NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 01/10/13 -- According to a recent article from Econsultancy, customer reviews can prove massively beneficial to businesses and brands -- even leading to an 18 percent increase in sales. As such, the article continues, it is crucially important for businesses to seek out positive reviews from their customers, and to ensure that those reviews are posted on company websites, on Facebook pages, and on review sites, like Yelp.com. The article goes on to list ten strategies businesses can implement in order to encourage positive reviews to online review sites; the article has captured the attention of Rich Gorman, Reputation Changer blogger, who has responded to it with a comment to the press.
"Econsultancy articulates something that every business owner needs to know, in this era of Google searches and Yelp.com," notes Gorman. "That is, quite simply, that online reviews matter. As the article points out, the majority of consumers now consult with online reviews before making any big purchase. As such, positive reviews can really lift up a brand, establishing it as reputable and desirable in the minds of consumers -- establishing it as the brand of choice."
The practical effects of this online reputation boost can be myriad, Gorman continues. "When businesses attract these positive reviews, they also attract new customers, and make great strides toward retaining their current customers," Gorman remarks. "Positive reviews can lead to increased sales, to fewer refund requests, and more."
Gorman notes that the inverse is also true. "Positive reviews can make a brand, but negative reviews can break it," he says. "The effects of negative online reviews are as bleak as the effects of positive reviews are exciting."
Gorman explains that, because so many consumers place their trust in online reviews sites, even one bad review can do immense damage to a brand's reputation, and ultimately to its success. "Negative online reviews will lose customers and cause revenues to decline," Gorman opines. "These negative reviews will also lead to increases in chargebacks and refund requests."
As such, Gorman says the Econsultancy article's point that businesses and brands ought actively seek out positive reviews is a good one. "Businesses cannot afford to take a lackadaisical approach to online reviews and customer testimonials," explains the online reputation expert. "Companies should take their online reputation needs seriously, working to be proactive in amassing good reviews, and seeking to suppress bad ones."
The Econsultancy article offers several suggestions for businesses seeking to amass positive reviews. The first step is simply to ask for reviews, providing a way for consumers to weigh in with their feedback and perhaps even with star ratings. "Putting a review widget on your site is helpful, because you can moderate and manage those reviews and highlight strong product endorsements," says Gorman. The article also encourages businesses to make it easy for consumers to submit their reviews, and to ensure that reviews are placed in a prominent place on the Web site.
Additionally, Gorman says that businesses and brands can ask for positive reviews even more directly, via e-mail. "If you have really good, faithful customers, send them a quick note and ask for a word or two of endorsement," says Gorman. "Taking this more direct and personal approach can often open doors."
Ultimately, the important thing is for companies to understand just how important online reviews are. "Businesses and brands need to take online reviews seriously -- because if they don't, they could really lose out on some opportunities to shine," concludes Rich Gorman, Reputation Changer blogger.
Rich Gorman, Reputation Changer blogger, is a passionate advocate of the online reputation management industry, and also a trailblazer in the field of direct response marketing. A restless entrepreneur, Gorman has played a major role in the formation of numerous online enterprises. He is a big believer in the right of any company or individual to control the way they are presented on the Internet.
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