Numbers Matter for Your Business’s Reputation
The reputation economy is a numbers game, plain and simple.
Numbers, or statistics, are rather straightforward in the story they tell. This means that to ignore the numbers is a no go for anyone, particularly for business owners.
What the numbers say about reputation management and marketing is a truism which should be taken seriously.
Let’s look at some of these numbers and see what additional information they can tell us about the reputation economy.
Before a purchase is even considered, 93% of customers will look to reviews for advice. This number is so massive that if your business is not set up to collect and market your reviews, tackle bad reviews, or even have a simple review system in place, then you are essentially handing your customers over to your competitors.
What’s more is that 97% of consumers look online for local businesses. That means that almost every single one of your customers looked at your business’s online presence before choosing to contact you or walking in your store. If someone googles your business and sees that you have bad reviews or only a handful of reviews, then they will just move on to the next barber, dentist or roofer in town.
Negative Reviews and Dismayed Customers
We know that almost every customer is looking at reviews. While they will undoubtedly see both good and bad reviews, bad reviews stick out so much more in the mind of the consumer.
When asked, 94% of customers say that a negative review swayed them away from a business vs 68% of customers who say that positive reviews gave them more trust in a local business. Granted, a lot of people trust positive reviews, but all those people and then some trust negative reviews even more.
Again, consider the hit your business could take if almost every single one of your potential customers decided not to do business with you if you because you have not been marketing your positive reviews, and all they saw was that one bad review.
How your business is starred also plays into this negative review non starter.
Only 27% of users will use a local business if it has a 2-star rating and an even more minuscule percent of users at 13% will use a local business if it has a 1-star rating. Controlling what users see when they search your business is key and the numbers prove it.
Your business’s reputation is vital to the longevity of your business, which means marketing and managing your business’s reviews so that they never dip into the negative is the move best backed by the numbers.
The Growing Clout of Reviews
Currently word of mouth is the only source consumers find more reliable than reviews. While this is to be expected, since people tend to trust their friends and family more than strangers or celebrities, reviews are quickly gaining ground when it comes to customer trust.
In only a couple of years, the amount of people who would never look at online reviews has dropped from 22% to 9%. That means that about 90% of your potential customers care what your reviews say and will be swayed by how you can market them.
Another number small businesses need to consider is demographics. While the older generations like Gen X and Baby Boomers have a lot of spending power, so too do Millennials. Over half of young people aged 18 to 34 trust online reviews more than family and friends. That is a lot of your customer pool who will not only be reading your reviews but trusting them above all else.
One can imagine then how much more favorable to online reviews Generation Z will be since they are the most technically savvy demographic. These numbers point to a powerful trend in favor of the reputation economy and its value for any business owner.
Turning the Numbers Into Your Favor
Most of the numbers we have given so far have been more of a warning if anything.
The figures paint a gloomy picture for the business who can’t harness reviews in the digital age. For the businesses that learn how to work with a reputation marketing service, however, the numbers are most certainly in your favor.
If over 90% of people are looking at reviews, then knowing how to leverage your positive reviews is a must.
When surveyed, 48% of people visit a company’s website directly after reading a positive review and 23% will visit that business directly after reading a positive review. A good reputation marketing service should help you promote positive reviews on your social media accounts and automate a majority of necessary tasks, so you can still maintain your core business objectives.
Negative reviews work the same way for those who can harness them.
A whopping 95% of customers will return to a business if their previous complaint was resolved in a timely manner. With proper training and assistance, you should have confidence that you can take advantage of this number and respond to your negative reviews, turning them into loyal customers.
Reputation management is a numbers game and numbers should never be taken lightly. We sure don’t; we understand the power of reviews. Ensure your place at the top of the review boards, and outlast those who do not value the reputation economy!
*Numbers and statistics sourced from Bright Local.