Would you rather buy a book with 50 glowing reviews or one with only a few good reviews and tons of complaints? Well, if you’re like most people and the books are similar, you’ll plunk your money down for the one recommended by more people.
The fact is, our purchasing decisions are influenced by what others say. Maybe it’s not always the best buying strategy, but in the long run it tends to work to our advantage.
Your customers behave the same way when deciding if they should buy from you or someone else. If they’ve seen too many critical comments about your products or services, they’re likely to shun you in favor of a competitor.
Even if you don’t have a shopping site where customers can rate your products, write reviews or leave their comments, it’s not too hard for anyone to find out what others are saying about you online. The internet makes it all too easy for anyone to share their thoughts and experiences. That includes commenting on your company, good or bad.
If a search on your company turns up even a few sites with negative comments, you’ll lose a lot of prospective customers. In other words, if your online reputation is tarnished, your sales will suffer.
Conversely, a good online reputation increases sales because prospects who find you -- or find out about you -- on the internet are more apt to buy from you when others are saying good things about you. This is all very elementary, I know. But I’m often surprised by companies that don’t make the connection, thinking that just because they have a “powerful brand” they don’t have to worry about what some bloggers or review sites are saying.
But your customers are all too aware of what others are saying, and ideally they’ll see nothing but positive reviews and comments when they perform a search on your company.
Interestingly, you may also find you have fewer cancellations or returns when you have a positive reputation. If a company is known for its shady business practices or shoddy products, people are more likely to return something they’re not happy with.
But if you’re known for outstanding customer service and stellar products, your customers are more willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. They’ll work with you to get a problem resolved.
Fewer complaints and fewer returns are just another benefit of a good reputation that affects the bottom line.