“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.”
– Chip Bell (Customer Service Expert and Speaker)
In today’s market, business owners understand customers are reading and reacting to online reviews. We live in a world where 5-star ratings help us decide where we eat, how we shop, what movies we watch, and can even influence the trajectory of a small business becoming a booming one. As the world moves towards star-rating systems, digital marketers are changing the way we interpret data and determining what the new customer experience looks and feels like. One thing is clear, a good rating is one of the most powerful first-impressions a business has with the consumer.
Customers are forming opinions about local businesses faster than ever before. A recent study shows 88% of customers only read 1-10 reviews before developing trust in a business.* The new word-of-mouth is online reviews, but instead of one patron giving a recommendation, it’s 1 to 10 customers convincing countless others that your business is worth their dollar. For any successful business, the strategy should be that every single customer is a possible repeat customer, and a potential positive review – it’s now crucial that every shopper has a positive experience and shares it with others, so the business can cultivate trust with the consumer.
To recognize how powerful a positive rating is, we need to understand the power of a negative review. A recent study by BrightLocal shows only 13% of consumers consider shopping at a business that has a 1 or 2-star rating.** Simply put, 87% of consumers WILL NOT consider buying from a business that has only a 1 or 2-star rating! A business owner may not notice a handful of bad ratings, but consumers are noticing – 97% of consumers between the ages of 18-34 read online reviews to gauge a business before making a purchase.*** Whether you are aware of your online reputation or not, the world of consumers are reading, leaving, and utilizing your online reviews to make their decisions.
Bottom line – online reviews are powerful. It’s often the first impression a business gives to a consumer and the deciding factor for consumers in initiating a life-long loyal relationship, or shopping somewhere else. The world is evolving towards ‘review before spend,’ and though this can create new challenges for digital marketers, it also builds a marketplace of better-reviewed products and happier customers. After all, a happy customer will tell their friends, but an unhappy customer will tell the world.
Online reputation should always be a top priority for business owners. Check out Friendemic’s suite of reputation tools to get more positive reviews, engage with customers through videos, and monitor your online presence.