A bad online reputation can have a significant impact on a business. Consumers today rely heavily on the internet for information about products and services, and negative reviews or mentions can cause potential customers to look elsewhere. In this article, we will discuss how a bad online reputation can affect a business, using three case studies and relevant statistics.
- Loss of customers: A bad online reputation can lead to a loss of customers. A study by BrightLocal found that 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If a business has a lot of negative reviews, potential customers may choose to take their business elsewhere.
Case Study: United Airlines is a well-known example of the impact that a bad online reputation can have on a business. In 2017, the airline faced a public relations crisis after a passenger was forcibly removed from an overbooked flight. The incident was caught on video and quickly went viral, leading to widespread condemnation of the airline. The incident had a significant impact on United's stock price, with shares falling by more than 4% in the days following the incident. The company also lost an estimated $1 billion in market value in the weeks following the incident.
- Damage to brand reputation: A bad online reputation can also damage a brand's reputation. A survey by the Reputation Institute found that 70% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. If a business has a lot of negative reviews, it can damage the reputation of the brand and make it harder for the business to attract new customers.
Case Study: Yelp is a website that allows users to review local businesses, and it has become one of the most popular sites of its kind. However, some businesses have complained that Yelp's review system is prone to manipulation, with some businesses paying to have fake positive reviews posted on the site. In response, Yelp has taken steps to improve the accuracy of its reviews, including implementing a system that identifies and removes fake reviews.
- Financial loss: A bad online reputation can also lead to financial loss. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that a 1-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue. If a business has a lot of negative reviews, it can lead to a decrease in revenue.
Case Study: In 2012, a hotel in the United Kingdom was hit by a wave of negative reviews on TripAdvisor. The hotel's owner claimed that the reviews were fake and left by a group of disgruntled ex-employees. The bad reviews led to a significant decrease in bookings and revenue. The owner of the hotel filed a lawsuit against the ex-employees, but the damage to the hotel's reputation had already been done.
In conclusion, a bad online reputation can have a significant impact on a business. It can lead to a loss of customers, damage to brand reputation, and financial loss. The case studies of United Airlines, Yelp, and a UK hotel, show that it's essential for businesses to monitor their online reputation and address any negative content quickly. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that a 1-star increase in Yelp rating leads to a 5-9% increase in revenue, this highlights the importance of maintaining a good online reputation. Businesses should work with a reputable Online Reputation Management (ORM) firm that can help them create a strategy that's tailored to their specific needs.