. She hadn’t contacted us before, she just described the case as part of her opinion. She added that overall she was happy with the speed of delivery and the nice, neat packaging of the goods, but she was concerned about the defect. After reading the reviews, we contacted the buyer, accepted the glasses as part of the complaint, explained everything to him. The customer was positively surprised that we responded to her comment and that the low price was not due to a defect in the product.

Large online stores that have entire departments related to marketing or cooperate in this field with specialized agencies know that bad reviews not only affect the opinions of new customers, but also make the store less visible on the web.

A bad review can lower a brand’s search engine rankings and plunge your store into online non-existence. Around a third of brands don’t even know this is the case and positive changes can be made almost immediately.

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Despite this knowledge, the survey shows that larger companies are less likely to request appraisals than smaller ones. Companies with 50-250 employees usually check reviews at least once a month, which isn’t an impressive result anyway. However, large companies don’t care that much about reviews, with 47% choosing to search for them annually or less frequently. Contrary to all the stats provided by Google and other websites where you can leave a review, they believe that negative reviews do not worsen profitability because their brand will defend itself.

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