Essentially, without a detailed strategy in place for dealing with negative reviews, a thumbs-down review from a consumer — or a series of consumers — can stay on the Web forever, and consequently, erode profits, forever.
"It's been proven that people will research a company on the Internet before making a purchase," says Jenna Day, marketing director, One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating. "Having a strong and positive presence on the review sites influences the buyer’s final decision."
Jerry Bures, owner, Ascend Marketing Solutions, an online marketing agency, agrees: "It used to be word-of-mouth marketing from trusted friends and neighbors solely influenced a business’s ability to grow. Now, more and more, consumers are trusting online reviews from perfect strangers as much as personal recommendations from people they know, especially among younger consumers," Bures says.
According to a BrightLocal study, 88% of consumers surveyed said they read reviews to size-up a local business. Moreover, 67% of those relying on surveys said they read up to six reviews to fully assess a business.
“The significance of these stats is that it sets a benchmark for the number of positive reviews that they need,” says Myles Anderson, BrightLocal’s CEO. “With 85% of consumers reading 10 or less reviews then we need to ensure that we have at least 10 reviews to satisfy them, but more importantly that the most recent 10 reviews are all positive," Anderson says.