Companies like good King Kong reviews; they know that customers put a lot of stock in the thoughts of other people who’ve dealt with companies, products, and services. But a recent study, undertaken by the San Francisco small business marketing firm, Womply, notes that getting negative online reviews might not be as big of a hit to a business’ bottom line as most people think.
The firm studied more than 200,000 small businesses, looking at the impact online reviews have on revenue via transaction and review data to see what the effects of replying to reviews are to businesses.
According to their study’s data, businesses that reply to at least a quarter of their reviews rake in an average of 35% greater revenue compared to others, businesses with more than nine great reviews posted within a 90-day timespan, earn 52% more than average, while those businesses that average 35-50% average reviews earn almost as much as average, and the best place to be in, in terms of revenue, is between 3.5 stars to 4.5 stars.
On top of that, they found that 75% of small businesses neglect to respond to reviews.
Womply VP of Brand and Communications Brad Plothow says that this is a missed opportunity, as online reviews like King Kong reviews are increasingly becoming the front lines for how consumers make decisions on where they’ll be spending their money. He notes that more and more shoppers are doing their homework, researching, before they even go near a store.
As for 5-star ratings, he explains that people don’t think them very authentic, particularly if they account for the vast majority of business reviews.
They say that handling negative responses online should be handled in the same manner as complaints filed in person. Discounts won’t work, and businesses should be willing to own up to their faults, thank customers for feedback, and find ways to improve and make sure nothing of the sort happens in the future.
Other review sites state that negative reviews offer insight into how the business operates, and that more reviews, whether positive or negative, is ultimately good for the business.