As a buy-and-sell businessman managing his enterprise online, Boston Globe writer Scott Kirsner certainly knows a thing or two about the importance of online reviews to his bottom line. In his article, he writes:
As an eBay buyer and seller, I have 100 percent positive feedback. On Airbnb, the home and apartment rental website, I’ve been called a “great guest” and “clean.” But on a new site called Dunwello, a reviewer of my journalism complains that I “don’t probe deep enough” and “got simple facts wrong.” […]
[…] Today, mobile apps and marketplaces pop up daily, inviting users to review one another. Figuring out what is being said about you or your business – and whether you should respond – is a full-time job.
Skilled content marketing professionals in Houston, TX alike would definitely agree with Kirsner’s words. In today’s world where almost every business transaction can be made online, reviews have become much more influential—sometimes even brutally frank. They’ve become so influential that about 85 percent of people read up to 10 of them before doing business online—a reduction from last year’s 92 percent, but still influential nonetheless.
Diving deeper into the numbers, one could see fairly well what makes consumers think twice on committing to a business online. In a survey conducted by Bright Local, it has been revealed that a rating of 2/5 stars is already considered too low for a business to be deemed trustworthy. On the other hand, 92 percent of customers are more likely to use a local business if it has a 4-star rating. In truth, no one can really blame consumers for the way they act. It’s a simple question concerning consensus: If most people don’t trust this business, why should I?
Numerous sites have been launched to host these reviews, most notably Yelp, Google+ Local, and Angie’s List. Among the 3 sites, Yelp has cultivated considerable attention as of late due to a study from Harvard, which claimed that a one star improvement in Yelp ratings typically leads to a 5 to 9 percent increase in revenue. These sites have grown in size due to the fact that anyone can simply log on and write reviews; essentially empowering consumers with the ability to “dictate” a business’ fate online.
Today’s businesses must learn to keep their heads above water or else they may lose a lot. This is why the services of trusty Houston, TX brand reputation marketing firms such as Digital Sales Development are totally indispensable—after all, a company’s online “face” is now considered as valuable as the public one.
(Source: Real-time Reviews Can Make, Break your Online Reputation, Boston Globe, November 30, 2014)