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Do online reviews matter?

Online customer reviews can pop up in connection to all different kinds of businesses. Do what kinds of reviews customers have posted about it really matter for a business? A recent survey points to the answer being a resounding yes. The survey suggests that many customers put a good deal of trust in online reviews and that such reviews can impact the level of trust customers have in a company.

The survey was of a little over 1,000 people. They were asked various things about online customer reviews.

One thing they were about asked is whether they felt such reviews had the same level of trustworthiness as personal recommendations. A vast majority of the respondents (84 percent) said that they did.

The respondents were also asked about whether online reviews influence their views of companies. When it came to negative reviews, well over half (60 percent) of respondents said such reviews bring a business’ quality into question for them.

Even more respondents said that positive reviews affected their view of a business. Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of the people surveyed indicated that positive online reviews increase their trust in a company.

What level of trust customers have in it is no insignificant thing for a business. It could have many implications for a company, including implications for its bottom line. So, the issue of online reviews is one companies may not want to ignore. Rather, they may want to take steps to promote a good online reputation, like avoiding conduct likely to draw negative online reviews, trying to build a good online rapport with customers and responding properly to online reviews (both positive and negative).

What do you think are some of the most important things for companies to do when it comes to online reviews and online interactions with customers?

Another thing that could impact overall customer trust in a company is how a company handles disputes, including legal disputes, with customers. So, when a company ends up in a dispute with a customer, such as a dispute that arose in connection to online interactions with a customer, it may want to talk to an attorney about what it can do to protect things like overall customer trust in the company when addressing the dispute.

Source: Small Business Trends, “84 Percent of Online Customers Trust Online Reviews, New Survey Says,” Shubhomita Bose, Dec. 15, 2016

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