Online Reputation: How influential are online reviews?

Online Reputation: How influential are online reviews?

According to survey reports, more than 75 percent of consumers seriously consider online reviews before deciding whether or not to purchase a product and they also agree that online product reviews influence their purchases.

Certain segments of consumer appear more reliant on online reviews than others. The online reviews influences vary by according to household income, levels of education, the urgency to buy and such other factors.

Human psychology is rather intriguing. Early exposure to positive reviews about a product / service tends to make an indelible impression in the minds of consumers and influence their buying decisions–even when later reviews are predominantly negative.

Psychologists the world over agree that positive reviews stay fresher in human minds than negative reviews. Strangely, many of the prospective buyers rely on online user reviews, instead of expert opinions by professionals.

Consumers invariably scout the web and the massive database of reviews that populates it. Online reviews are imperceptibly influencing buyers in ways they might not realize.

Negative online reviews, especially those that are potentially malicious can cause nightmares for business owners and entrepreneurs.

If you are passionate about your brand, you may resort to some spontaneous outbursts when you view negative reviews and have regrets later. Learn to rein in your temper and act with caution and patience.

Before you react, you need to determine if the review is genuine or deliberately defamatory.  If the review is true then straightaway contact the reviewer and make amends. This will send the right signals to prospective buyers – they will instantly realize you care for your customers.

If the review is untrue and malicious or some competitor spreading a rumor to sabotage your business interests, you have every right to ask for the review to be removed or retracted.

Most reviewers will see reason and have the negative review deleted. The onus is however on you to provide proof that the review is inaccurate or else, you will not succeed in getting the negative review removed.

But if you are convinced that a reviewer is deliberately playing mischief, you should not hesitate to taker legal action.

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