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Importance of Online Reviews for Small Businesses

online reputation management Online reviews may seem basic and may appear to be something that one can gloss over if he or she is running a large business. However, to a small business, these reviews can truly make or break the company. A bad review can keep new customers away and can leave a sour taste in the mouth of a current customer. However, a good review can suddenly make people look at the business in a new way and see the company as a viable option for their needs. Here are just a few reasons that online reviews are so important to the health and growth of a small business.

Positive Comments Bring in New Customers

Studies have shown that positive online reviews actually bring in new customers. These individuals may be searching for a business near them using Google or another map-based search engine. When they see positive reviews, usually those that are four- or five-stars, they are likely to think that they will have a positive experience as well.

Positive Comments Increase Sales

Even more important to the business’s bottom line is the chance to make new sales due to this increased traffic. In fact, research has shown that customers may spend up to 31 percent more at a small business after they read positive reviews. However, owners should be aware that even one negative comment can decrease sales by over 20 percent. More than one negative comment can decrease sales even more than this.

Negative Comments Provide a Moment to Improve

Negative comments are not all bad. Small business owners who look at a bad review as a chance to improve can use these negative experiences as something positive. The best course of action with a negative comment is to address it immediately by contacting the customer and making things right if possible. Many times, these customers will come back and write a new review or edit the old review to note that the experience turned out positively.

Any Type of Comments Increases Business Potential

The thing that is most important about online reviews is that they are actually present. A lack of online reviews can turn potential new customers away because they do not want to be the guinea pigs who are the first to try out a business. Reviews show that the business is popular enough to garner new and satisfied customers.

As a small and a local business, one can expect great things from online reviews. While not all may be positive or glowing, each represents a change to improve, change and reach out to the customer. Small businesses have a great control over their online reviews. By reaching out to customers, they can inspire them to leave new reviews. In fact, this is a great way to get the happiest and most satisfied of customers to leave a review. Of course, the more positive reviews that a small business can generate, the better chance it has in getting more customers and seeing increased sales.

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