For decades word of mouth has been an instrumental marketing tool for organisations, with minimal cost imposed on the company, they are able to spread awareness of their products or services, assuming that the words used were positive.
It is thought that anytime a consumer has a negative experience, they will tell at least five other people. In an age where technology is everything, unhappy consumers can share their negative reviews worldwide with consummate ease. Thus making the internet a very dangerous place for organisations, many are aware of this and take precautionary measures such as online reputation management to ensure that bad feedback is not in clear sight to prospective customers. However, those that have not removed them, leave themselves vulnerable to losing sales due to poor and damaging reviews.
The extent, of which negative reviews correlate with sales figures, has been the subject of many recent online studies. Many of these studies have been undertaken to determine how negative online feedback affects sales. Research done by Lightspeed Research indicates to us that approximately 75% of people in the UK would reconsider purchasing a product even if they read just 3 bad reviews. We are able to gather that the British public store faith in reviews of other consumers, this means that if an organisation risks leaving negative feedback on the Google page one, it’s likely that they will lose a large share of potential sales. In relation to this you must consider the percentage that actually do pre purchase research, research shows that close to 73% of the sample would do pre-purchase research. In affect this research by Lightspeed suggests to us that if you have 3 negative reviews, you stand to lose approximately 54% of UK consumers. In this tough economic climate it is imperative to maximise your sales potential, to shackle the business to only 46% of consumers is unacceptable.
In relation to negative reviews, there appears to be varying levels in which consumers trust the validity of the review. The sample indicates to us that 75% see “Which” consumer advice body as the most reliable source of advice, at 58% other consumers are seen as very trustworthy when writing reviews. Most notably however for “professional” reviewers, merely 47% of consumers see them as trustworthy. These figures are very informative as we can comprehend which forms of negative reviews are most damaging for organisations. Similarly it is essential to gain an understanding of how consumers look for reviews, further research by Lightspeed illustrates that search engines are the popular choice when looking for reviews, followed by visiting shopping sites such as amazon. Beyond this, other alternatives for reviews become progressively less prevalent. None more so than social media, although there has been a massive emphasis placed on social media as being a key place in advertising, research showed how only 7% trusted reviews on social sites such as: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
At Igniyte we specialise online reputation management, aiming to eradicate all negative reviews from Google page one. Research has shown search engines are the primary source for reviews, by eliminating the negative feedback from Google page one, businesses are able to maximise their business opportunities.