Forgive us the cheeky headline, but we wanted to be sure we have your attention: You need to pay attention to user reviews. It’s impossible to understate their importance.
Unfortunately, many small business owners still aren’t getting that point. Here’s the upside: If those are your competitors, you can harness the incredible power of user reviews to get an edge on the competition.
A recent survey (December 2013) by Yodle found that small business owners underestimate the value of reviews and are not completing the basic tasks to remain competitive in today’s reviews-focused marketplace.
According to the survey, most small business owners (78 percent) care if their business receives negative online reviews. However, only half (50 percent) believe positive online reviews are either important or very important. The rest said they either didn’t have an opinion or thought that positive reviews were unimportant or very unimportant.
You don’t need to have read the other sections in this newsletter (though we certainly hope you did) to realize this is a fallacy. Positive reviews demonstrate to potential customers that past customers have had a good experience with your business and provide specific examples of your company’s strengths.
Negative reviews can be countered by a higher quantity of positive reviews. People understand that even the best businesses will occasionally get a negative review. You can’t please everyone, and there will always be outliers.
For example, Citizen Kane is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest films ever made. On IMDB, more than 6,000 users have given it the lowest rating, just 1 star out of 10. (It has an 8.5 rating overall.) The Godfather, which has a 9.2 rating overall (and a perfect 100 percent at Metacritic), has more than 29,000 one-star reviews.
Negative reviews will happen; the key is to focus on the positive. Take control of your online reputation!